Twelfth Night

Act 2 Scene 4

Orsino says: For women are as roses, whose fair flower, Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.

Viola responds: And so they are: alas, that they are so; To die, even when they to perfection grow!

What is funny about Viola's response to Orsino's comment above?

How does Viola respond to Orsino's claim that women cannot love as strongly as men?

What does scene 4 tell you about Orsino's view of love?

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Viola attempts to soothe Orsino's melancholy by getting him to accept that Olivia might not love him, but that perhaps another woman does; Orsino counters this with the argument that women are very inconstant in their love, and could not have a feeling as deep as the love he has for Olivia. Viola knows that this is not true, in light of the great amount of feeling she has for Orsino; she attempts to persuade him that women are "as true of heart" as men, by telling him a story she makes up about a sister that loved only too constantly and too well. Orsino asks Viola to go again to Olivia, and make his suit; Viola obeys, and sets off to see Olivia again.


This was actually act 2. Let me know if you still have a question about the above.