Imagery in Twelfth Night

Imagery Examples in Twelfth Night:

"Have you not set mine honour at the stake, And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts That tyrannous heart can think?..."   (Act III - Scene I)

Here, Olivia uses bear-baiting imagery. She imagines that her emotions are chained to a stake and attacked by Cesario’s ferocious thoughts. Olivia uses this violent imagery because she assumes Cesario thinks she is dishonorable because she was so forward with her affections. Remember, Olivia sent an unsolicited ring after Cesario when he first came to woo her.

"Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?..."   (Act III - Scene I)

Feste uses this imagery to beg for more money. Viola gives him two coins, and Feste suggests that these coins should “breed” or reproduce. Because he begs for more money in a clever way, Viola gives him another coin.

"brimstone in your liver..."   (Act III - Scene II)

The liver was thought to house romantic feelings in the Early Modern conception of the body. Fabian uses this imagery to spur Andrew to action.