The scene opens in Illyria, at the palace of Duke Orsino, where the duke is listening to music. Duke Orsino is suffering in love for Lady Olivia, who refuses to requite his suit. He hopes the music will feed his love to the point where the love can’t grow any more and so it will die. His servant Curio suggests they go hunting, but the only thing the duke wants to hunt is Olivia’s heart. Duke Orsino’s other servant, Valentine, returns from his errand to Lady Olivia’s house and tells the duke that Lady Olivia would not admit him. Olivia’s handmaiden told Valentine, he reports, that Olivia has pledged to mourn for seven years for the death of her brother, and cry daily to make sure the loss stays fresh. The duke theorizes that if Olivia has the capacity to love her dead brother so intensely, she will eventually love the live duke with even more intensity. The duke retires to lie amongst the flowers and think further on his love.
Meanwhile, we see Viola washed up on the shores of
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