The Role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night Essay examples

The Role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night Essay examples

Length: 1551 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night

The main storyline in Twelfth Night is love between Cesario, Orsino,
Olivia and later on in the play Sebastian. Malvolio’s part in the play
is a backdrop situation separate from the main story. He brings a
level of both humour and sympathy to the play. Malvolio is one of the
main sources of humour in Twelfth Night. In the later part of the
play a different side of him is exposed.

Malvolio is Olivia’s steward and his job is to manage Olivia’s house;
he is her chief servant. It’s a very responsible job that he takes
very seriously. He enjoys telling people what to do.

During the course of the play Malvolio can be seen in many different
lights. At the start of the play you have a strong distaste for him
because of his constant snooping and him being a killjoy. Later in
the play its funny to watch him fall for Maria’s trick and make a fool
of himself in front of the whole household. However, by the end you
want to feel sorry for him as the trick goes too far and give out the
impression that he is mad.

Malvolio represents the puritan lifestyle. He does not smile or
believe in having fun, which is why the trick is played on him in Act
2. This would be very funny to the audience and the characters in the
play as they all know what is going on.

Before he even stumbles upon the letter, he is day dreaming of being
head of Olivia’s house. ‘To be Count Malvolio’ is just one of the
things he says. He is dreaming of being married to Olivia, but the
impression we get from the first half of the scene is that he want to
marry her for the power and not so much because he loves her. He wants
to...


... middle of paper ...


...t we see of Malvolio in the play. throughout the play
you get mixed feelings for Malvolio. At the start it is funny to watch
him make a fool of himself but towards the end you start to feel sorry
for him because of all that he has been through over the play and the
amount of times he has been humiliated.

Malvolio is a strong character in the play. He plays an important part
in twelfth Night being the main source of comedy. He is often the
centre of attention in the play but not for good reasons. Initially he
maybe deserved the trick that was played on him. However when it turns
malicious we can see it is severely affecting him, and by the end of
the play is screaming he will have “revenge” on the lot of them.
Malvolio concludes the play on bad terms, being the only character to
end the play without a happy ending.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Purpose of Disguise in Twelfth Night Essay

- Theme of Disguise in Twelfth Night The notion of disguise is very important theme within Twelfth Night.  From my point of view I feel that the crux of the play is primarily based on this concept.  Indeed "there's something in it that is deceivable" summarizes this point precisely.  Disguise runs like a thread through the play from start to end and holds it all together just as tightly as thread would fabric.  Yet, paradoxically as the plot progresses there are many problems, deceptions and illusions, which provide a comment on human behavior and creating the needed escape of comedy....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Strong Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)

The Importance of Olivia in Twelfth Night Essay

- The Importance of Olivia in Twelfth Night Olivia, in Twelfth Night, is the character who unifies the play by her involvement in each of the three plots. Olivia is loved by Orsino, but she loves Cesario. Olivia plays a vital role in the plot to gull Malvolio, although she is unaware of it. Olivia also has an active role in the plot to dupe Sir Andrew because he is jealous of her attention towards Cesario. In conlusion Olivia is the one who inifies the play the best....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Strong Essays
570 words (1.6 pages)

Use of Disguise in Twelfth Night Essay

- Twelfth Night, "there's something in it that is deceivable". Disguise is very important as a theme in the Twelfth Night.  In fact, disguise is a crucial plot to the play.  It is the thread which runs through the play from start to end and holds it all together.  Yet, paradoxically along the way there are many problems, deceptions and illusions, providing a comment on human behavior and creating comedy. Women's parts were played by boy actors in Shakespeare's day, so the audience would have found special sophistication in Viola's part:  a boy dressing up as a woman who, in the play disguises herself as a man....   [tags: Twelfth Night Essays]

Strong Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Plethora of Fools in Twelfth Night Essay

- Plethora of Fools in Twelfth Night Folly is one of the main weaknesses in Twelfth Night with a number of characters portraying their own strange foolish ways. Feste is the professional fool; he is the most noticeable fool and is very quickly recognised by the audience as an intelligent man. Orsino and Olivia are really foolish because of the decisions they make but they are regarded as intelligent. The biggest fool of all is Olivia's steward, Malvolio.   Feste was obviously the most noticeable fool....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Strong Essays
703 words (2 pages)

The Fools in Twelfth Night Essay

- The Fools of Twelfth Night         It is not unusual that the fool should be a prominent figure and make an important contribution in forming the confusion and the humor in an Elizabethan drama. In William Shakespeare's comedy, Twelfth Night, Feste the clown is not the only fool who is subject to foolery. He and many other characters combine their silly acts and wits to invade other characters that either escape reality or live a dream. In Twelfth Night, Feste, Maria and Sir Toby are the fools that make the comedy work in many senses....   [tags: Twelfth Night Essays]

Strong Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

The Fool as a Playwright in Twelfth Night Essay

-           Feste, the fool character in Twelfth Night, in many ways represents a playwright figure, and embodies the reach and tools of the theater. He criticizes, manipulates and entertains the other characters while causing them to reflect on their life situations, which is similar to the way a playwright such as Shakespeare interacts with his audience. Furthermore, more so than the other characters in the play he accomplishes this in a highly performative way, involving song and clever wordplay that must be decoded, and is thus particularly reflective of the mechanisms at the command of the playwright....   [tags: Twelfth Night Essays]

Strong Essays
2845 words (8.1 pages)

Gender Roles in Twelfth Night Essay

- Born on approximately April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, William Shakespeare is considered by many to have been the greatest writer the English language has ever known. His literary legacy included 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and five major poems. Among his many plays is the notable, Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy, placed in a festive atmosphere in which three couples are brought together happily. The play opens with Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, expressing his deep love for the Countess Olivia....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night]

Strong Essays
2141 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Wisdom in Twelfth Night

- Beyond Seriousness to Wisdom in Twelfth Night         Shakespeare seems preoccupied with madness and folly in Twelfth Night. The word "fool" and its variants ("foolery," "foolish," and so forth) appear eighty times in the play, and the word "folly" occurs seven times. There are, in addition, other means of indicating foolishness such as Maria's "Now, sir, thought is free" (1.3.67). As Feste suggests, "Foolery ... does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere" (3.1.39-40). Robert Armin, who originated the role of Feste, was fascinated by fools and wrote Foole upon Foole, a book which treated this subject....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Strong Essays
2734 words (7.8 pages)

Twelfth Night Essay: Feste is No Fool

- Feste is No Fool in Twelfth Night        In most Shakespearean romantic comedies, there is a character that plays the part of a truth-teller.  And in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night it is no different. Feste, a clown, through his mixed up words and songs enlightens the other characters whilst playing the role of the truth-teller.  Through aiding the Duke with his patience, helping Viola with her love problems, and having a major role in Malvolio's downfall, Feste holds one of the primary parts of the play....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Strong Essays
688 words (2 pages)

Twelfth Night Essay: Exploration of Love

- Exploration of Love in Twelfth Night       In the play "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare explores and illustrates the emotion of love with precise detail. According to "Webster's New World Dictionary," love is defined as "a strong affection or liking for someone." Throughout the play Shakespeare examines three different types of love: true love, self love and friendship.      "Twelfth Night" consists of many love triangles, however many of the characters who are tangled up in the web of love are blind to see that their emotions and feelings toward other characters are untrue....   [tags: Twelfth Night essays]

Free Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)