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Picture Resources

Here are some famous pictures and production shots from Twelfth Night for inspiration....


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Viola in disguise as Caesario with her twin brother Sebastian. Do you think the people of Illyria would mistake one for the other?

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Photograph via the Public Theater

Yellow stockings

Scene from Twelfth Night

(Malvolio and the Countess)

Daniel Maclise

Malvolio is tricked into thinking Olivia is in love with him. The letter he receives tells him to smile and wear his yellow stockings. He puts them on and parades up and down in front of Olivia, who thinks he must have gone mad!

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Olivia, Maria and Malvolio from “Twelfth Night,” 

Johann Heinrich Ramberg (1763–1840)

You can see how proud Malvolio is of his fancy yellow stockings and if you look carefully you can see Feste and Sir Toby behind the screen having a good laugh at how silly Malvolio looks, and what a fool he is making of himself.


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William Powell Frith (1819–1909), Olivia Unveiling (1874)

This is a picture of Viola (Cesario) wooing Olivia for Count Orsino. It's the moment when Olivia lifts up her veil to show Viola her face, this was a big deal because Olivia hadn't shown her face to anyone new for a while, she'd been in mourning for her father and her brother.


Frederick Richard Pickersgill (1820–1900), Orsino and Viola (c 1850)

Frederick Richard Pickersgill’s double portrait of Orsino and Viola was painted in about 1850. Appropriately, it’s unclear whether she is here Cesario or her real self.


William Hamilton (1751–1801),

Olivia’s Proposal (c 1796)

Olivia and Sebastian have lost no time in their courting, and he agrees to get a priest to marry them immediately, as seen in William Hamilton’s Olivia’s Proposal from about 1796.


George Henry Hall (1825–1913),

Sir Toby Belch (1854)

George Henry Hall’s full-length portrait of Sir Toby Belch from 1854 shows him early in the day, as it’s still light outside. His glass is on the table, as he has already been drinking!

George Henry Hall (1825–1913),

Malvolio Confronting the Revellers (1855)

George Henry Hall’s Malvolio Confronting the Revellers from 1855 shows Malvolio at the right, wearing his night-cap and telling the group off. From the left they are Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Feste the clown, Sir Toby Belch, and the maid Maria behind.

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