The Role and Function of Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

The Role and Function of Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

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The Role and Function of Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

In Elizabethan times the Twelfth Night was a time of holiday and
festivals and it was sometimes known as the feast of fools. Slapstick
comedy, satire and romance along with disguise and frivolity were all
ingredients, which would have been the order of the day. Feste the
fool represents the festive spirit of the play, and he makes an
important contribution to the action. Fools were employed by noble
families, Feste is employed by the Countess Olivia. His role in
Olivia's household is to provide music, witty comment to engage in
verbal repartee and to participate in slapstick comedy. Additionally
in the play he also provides wisdom and sardonic comment on what is
going on. Feste is quite unique as he moves around all levels of
society in Ilyria, being equally welcome above and below stairs.
Feste's foolery is everywhere as he moves between the households of
Olivia and the Duke Orsino. This makes Feste a significant character
and very much his own man. Fes...

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