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Examine the role and function of Feste within the play. What is your opinion of him?

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Introduction

Examine the role and function of Feste within the play. What is your opinion of him? In Elizabethan times the Twelfth Night was a time of holiday and festivals and it was sometimes known as the feast of fools. Slapstick comedy, satire and romance along with disguise and frivolity were all ingredients, which would have been the order of the day. Feste the fool represents the festive spirit of the play, and he makes an important contribution to the action. Fools were employed by noble families, Feste is employed by the Countess Olivia. His role in Olivia's household is to provide music, witty comment to engage in verbal repartee and to participate in slapstick comedy. ...read more.

Middle

In many ways Feste seems to be the wisest person in the play. Feste accurately sums up the other characters. He mocks the Duke "For thy mind is a very opal" . An opal stone appears to be many colours and he is suggesting that the Dukes mind is very changeable. And of Sir Andrew "For what says Quinapalus? Better a witty fool than a foolish wit". Since Feste is a licensed fool his main role in Twelfth Night is to speak the truth. He proves Olivia to be a true fool when he takes her to task for the time she intends to spend in mourning for a person whose soul is in heaven. ...read more.

Conclusion

Feste has successfully fooled money from Orsino. The play ends with a song, with Feste singing directly to the audience. It is a sad regretful song about growing up, a knowing summary of human life. In my opinion Feste is a very entertaining character, he adds humour to the play when he dresses up as Sir Topaz, the curate and goes with Maria and Sir Toby to pay a visit to the imprisoned Malvolio. Malvolio has always been a bit of a spoilsport and likes other people's happiness to be ruined. Malvolio is unaware that he is not talking to the real Sir Topas and because he is not conscious of this it adds humour to the play. I think Feste is a very enthusiastic and comical character. ...read more.

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