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Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


Twelfth Night: Act 2, Scene 2

           Enter VIOLA and MALVOLIO at several doors.
several: separate (In modern productions Malvolio usually overtakes Cesario/Viola as he/she strolls along.)


      MALVOLIO
  1   Were not you even now with the Countess
  2   Olivia?

      VIOLA
  3   Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have
3. on: at.

  4   since arrived but hither.

      MALVOLIO
  5   She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have
  6   saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself.
6. to have taken it away: by taking it with you.

  7   She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord
  8   into a desperate assurance she will none of him:
8. desperate assurance: assurance that he has no hope.

  9   and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to
 10   come again in his affairs, unless it be to report
 11   your lord's taking of this. Receive it so.
11. taking of this: reaction to the news that Olivia will have none of him.


      VIOLA
 12   She took the ring of me: I'll none of it.
12. She took the ring of me: (Viola lies to prevent Malvolio from knowing that Olvia lied.)


      MALVOLIO
 13   Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her
 14   will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth
14. so: i.e., by being thrown (Malvolio throws the ring to the ground.) in your eye: where you can easily see it.

 15   stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
 16   it his that finds it.

           Exit.

      VIOLA
 17   I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
 18   Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!
18. forbid . . . not: (The double negative is emphatic.)

 19   She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
19. made good view of me: thoroughly looked me over.

 20   That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
20. lost: made her lose.

 21   For she did speak in starts distractedly.
21. in starts: haltingly, in fits and starts.

 22   She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
 23   Invites me in this churlish messenger.
23. in: via, by means of.

 24   None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
 25   I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis,
25. as 'tis: as it is, under the circumstance (that I am really a woman).

 26   Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
 27   Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
 28   Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
28. Wherein: By which. pregnant enemy: Satan, full of wickedness. proper-false: handsome deceivers.

 29   How easy is it for the proper-false
 30   In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
30. waxen: impressionable. set their forms: make a strong impression. our frailty: women's frailty.

 31   Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
 32   For such as we are made of, such we be.
32. such as we are made of: i.e., frail flesh.

 33   How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
 34   And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
34. monster: (Because she is both a man and a woman.)

 35   And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
 36   What will become of this? As I am man,
 37   My state is desperate for my master's love;
37. My state is desperate for my master's love: i.e., Because I am Orsino's friend and follower I desperately want Orsino to have Olivia. thriftless: unprofitable, hopeless.

 38   As I am woman, — now alas the day! —
 39   What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
 40   O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
 41   It is too hard a knot for me to untie!

           Exit.