Dr. Ralph Presents: Twelfth Night (2013)

American Shakespeare Center Co-founder and Director of Mission, and Mary Baldwin College Professor Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen delivers a pre-show lecture on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, with special input from eminent Shakespeare scholar Stephen Booth, before a live audience at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA, on April 10th, 2013.

Dr. Ralph Presents: Twelfth Night
File Size: 40.8 MB; Run Time: 42:23
Please note: This lecture was recorded on Ralph’s iPad; we apologize for any fuzziness.

Hit the cut for the text which Dr. Ralph used during this lecture.

Twelfth Night, 5.1

SEBASTIAN
[A]Do I stand there? [B]I never had a brother;
[C]Nor can there be that deity in my nature,
Of here and every where. [D]I had a sister,
Whom the blind waves and surges have devour’d.
[E]Of charity, what kin are you to me?
[F]What countryman? [G]what name? [H]what parentage?

VIOLA
[I]Of Messaline: [J]Sebastian was my father;
[K]Such a Sebastian was my brother too,
[L]So went he suited to his watery tomb:
[M]If spirits can assume both form and suit
You come to fright us.

SEBASTIAN
[N]A spirit I am indeed;
[O]But am in that dimension grossly clad
Which from the womb I did participate.
[P]Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
And say ‘Thrice-welcome, drowned Viola!’

VIOLA
[Q]My father had a mole upon his brow.

SEBASTIAN
[R]And so had mine.

VIOLA
[S]And died that day when Viola from her birth
Had number’d thirteen years.

SEBASTIAN
[T]O, that record is lively in my soul!
[U]He finished indeed his mortal act
That day that made my sister thirteen years.

VIOLA
[V]If nothing lets to make us happy both
But this my masculine usurp’d attire,
Do not embrace me till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump
That I am Viola: [W]which to confirm,
I’ll bring you to a captain in this town,
Where lie my maiden weeds; [X]by whose gentle help
I was preserved to serve this noble count.