In "Twelfth Night,"  who is Viola's twin brother?

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laurafishman eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Sebastian is the twin brother of Viola in Twelfth Night. We first learn of this fact in act 1, scene 2, when the Captain tells Viola that her twin brother Sebastian was last seen alive, clutching the mast of a ship during the storm. Accordingly, the character of Viola believes her brother to be dead. Viola takes on the identity of “Cesario” to obtain work.

It is revealed in act 2, scene 1, that Sebastian is still alive after we see him in the company of Antonio. Sebastian discusses with Antonio that he fears his sister Viola has drowned. Because Sebastian and Viola look alike and because the two of them do not appear in front of others at the same time, the twins are mistaken for each other on multiple occasions. Mistaken identity becomes a theme of the play.

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Karlie Krajcik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Sebastian is the name of Viola's twin brother in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. When Viola first washes ashore in Illyria following a shipwreck, she believes her brother to have died at sea and assumes a male disguise so that she can find employment with the Duke Orsino, taking on the name Cesario.

In act 2, scene 1, the audience learns that Sebastian has not drowned but has in fact also arrived in Illyria; he assumes Viola is dead. The uncanny resemblance between Sebastian and Viola in her "Cesario" disguise leads to many cases of mistaken identity as the play progresses.

It is not until act 5, the very end of the play, that the twins are reunited. The revelation that the person everyone had assumed to be Cesario was in fact two people—disguised Viola and Sebastian—allows for the complicated love triangle of the play to resolve itself.

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In this play, Viola has a twin brother whose name is Sebastian.

We first meet Viola in Act I, Scene 2. She has been shipwrecked and is talking to the captain of the ship. She had been on the ship with her brother, Sebastian, but he is nowhere to be found. Because of that, Viola believes that he has been drowned.

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