In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, how much time elapses during the play?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, one day has elapsed from the first scene in the play to Act II; scene iii.  In Act II; Scene iii it is late at night and Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are drinking in Olivia’s house.  Maria and the two men plot against Malvolio.  Act II; scene iv marks the beginning of a new day.  In the new day, Maria plays her prank on Malvolio.  There are no more clear markers of time after Act II, so it seems that everything that follows all the way up to the resolution in Act V all takes place on the same day.  Therefore, all of the action in Twelfth Night takes place in two days and one night.