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

Act 2 scene 5 Twelth night - What dramatic devices ensure that this scene is the main focus of comedy within this play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What dramatic devices ensure that this scene is the main focus of comedy within this play? Act 2 Scene 5 is one of the most humorous and important scenes within Twelfth Night. As well as being humorous it also shows Malvolio's self love and delusion. It also explores one of the main themes of the play; the theme of love. Shakespeare has included many dramatic devices, which ensure that when acted on stage, Elizabethan and modern audiences could understand and enjoy the play. The way in which Shakespeare structures the play heightens the comedy in this scene. Its humorous content is emphasised by its contrast with the seriousness of Scene 4, which is very much about love and illusion, with Viola and Orsino having an intense discussion about their love. Scene 5 itself symbolises Malvolio's self love and is humorous as Malvolio is tricked and hence becomes the victim. The running commentary from the onlookers and their use of plosive words and entertaining language is very amusing to the audience. In comparison the intelligence of Act 3 Scene 1 serves to double the comedy. Feste's and Viola's clever and witty conversation and wordplay in this scene continues the humour, but also emphasises Malvolio's foolishness. Act 2 Scene 3 is where it all begins. The drunken revelry of Sir Toby and his friends is interrupted by Malvolio telling them to be quiet. Malvolio also blames Maria, who proposes they revenge themselves by writing him a letter in handwriting similar to Olivia's, suggesting Olivia is in love with him. ...read more.

Middle

If this was to be presented by a director he could show them being very clumsy, making them very amusing to watch and every so often them coming very close to being seen by Malvolio. Malvolio creates a range of response in the audience's mind through the devices of the soliloquy and the letter. The audience learns more of Malvolio's thoughts and absurdity in his attitude. At first he is a most unlovable character but he has our sympathy for the way he is treated by Sir Toby and Maria. The audience's reaction soon changes when he reads the letter aloud and this ensures that the audience now have little sympathy with him. They would also enjoy the spectacle of a puritan being gulled in this way. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to enhance the humour in the scene because the audience have prior knowledge of the letter left to trick Malvolio. This makes it even more humorous when Malvolio starts to read it. He has trouble working out what "M.O.A.I." (Line 91) stands for, which makes it very comical for the audience to watch. The letters have no special significance except that they are readily recognisable as forming part of Malvolio's name, enough for him to interpret the letter as addressed to him, as he sees only what he wants to see: "M' Malvolio - why, that begins my name! (Line 106). The director would have to think about how Malvolio speaks and behaves when reading the letter. ...read more.

Conclusion

They cannot respond to this without giving themselves away, so there is a lot of anger amongst them. Another entertaining moment is when Malvolio says something of a sexual nature: "these be her very c's, her u's, and her t's, and thus makes she her great P's" (Lines 72-73). The lower classes of the Elizabethan audience would have found this hilariously funny. To add to the comedy Sir Andrew does not know what Malvolio is talking about and almost shouts out what it means: "Her c's, her u's and her t's: Why that?" (Line 75). This could have been made funnier by one of the other characters quickly stopping him from saying this by putting their hand over his mouth. At the end of the play the confusion is all cleared up, but it isn't a perfectly happy ending. Shakespeare tries to put across to the audience that Malvolio has learnt absolutely nothing from his mistakes, and emphasizes this by showing most of the characters getting what they deserve. Viola's been loyal to Orsino and ends up marrying him and Olivia gets married to Sebastian. The main devices used by Shakespeare do ensure that this is a comic scene. He has made sure in every way possible that all varieties of people enjoy the comedy, however making sure that they also have mixed feelings towards Malvolio. He has done this by placing the scene in a very good position, letting the characters use humorous language and placing the self-obsessed character Malvolio into the play. Jenny Willis ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Twelfth Night essays

  1. How does Shakespeare create and use comedy in the play Twelfth Night?

    It is ironic that of all the characters on stage, Feste the clown, the fool, is the most intelligent of all people. Shakespeare uses many different comical devices during 'Twelfth Night' all of which are still used today in modern comedies.

  2. DID MALVOLIO DESERVE TO BE TREATED SO HARSHLY?

    leave to prove you a fool" You would expect Olivia to be dismissive over this, but instead she is amused & intrigues by him. Feste, is of course, true to his word, proves her to be a fool. - On this she turns to Malvolio, asking his opinion on Feste.

  1. How does Shakespeare create dramatic impact in Act 1 Scene 5?

    Through the twists in the plot Olivia becomes attracted and bemused with this young youth Cesario before her, she is attracted to his frankness and welcomes his audacious approach. Twelfth Night is all about roles and role playing which is dramatic in the figurative form.

  2. Twelfth Night has been described as a play of contrast-light and darkness; humour and ...

    "I am the lady's corrupter of words". Feste gives himself this title which makes him sound like a god corrupter of words. "I am the" is slow, bold, but strong line, which shows us how much Feste delights in word play.

  1. Although 'Twelfth Night' is a happy comedy, there is a great deal of hurt ...

    Feste's manner and word play show him to be very clever, as he carries theory with everything he says. Despite occasionally him being crawl and heartless (in the gag with Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Maria against Malvolio Act 4 scene 2), he is very truthful about everything he says mainly.

  2. How is Malvolio a comic character? Act 3 Scene 4

    Certain parts of the scene mock Malvolio's pretentiousness and snobbery. "It did come to his hands" He speaks of himself with 'his' instead of 'my' as if he is someone royal and grand, but he is only a steward. Malvolio is over-confident and has a very high opinion of himself.

  1. How does Shakespeare make Act 2 Scene 5 of 'Twelfth Night' Dramatic?

    He jumps to conclusions when he finds the letter and automatically assumes it is for him: "M, Malvolio; M why, that begins my name!" Then he says: "To be count Malvolio" already putting himself into a higher position. This makes the audience think he is arrogant and they cannot wait to see him humiliated.

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    A lot of these themes play a large part in Twelfth Night. For example, in a lot of Shakespeare's plays there is a particularly clever servant, who often outstrips their master or mistress in intellect and wit. Feste the fool is a prime of example of such a servant, as

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