• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Twelfth Night - Feste's self.

Extracts from this document...


Feste's self: Feste is an observer. He sees through people. Though he's a kind of entertainer, who will only perform for money, what he chooses to sing to people is intentionally relevant and disturbing to them. People find the truth very hard to deal with, for example, 'Peace, you rogue...here comes my lady'. This story shows people avoiding the truth at every level. Especially since they are being called 'fools' or 'clowns', and not really taken seriously. For example, the fool in King Lear was constantly being threatened with hangings and beatings, but this was only as he was a 'witty fool'. Again with Feste in Twelfth Night, who also is threatened with hangings, due to his absence. But Feste does not fear this threat, and in fact makes a joke of it; mocking Maria and using a sexual pun at the same time. This confidence comes from the fact that it wasn't their job to simply provide amusement, but also to make critical comments and provide advice, as Olivia asks him: 'What's a drunken man like, fool?'. And because he is an 'allowed fool' he was able to say what he thinks, without fear of punishment, 'there's no slander in an allowed fool'. Since the only relationship that involves Feste, is that between Olivia's family, he has the ability to mediate between the whole cast. He is regarded as a close friend to Olivia, 'What is a drunken man like, fool?', as well as Sir Toby, by engaging in their 'folly' and songs. But he also has the ability to distance himself from everyone when needs be. ...read more.


And the next scene starts in comic humour. The drama in each scene seems heightened due to the massive contrast. At the end of the play, Shakespeare provides what seems to be an epilogue, like other plays, such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and All's Well That Ends Well. However, unlike these, Feste sings it. The song is about Feste growing up, about being tolerating in childhood, rejected in adult hood, unsuccessful in marriage and drunk in old age...but nothing really matters, the actors will always try an please. Although this song is about Feste, the overall meaning of it reflects the whole play. For example, he talks about himself growing up with bad experiences, his life circle from childhood to being an old man. This is a slight re-iteration of a song he sang earlier: 'What is love...youth's a stuff will not endure', This song is telling the audience that we should enjoy the present because nobody can know what the future holds, it could be good e.g. Viola-Orsino and Sebastian-Olivia, or it could be terrible e.g. Malvolio. Feste uses word play frequently throughout this play. These word plays, or puns, can make the audience laugh or even add to the tension so far. A good example is in Feste's first scene: 'he that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours'. The first interpretation of this pun, is the word 'colours' which can mean enemy or war. So, logically, someone who is already dead, can't fear. ...read more.


With this song, Feste seems to suggest that even as a person goes through life, with its ups and downs, he or she must remember that at any time one can end up in an unfamiliar place with a completely different life, exactly like Sebastian and Viola. There will always be unpredictability, as long as there is 'wind and the rain'. Ironically, Feste is the only person not to be seen as the fool. Olivia is the fool, as she has fallen in love with a woman, Orisino is seen the fool, because his Viola has tricked him into thinking she is a man. Sir Andrew comes across as the fool because of his foolish remarks, like taking the word 'ass' literally and believing 'Pigrogromitus'! This irony will add humour and dramatic irony to the audience and again make Feste look the cleverest by default. By acting the 'fool' he comes across as the wise man he is. The 'Twelfth Night' was know as the "Feast Of Fools", which is very similar to "Feste the Fool". This seems extremely significant, due to the similarity, as the Feast of Fools always appointed a "Lord Of Ridicule". It is possible the an Elizabethan audience would of got this (intentional) similarity and therefore see Feste as this Lord Of Ridicule. If Feste was this lord, then he would become the master of the household, for this short holiday period, and organise dances, folly, pranks and deceptions, in order to entertain the rest of the household. If this case, it would then explain Feste's songs, drunkenness, writing of letters to Malvolio and of course dressing up as Sir Topas. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Twelfth Night section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Twelfth Night essays

  1. Twelfth Night is a feminist play. Discuss.

    This goes to show that Olivia has the power over 4 men, and is in the position of power, over the men. This is no longer like the idea of the olden days, where the men would all be above the women, and be the one being ordered around.

  2. Discuss the different types of love presented in Twelfth Night

    Thus, from this we can see that they have a close relationship as good friends. Another friendship is between Viola and the Sea Captain. They survived the shipwreck together and the Sea Captain promised to keep Viola's idea about pretending to be a man a secret.

  1. How does Shakespeare explore the theme of deception and self-deception in Twelfth Night?

    If it is true then the entire friendship of these two characters is based on a deception. This is a serious issue, which contrasts with the comic theme of the play. This deception is never actually specified, only hinted at.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the theme of love in Act 1, Scene 5 and ...

    Shakespeare now uses the dramatic device of a song to further mock courtly love. The song is about a melancholy lover who dies for love and wants to be forgotten. Feste uses the song to mock Orsino's melancholy. At first Feste describes the despair of a courtly lover "I am

  1. Twelfth Night is full of echoes and parallels. Consider how these contribute to the ...

    and both must bear the burden of grief that this dictates. Also, both women are forced to disguise their true feelings for another character. Viola is secretly in love with Orsino, and Olivia is in love with Viola. This shows both to be vulnerable, despite their outward appearance.

  2. How Does Shakespeare Present Aspects of Folly in Twelfth Night

    foolery because in Shakepeare's day there would be no possibility of any sort of romance between Malvolio and Olivia, Malvolio being a mere steward and Olivia being a wealthy countess, the status contrast is simply too immense. When Malvolio reads the letter, Malvolio begins to fall in love with the idea of being in love .

  1. Cruelty in "Twelfth Night"

    his speech he is more preoccupied with the idea of love itself. He feeds these emotions with music and "elaborate poetic imagery" (from the York notes). He has probably only seen Olivia once and her image of beauty and perfection has inspired this romantic indulgence, this indulgence leads him to

  2. How does Shakespeare present the role of Feste in Twelfth Night?

    fox, but he will not pass his word for twopence that you are no fool.' This shows that although Toby is foolish as he cannot perceive Feste`s intellect, Malvolio`s idiocy is so apparent that even a fool such as Toby can see it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work