What would A Shakespearean love letter sound like in everyday, plain English? Here is a translation of the love letter sent from Maria to Malvolio as a prank in Twelfth Night:

To My Secret Love With Best Wishes,

Only God knows who I love,

But, who is it?

I cannot say his name aloud;

No one must know.

I have the power to control the one I love,

But silence, like a knife,

Cuts open my heart and draws no blood;

M.O.A.I is the one my heart adores.

If you find yourself reading this think carefully about what it says. I am above you in rank and station like the stars, but do not be afraid to attain greatness. Some people are born great, some work towards greatness, and some have greatness just fall into their laps. Destiny is waiting for you. Fully run forward and embrace it! Prepare yourself to accept your new position by rising above your rank. Argue with your relatives, be rude to servants, talk endlessly of politics and become a free and independent thinker. Remember, the woman who gives you this advice loves you. Remember the lady who complimented you on your yellow socks and wants to see you with laces crisscrossing up your legs – remember her. Go ahead! A new life is before you if you want it. If not, continue on like you are; a servant who cannot grab onto a chance of happiness when it presents itself. Goodbye!

Signed, she that can forever change your fortunes

The Fortunate Unhappy

 

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