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
... 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.
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