William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night (ctd.)

Malvolio reads the letter which contains a riddle poem in which the author declares her love for someone she calls M.O.A.I. (looks like the name of a hip-hop band). Could she mean Malvolio or not? The letters are correct but they are in the wrong order. But the poem is followed by a prose letter in which “Olivia” exhorts her nameless beloved to acknowledge that he has read it and accepts her love by quarrelling with Sir Toby, being surly with the servants, wearing yellow stockings with crossed garters and smiling in her presence as much as he can. Malvolio is now certain it’s Olivia, because apparently she has praised his yellow stockings, and exultantly promises to perform all these actions. When he leaves, Sir Toby and his bunch emerge from the bushes, equally exultant but for a different reason and they can’t praise Maria enough for coming up with such a trick.


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