Maria (Twelfth Night)

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Twelfth Night character
Maria (second from right) giggling while Malvolio demonstrates his yellow stockings to his lady Olivia. Painting by Johann Heinrich Ramberg.
Created byWilliam Shakespeare

Maria is a fictional character in the play Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. She is a servant in Olivia's household. Maria is shown to have a friendly relationship with Sir Toby Belch, and exhibits a witty attitude. Maria also forged a love letter to Malvolio which resulted in Malvolio's condemnation to the madhouse.

Connections with other characters[edit]

  • Maria is Olivia's personal house-maid
  • Sir Toby Belch is Maria's lover and eventual husband
  • Malvolio is the steward in Olivia's household and therefore Maria's supervisor


Year Media Performer
1869 Broadway Fannie Davenport
1905 Broadway Zeffie Tilbury
1910 Film Marin Sais
1939 Television Lucille Lisle
1949 Broadway Ruth Enders
1955 Film Anna Lisyanskaya
1957 Television Micheline Luccioni
1963 Off-Broadway Peggy Pope
1969 Off-Broadway Jennifer Darling
1970 Television Raph Wolfs
1972 Television Jet Naessens
1974 Television Anne Stallybrass
1980 Television Annette Crosbie
1987 Film Tracy Harvey
1988 Television Abigail McKern
1996 Film Imelda Staunton
1999 Off-Broadway Dana Slamp
2003 Television Maureen Beattie
2009 Off-Broadway Julie White
2012 Off-Broadway Katie Alto