Essay about An Unusual Perspective of Hierarchies in Twelfth Night by Shakespeare

Essay about An Unusual Perspective of Hierarchies in Twelfth Night by Shakespeare

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‘Twelfth Night’ or ‘What You Will’ falls into the subgenre of festive comedy as the spirit of the festival turns the normal hierarchies of the social sphere upside down and unacceptable behaviour becomes acceptable (as established by Barber in 'Shakespeare's Festive Comedy'). The character Feste attacks authoritative figures during the days of the Christmas period. As Feste can be seen as a mock mayor he often makes absurd declarations aimed at Olivia and Orsino as he points out that Olivia's excessive mourning is over-indulgent and ‘fool[ish]’ and notes Duke Orsino's extreme moodiness when he compares Orsino's mind to an ‘opal’ that changes colour. However, as this play takes place in the festive period it lacks seriousness which also reflects the decisions that Orsino and Olivia make in the dénouement. But as love is a motivating force, Olivia and Orsino carry out foolish acts in the final scene which convey the many serious social messages that arise in the play. On the other hand, characters such as Malvolio face difficult situations through the use of mockery which cause ...

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