Act 1, Scene 4, Twelfth Night, Translation: Shakespeare

Presenting an innovative solution for untangling Shakespeare's intricate language: our interactive modern translation of Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 4. Click on any line within the original text, and observe its modern interpretation light up, effortlessly forging a connection between the past and the present. By merging classical artistry with contemporary accessibility, we offer a clearer avenue to grasp the essence of Shakespeare's timeless composition, catering to the understanding of today's readers.

SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace.
Enter VALENTINE and VIOLA in man's attire
VALENTINE
If the duke continue these favours towards you,
Cesario, you are like to be much advanced: he hath
known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
VIOLA
You either fear his humour or my negligence, that
you call in question the continuance of his love:
is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?

SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace.
Enter VALENTINE and VIOLA in man's attire
VALENTINE
If the duke continues to show you such favor,
Cesario, you're likely to be greatly promoted. He
has known you for only three days, and you're already no stranger.
VIOLA
Either you're worried about his mood or my neglect,
since you're doubting the constancy of his love:
Is he fickle, sir, in his affections?

VALENTINE
No, believe me.
VIOLA
I thank you. Here comes the count.
Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants
DUKE ORSINO
Who saw Cesario, ho?
VIOLA
On your attendance, my lord; here.
DUKE ORSINO
Stand you a while aloof, Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd
To thee the book even of my secret soul:
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;
Be not denied access, stand at her doors,
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.

VALENTINE
No, believe me.
VIOLA
I thank you. Here comes the count.
Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants
DUKE ORSINO
Who saw Cesario, ho?
VIOLA
In your presence, my lord; here.
DUKE ORSINO
Stand a bit away, Cesario,
You know as much as anyone; I have opened up
To you the book of my secret soul:
Therefore, good youth, make your way towards her;
Don't let them refuse you entry, stand at her doors,
And tell them that your steadfast foot will remain
Until you're granted an audience.

VIOLA
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
DUKE ORSINO
Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds
Rather than make unprofited return.
VIOLA
Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
DUKE ORSINO
O, then unfold the passion of my love,
Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith:
It shall become thee well to act my woes;
She will attend it better in thy youth
Than in a nuncio's of more grave aspect.
VIOLA
I think not so, my lord.
DUKE ORSINO
Dear lad, believe it;
For they shall yet belie thy happy years,
That say thou art a man: Diana's lip
Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe
Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound,
And all is semblative a woman's part.
I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair. Some four or five attend him;
All, if you will; for I myself am best
When least in company. Prosper well in this,
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
To call his fortunes thine.
VIOLA
I'll do my best
To woo your lady:
Aside
yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
Exeunt

VIOLA
Certainly, my noble lord,
If she is as overwhelmed by her sorrow
As it's been described, she'll never admit me.
DUKE ORSINO
Be assertive and go beyond proper limits,
Rather than return without any success.
VIOLA
But if I do get a chance to speak with her, my lord, what then?
DUKE ORSINO
Oh, then reveal the intensity of my love,
Surprise her with talk of my sincere affection:
It would suit you well to act out my sorrows;
She'll pay more attention to it from your youth
Than from an older person with a more serious demeanor.
VIOLA
I don't think so, my lord.
DUKE ORSINO
Dear lad, believe it;
Because they will eventually misrepresent your happy years,
Those who say you are a man: Diana's lip
Is not smoother and redder; your high voice
Is like a girl's, shrill and clear,
And everything about you resembles a woman's.
I know your astrological sign is very fitting
For this task. Have four or five people accompany him;
All of them, if you want. Because I am at my best
When I'm in the least company. Prosper in this endeavor,
And you'll live as freely as your lord,
Able to claim his fortunes as your own.
VIOLA
I'll do my best
To woo your lady:
Aside
Yet, what a difficult situation!
Whoever I woo, I wish I could be his wife.
Exeunt

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