Analysis Pages

Facts in Twelfth Night

Facts Examples in Twelfth Night:

Act I - Scene III

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"viol-de-gam- boys..."   (Act I - Scene III)

This is a borrowing from Italian and refers to a stringed musical instrument that is held upright on the knees or between the legs while being played. It corresponds to today’s cello.

"galliard..."   (Act I - Scene III)

This word refers to type of fast-paced, lively dance that is performed in triple time.

"Quinapalus..."   (Act I - Scene V)

In productions the character will often pause as if waiting for the audience to answer then mock them with the following line “better a witty fool than a foolish wit,” to suggest that they should know what Quinapalus says.

"Rodorigo...."   (Act II - Scene I)

Sebastian’s alias “Rodorigo” is never mentioned again within this play. This suggests that there was another sub plot or backstory that was never actually developed. It could also suggest a printing error in which a scene explaining this alias was lost.

"I'll go burn some sack;..."   (Act II - Scene III)

The word “sack” is an old word for a particular variety of fortified wine from Spain and the Canary Islands. The most popular variety was the Sherris sack, which in England became simply known as “sherry.” The verb “to burn” here likely means “to warm up.” So, rather than going to sleep, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew decide to warm up several glasses of sherry and continue their drunken adventures.

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