Twelfth Night

If music be the food of love, play on;


Twelfth Night

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Age Range
Act 1, Scene 1
Time & Place
The court of Duke Orsino, Illyria, an unspecified time
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

The Duke Orsino is hopelessly in love with the Lady Olivia, but she rejects all his

Monologue Text

If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more: 'Tis not so sweet now as it was before. O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, That, notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe'er, But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy That it alone is high fantastical.

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