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Task: write the script of an interview with an actor/actress who has
taken one of the leading roles in the play Twelfth Night.
Hi, tonight I am here with Mel Gibson who played Malvolio in the
marvellous film, 'Twelfth Night'. I will be asking him some questions
about his character in the film.
What did you like about Malvolio?
I think in twelfth night we encounter several interesting characters.
But personally I found out that, Malvolio is the most interesting and
the most different from the other characters.
What does he do?
Malvolio is the servant of Olivia. Although he belongs in the servant
class, he strongly believes he is better than the individuals he
Does he do his job well, in front of the other characters?
Malvolio is a dedicated worker.Most of the time Olivia seems to
appreciate the solemn dignity with which he carries out his duties.
Olivia has some sympathy for him and that is expressed in the play 'poor
fool'. However, the others find him arrogant and regard him as an
What kind of person is Malvolio?
Malvolio always dresses in black and never laughs. Throughout the play
we don't see a smile on his face. This however, is merely a disguise
that he assumes, that allows him to criticize others. Under his black
garments, lies a heart filled with vanity.
What are his dreams?
He often daydreams that Olivia will marry him and as a result he will
become her equal. He imagines himself wearing fine clothes and
jewellery. He would then have command of the household, and he would
then be able to get revenge on those who haven't treated him
How does the audience respond to Malvolio?
The audience think Malvolio is a fool because; His own pride causes
him to act as foolishly as he does. Malvolio's real downfall however,
is not caused by foolishness.
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at one time or another. Unlike the others, Malvolio simply cannot
laugh at himself, cannot recognize his faults. Therefore, he has no
part in the healing that occurs at the end of the film. While the
others are all laughing at themselves and forgiving each other,
Malvolio clings to his anger. When he makes his final exit, he vows to
take revenge on everybody.
Would the response have been the same in the Shakespearean time?
I don't think the response would have been the same in the
Shakespearean time because, now we have gone through the technical
aspects of the play. I don't think they would have done this that long
What was the plot played on Malvolio?
Basically Maria, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew write a letter to Malvolio
from Olivia, saying that Olivia will marry Malvolio and that would
make him count Malvolio. Maria put the letter on the bench whilst
Malvolio was on a stroll in the Garden. Malvolio's self deception
makes him the perfect target for Maria and Sir Toby's joke. They play
on this vanity and his pride. Maria's letter is only able to convince
him that Olivia loves him because that's what he wants to believe.
When the letter tells him to act proud and arrogant, it only gives him
permission to show how he already feels.
Why was this plot played on Malvolio?
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew were up late, drinking. Later Feste joins
them. They proceed to make a great deal of noise, by singing,
drinking, and talking nonsense; Maria tries to get them to be quiet,
but Malvolio is awakened by the noise, and comes down to berate them
for disturbing the household. Once Malvolio leaves, Maria concocts a
plan to make Malvolio look like a complete fool.
How did he react after he found the letter?
When Malvolio found the letter, we actually experienced him smiling
for the first time. He was laughing with great joy. I had to laugh
really irrationally because, remember he is not used to it. Maria
warns Olivia of Malvolio's very strange behaviour; Malvolio was now
wearing yellow, cross-gartered stockings, which Olivia abhors.
Malvolio continues his absurdity, making remarks of unnecessary
familiarity, and completely baffling Olivia with his misguided
attempts to be romantic towards her. Olivia dismisses Malvolio's odd
behaviour as being some kind of passing madness, and orders that
Malvolio be looked after.
Have you seen the older film version of the play, if so, what did you
think of it?
Yes I have seen the film. I did however notice when trying to follow
the film with the play itself, it was a little off. They first scene
in the play is not acted until ten minutes into the film. In the
beginning of the film I felt like I was watching a remake of Titanic
because everyone was jumping into the water. I also noticed that while
I understood the purpose of Viola's disguise, she didn't look too
masculine to me. I thought the power struggle between Malvolio and Sir
Toby was very entertaining. It was portrayed in a light, flimsy
manner. Overall the film wasn't too bad to watch.
Can you tell us some of Malvolio's important quotes and how they are
Sure, I have a couple on the top of head. 'Good fool, some ink, paper
and light; and convey what I will set down to my lady, it shall
advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did.' This quote
is significant because, it leads to the letter being read which
Malvolio wrote to Olivia. This made Malvolio upset at his
mistreatment. The second one I have got in my head is, 'some are born
great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon
them'. This was said when Malvolio was having a great moment. He got
too big headed and didn't realise the consequences. I think this quote
summed up Malvolio's personality.
Thank you for giving us this Interview today, we all enjoyed your
company and hope to talk to you again.