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Discuss the role that the fools (Feste, Maria, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew) play in the comedy and explain the humour they add to the play

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Introduction

Discuss the role that the fools (Feste, Maria, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew) play in the comedy and explain the humour they add to the play. Even the name of the play: "Twelfth Night" suggests comical intentions, the day of the twelfth night was commonly know as "topsy turvey" day where all the roles are reversed, men become women or vice-versa, servants become masters and they have power for the day. In "Twelfth Night" Feste the clown is not the only fool within the play. He and many other characters combine their silly acts, for example getting drunk and deceiving Malvolio, too disturb and effect the other characters such as Olivia who our main intentions and sympathies are directed towards while she is on stage. The fools use humour as attention-seeking means to attract audience concentration. The fools use several types of humour in the play one of these is 'visual slapstick' humour this comes about within the play because of the way the characters act, a good example of this is sir Toby. Shakespeare creates his humour use by using sir Toby's drinking problem as a comical factor, the way that sir Toby performs when he's drunk entertains the audience adding comedy to the play. ...read more.

Middle

Feste calls Malvolio a "lunatic" implying that he was mad this was a dangerous assumption in the time that the play was set. Feste also bewilders him by wittingly making him into the fool, this leads to Malvolio being uncertain about himself. Throughout the play Malvolio was the main character that intentionally destroyed and spoiled the fun of the fools. By the end of the play Feste has triumphed over Malvolio by his mockery. Shakespeare shows how humour and facetiousness can lead people to be controlled and manipulated. Malvolio is the only character to show a negative attitude and whose dignity is reversed. At the end of the play Feste is left in control showing the great influence that the fool has in the play. In many of Shakespeare's comedies a song illustrates the end of the play. This song illustrates the fact that you begin life as children with out any cares or worries and as you grow up, life becomes more complicated and intricate. The play is about the loss innocence and the serious responsibilities that adult life places upon you. It is the story of life. ...read more.

Conclusion

He has reflective characteristic of Feste because he carries out hoaxes like a fool. An example of this is in act 2; When he was drunk he sings along with Feste while Malvolio attempts to make the quiet them down. Sir Toby is defining Malvolio's power, as he has no respect for Malvolio, because of Malvolio's self-loving attitude. When there is a prank Maria entices Sir Toby to be encompassed within it. The main plan, which the fool's parts revolve around, is the fake letter allegedly sent from Olivia to Malvolio to humiliate him. Their scheme works convincingly and Malvolio gets put away. The other hoaxes that they carry out on Malvolio is when Feste disguising as Sir Topaz to deceive and humiliate Malvolio for their pleasure. That was another example of Maria influences on Sir Toby Belch. In the "Twelfth Night", the fools are the ones that manipulate the comedy and humour in the play. They assist in the game of make believe and fool around with the other characters destinations. In the play Feste, Maria and sir Toby Belch are the fools that make the comedy humorous. They produce the confusion through merriment and it all works out in the end too construct Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" into an exceptionally entertaining performance. ...read more.

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