List of Characters
Orsino—the Duke of Illyria, who is madly in love with Olivia.
Olivia—the countess with whom Orsino is in love and who rejects him.
Curio—one of the Duke’s attendants.
Valentine—another gentlemen attending the Duke.
Viola—the female of a brother–sister pair of twins who enters Illyria disguised as Cesario and finds love.
A Sea Captain—a friend to Viola who comes ashore with her.
Sir Toby Belch—Olivia’s uncle who drinks a lot and marries Maria.
Sir Andrew Aguecheek—Sir Toby’s friend who thinks he is a potential suitor for Olivia.
Feste the Clown—servant to Olivia who sings and provides entertainment.
Malvolio—steward to Olivia.
Fabian—another servant to Olivia.
Antonio—another sea captain who is friend to Viola and who comes ashore with Sebastian.
Sebastian—Viola’s twin brother.
First Officer—officer in the service of the Duke.
Second Officer—also in the service of the Duke.
A Priest—marries Sebastian and Olivia.
Musicians—playing for Duke.
Sailors—come ashore with the Captain and Viola.
Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Viola (VEE-oh-luh), who, with her twin brother Sebastian, is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria. The twins are separated, and a friendly sea captain helps Viola to assume male clothes and to find service as the page Cesario, with Orsino, the duke of Illyria. Her new master is pleased with her and sends the disguised girl to press his suit for the hand of Countess Olivia, with whom the duke is in love. Olivia, who has been in mourning for her brother, finally admits the page and instantly falls in love with the supposed young man. Cesario, meanwhile, has been falling in love with Orsino. So apparent is Olivia’s feeling for Cesario that the countess’ admirer, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, is persuaded that he must send a challenge to the page, a challenge Cesario reluctantly accepts. Antonio, a sea captain who is a friend of Sebastian, chances on the duel and rescues Viola, mistaking her for her brother, whom he had found after the wreck and to whom he had entrusted his purse. In the ensuing confusion, Olivia marries the real Sebastian, thinking him to be Cesario. Viola and her brother finally are reunited. Viola marries Orsino, and all ends happily.
Sebastian (seh-BAS-tyehn), Viola’s twin brother. Separated from her during the shipwreck, he makes his way to Duke Orsino’s court, where he is befriended by Antonio. He is involved in a fight with Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who mistakes him for Cesario. When Olivia interferes and takes Sebastian to her home, she marries him, also thinking him to be Cesario. Thus, he and Viola are...
(The entire section is 675 words.)