William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night (ctd.)

Malvolio continues to quote the snatches of Olivia’s letter and Olivia justifiably thinks he’s mad, especially when he interprets her kind suggestion to go to bed to have some rest as a sexual come-on and answers with a line from a popular love song. Olivia tells Maria to fetch Sir Toby to take care of him and leaves. Malvolio again interprets her friendly concern about the man she evidently values as an employee as the signs of her love for him. He believes she has sent for Sir Toby to give him an opportunity to be rude to him, just like she told him in her letter. Maria enters with Sir Toby and Fabian. They all pretend to believe that Malvolio is mad and treat him with exaggerated gentleness, like one does with the mentally ill.

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