Sebastian (Twelfth Night)

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Sebastian
Twelfth Night character
Scene from Twelfth Night - W. Hamilton.jpg
A Priest, Olivia, and Sebastian
Created byWilliam Shakespeare

Sebastian is one of the main characters from William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, believed to have been written around 1600 or 1601.

Background[edit]

Sebastian is the twin brother of Viola. After the beginning of the play, Viola mentions that her brother Sebastian is drowned in the sea.[1]

The next appearance of Sebastian denies this, as he has been rescued by Antonio, a sea Captain who looks after Sebastian at some risk to himself. Their journey brings them to the country Illyria, ruled by Duke Orsino. Meanwhile, Viola has disguised herself as a male page named Cesario and works for the Duke. A love triangle situation ensues, where the Duke is in love with Countess Olivia, Viola falls in love with the Duke, and Olivia falls in love with Viola, thinking she is a man.

Because they look so much alike, when Olivia sees Sebastian later, after he has not backed down from a challenge by Sir Andrew Aguecheek, she thinks he is "Cesario". She asks him to marry her, to which Sebastian agrees.[2] When Viola appears with the duke, the siblings are reunited and the Duke resolves to marry Viola.

Character interpretation[edit]

Sebastian's character is necessary to allow Viola to unravel the roles she has accumulated in the play, and to allow her to return to being a woman, and allowing her to marry Orsino. [3]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]