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Cruelty in "Twelfth Night" - an examination of Shakespeare's comedy's darker side.

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  • Essay length: 3643 words
  • Submitted: 23/10/2003
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AS and A Level Twelfth Night

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Cruelty in "Twelfth Night"-an examination of Shakespeare's comedy's darker side

"Twelfth Night" is also subtitled as "What you Will" which shows that this should be a happy, festive comedy, its title is from the twelve-day cycle of celebration enjoyed by medieval revellers each December. As this is a comedy it means that there are multiple marriages in the final scene and happy endings for most, except maybe one person who is seen as a fool throughout the play in this instance, Sir Andrew or Malvolio or some may even think, Orsino if they have seen the Trevor Nunn film of this play, in my opinion Feste will not be an object of humour throughout the play as in the Nunn film he is quite a serious character. There are not any deaths in the play that occur directly as this is a comedy.

In this essay I am going to write about how Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" has an underlying cruelty. I am going to look, in particular at Sir Toby's exploitation of Sir Andrew, the way in which Sir Toby uses Sir Andrew as a wallet to buy drinks. I shall also concentrate my essay on the

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