Twelfth Night


William Shakespeare

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Twelfth Night can help.

Twelfth Night: Act 4, scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
In another room in Olivia's palace, Sebastian is wandering around, trying to make sense of what has happened. Sebastian wishes that he could find Antonio to get his advice, but for some reason Antonio wasn't at the Elephant Inn when Sebastian went to meet him. Sebastian keeps turning over the facts: it seems as if either he or Olivia must be mad.
Unlike the other lovers, who say that they are mad in order to emphasize the extreme intensity of their love, Sebastian really does have good reason to worry about his sanity.
Desire and Love Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
Literary Devices
Sebastian's thoughts are interrupted when Olivia enters with a priest. She begs Sebastian to agree to marry her secretly at once. Then, when Sebastian is ready, they can then make their marriage known and have another celebration, commensurate with Olivia's wealth and social standing. Sebastian agrees. The priest leads him and Olivia away.
As with Toby and Maria, the wedding takes place off-stage. This drives home the point that the focus of the play is not about the consummation of love, but rather the ridiculous way that people act when wooing.
Desire and Love Theme Icon
Deception, Disguise, and Performance Theme Icon