Twelfth Night Act 3 Scene 3: Summary & Analysis

Instructor: Katherine Garner

Katie teaches middle school English/Language Arts and has a master's degree in Secondary English Education

This lesson provides a summary and brief analysis of Act 3 Scene 3 of Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, followed by a multiple choice quiz to test your comprehension.

Sebastian and Antonio Approach Illyria

Act 3 Scene 3 of Twelfth Night opens with Sebastian and his friend, Antonio, walking into Illyria. Sebastian tells Antonio that he keeps thinking that all of the help Antonio has offered him must be inconvenient, but because he seems to be enjoying it, he will not try to stop him anymore. Antonio replies that he enjoys helping Sebastian because he loves Sebastian and they're friends, and he was also worried about what might happen if Sebastian were on his own; this area could be dangerous and unwelcoming to a stranger.

Sebastian thanks Antonio for devoting so much time to helping him and wishes that he had some money to give Antonio to show how appreciative he is. He then asks Antonio if they should walk around the town and see the sights, but Antonio prefers to find a place for them to stay the night.

Sebastian says he wants to explore the city because he is not tired, but Antonio admits that he does not want to walk openly in Illyria because he is not on good terms with Duke Orsino. He explains that he was involved in a battle at sea and did some damage to Orsino's ships. Sebastian asked if he killed a lot of men, but Antonio explained that they just stole a lot of things; his city for the most part paid Orsino back for everything except for Antonio himself. He tells Sebastian that because he refused to pay Orsino for the damages and stolen goods, he will be in big trouble if he is caught in Illyria.

Sebastian agrees that Antonio should keep a low profile and that he will go out into the city to look around on his own. Antonio gives Sebastian his purse, in case he needs or wants to buy anything while he is out, and tells Sebastian that he will be at the Elephant, and inn south of the city, when he is ready to return for the night. Sebastian tells him that he will be out for an hour and that he will see Antonio later at the Elephant.

Scene Analysis

Act 3 Scene 3 of Twelfth Night is very short, but there are several points to take away from it. First of all, it is a little strange that Antonio insists on coming to Illyria with Sebastian because he is worried about his safety, but then lets him go out on his own to explore the town. This puts Sebastian in a vulnerable position.

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