Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

Act 1 Scene 5

Why doesn't Olivia want to see the clown or have him around

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Olivia has the ability to quickly match a witty statement with an equally witty answer; she plays off of Feste's faux-logic about "a drowned man, a fool, and a madman" with ease, and offers a quick rejoinder to Viola's quip about the realness of Olivia's beauty (I.v.125). She is not quite as involved in wordplay as Feste or Maria, preferring not to quibble about less significant facts; this is perfectly displayed in her conversation with Viola, in which Olivia prefers to address the more important aspects of the situation, and diffuse Viola's argument as best she can.