Overview of characters

Viola craftily smiles and winks in her disguise while Malvolio, Oliva and Orsinio stand in the courtyard.

The characters in Twelfth Night are in themselves a large part of the comedy in this play. Lots of them are over-the-top in their emotions and behaviour. For example, Olivia and Orsino are both entirely consumed by their love, whereas Sir Toby and Sir Andrew do nothing but drink and fool around. In fact the only character to take life seriously at all is Malvolio.

The four most important characters are:

  • Viola
  • Olivia
  • Orsino
  • Malvolio