ENG 3U: A Short Scene, a Prank, and a Confrontation

Today, we will read Act III scene iii and watch Act III scene iv.  Act III scene iii. It exists for one reason: to set up a scene later in the play. I want you to view this scene the same way you view any seemingly insignificant scene in film, and ask yourselves why Shakespeare wanted his audience to see this rather unremarkable moment.

Scene iv is crucial to the play. Before we begin, I want you to choose one of the following scenarios and write a very short personal response; you will have 5 minutes.

Imagine that you are sitting in the cafeteria, and another student professes his/her love for you in front of everyone. Unfortunately, you are not remotely interested in this person; even worse, you can see the person you really like on the other side of the caf. Write about what is going through your head

Your friend, Andy, likes  Olivia; Olivia, however, is only interested in the new kid in school. In a surprising move, Andy has decided to challenge the new kid to fight; the problem however, is that Andy couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. Write a letter (or a really long text) to Andrew and talk him out of his crazy course of action.

The strangest thing just happened. While walking through the mall, you bumped into a group of police officers arresting a young man. Upon seeing you, this young man asks for your help. In fact, he claims that the two of you are good friends, and he begs you to vouch for him; the problem, however, is that you are sure that you have never seen him before. When you tell him this, he denounces you angrily, and calls you a false friend. Write about what is going through your head as you walk away from the scene.

Here are some guideposts I want you to watch for:

  • Malvolio, all smiles and stockings, approaches Olivia. It does not go well. In the version we will watch, Maria struggles to keep a straight face as the events unfold. Remember that Maria is actually the author of this prank; ask yourselves why she acts like she does.
  • Fabian and Sir Toby enter. Remember, too, that they are co-conspirators; their concern is not real.
  • Sir Andrew appears, ready to fight. Or, at least he says he is. He wants Olivia, and he is willing to fight Viola/Cesario in order to win Olivia’s hand.  Watch how Fabian and Sir Toby stir up trouble…
  • After the “fight” is broken up, Viola encounters Antonio. Unfortunately, Antonio thinks Viola is someone else….

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