Twelfth Night Essays Characters

Twelfth Night Essays Characters-38
Not a scene goes by involving these to where we can laugh and the slow wit of Sir Andrew and the awkward puns of Sir Toby.

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These be her very C's, her U's and her T's, and this makes her great P's. This quote portrays a joke Malvolio is unaware of but a joke for the audience.

This filthy gag unintentionally makes the audience laugh but emphasises the fact Malvolio himself is incapable of laughter.

However, just because he is incapable of love does not mean he is outside the comedic standings of the play.

His attempt to woo Olivia by following the instructions in the letter offer lots of comedy value, for instance seeing Malvolio cross gartered and dressed in yellow stockings, two things Olivia particularly hates, and abandoning his position of dignity offers the best of dramatic irony and humiliation which is in turn very funny.

His delusional thoughts of his own superiority signify he doesn’t understand equality which is essential to a romantic, real love.

I believe through this portrayal of Malvolio Shakespeare is saying Malvolio is incapable of love.ay, sweet-heart, and I’ll come to thee." This lust and sexual disposition is another example of irony as Malvolio acts as though he is a dignified puritan and makes out he is of higher moral standings than the other characters, who are also chasing love throughout the play but in actual fact he is behaving in a similar manner.Malvolio however, also has a dream of becoming "Count Malvolio" as he put it and therefore it could be assumed he is not in love with Olivia but he is in love with the idea of becoming a count by marrying her.At the time Shakespeare was writing this play, Puritans were accused of being power hungry and Malvolio’s ambitions link him with this character trait.Due to his nature Malvolio doesn’t show much affection towards Olivia, she tells him, "O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a distempered appetite." Yet when he discovers a love letter (written by Maria) without any names on it, he assumes it’s from Olivia to him.At the time of writing "Twelfth Night" the Puritans disliked the easy-going, sophisticated attitudes of the nobility.They also thought that the aristocrats were setting a bad example for the lower classes by promoting theatre and therefore became a threat to Shakespeare who it could be argued is poking fun at the puritan way of life when he ridicules Malvolio, much to the general public's delight.It is especially ironic and amusing as it shows the extent to which he is just as petty as the other characters he has been insulting throughout the play.I think Shakespeare wants the audience to really dislike Malvolio in the first half of the play so that they find scenes such as this especially hilarious.He is also depicted as a puritan by his rigid, serious and unsympathetic view of moral duties, leaving no room for laughter, entertainment or human pleasures.This is all confirmed when Maria refers to him as "some kind of Puritan".


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