–William Shakespeare, “Twelfth Night,” Act V, Scene 1, line 415.
Now, before you accuse me of being random in this blog, consider this:
The Bard himself wrote a play named after January 6th, and there is not a single reference to Epiphany or Christmas in the entire play. Not one! Talk about random.
“Twelfth Night” is an upstairs, downstairs play.
Upstairs, there is a bizarre love triangle. The Duke of Illyria, Count Orsino, longs to court the Lady Olivia. But she mourns for her dead brother, refusing all suitors.
The shipwrecked Viola puts on men’s clothing and masquerades as Cesario to work as Count Orsino’s messenger. Viola promptly falls in love with the lovelorn Duke.
When Orsino sends Cesario to beg Lady Olivia to consider his suit, Olivia falls in love with Cesario!
Meanwhile, downstairs (where we witness the drinking of much wine): Olivia’s uncle Sir Toby Belch has recruited Sir Andrew Aguecheek to woo niece Olivia. But Sir Andrew cannot manage a coherent sentence even with the lady’s maid, Maria.
Aguecheek is so exquisitely funny that he makes Sir John Falstaff look like cookie-cutter, central-casting comic relief by comparison.