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GCSE: Twelfth Night
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- Marked by Teachers essays 1
How does Olivia appear more likeable than Orsino in the play even though both of them are quite similar?
Firstly, let us have an overview on the comparable characteristics of Olivia and Orsino. To begin with, Olivia and Orsino are both very wealthy and come from the privileged social classes. In the case of Olivia, she is a countess and concerning Orsino, he is the Duke of Illyria not neglecting the fact that they are both visited by Feste the fool. Next, the theme of love which associates these two is apparent seeing that they are somehow in love with only the fact of being in love, that is they do not love whoever they say they feel affection for with but the only idea of being in love; especially Orsino who should
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In the end, Viola's love changes Olivia and Orsino, who do well to make up for the previous mistakes. The Twelfth Night opens with Orsino talking about his love for Olivia "If music be the food of love, play on" (Act I, line 1). Orsino speaks of his love for Olivia, so right at the beginning of the play, we know what Orsino wants to do. However, when Orsino says, "So full of shapes is fancy that it alone is high fantastical" (Act I scene I.14-15), we begin to wonder if Orsino is really in love with Olivia at all.
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Comparison between the two heroines of the play "Twelfth Night"(by William Shakespeare): Olivia and Viola.
Viola is then introduced to the audience, in a completely different scene. She has just landed in an unknown country; she, too believes her brother to be dead, and she has nobody around her who she knows and can rely on. However, Viola is seen acting resourcefully and practically. She immediately tries to find proof of her brother still being alive, and then makes a plan to work in the Duke's court. She does not, like Olivia, go overboard and begin mourning for her brother.
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This scene is dramatically powerful for many reasons, one of them is comedy, which is very clear in this scene, as when Malvolio is talking to himself, this is funny to the audience not only as he is talking to himself but the role-play he does and the status he gives himself married to Olivia "having been three months married to her, sitting in my state..." and as the hero he talks about " Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet gown, having come from a day-bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping...".
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This is the motive for Sir-Toby's revenge on Malvolio. In the 'letter dropping' scene, we see another side to Malvolio. He finds the letter and he immediately assumes that Olivia is referring to him in the letter. He then thinks aloud, he falls into reverie reciting his fantasy to himself. If I was directing the play, I would have Malvolio emphasise the 'I's' in his speech. This would get across the message that he is self-obsessed to the audience. An example: "I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will baffle Sir-Toby, I was of gross acquaintance."
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Sebastian and Viola they are twin brother and sister and have never really been apart. There very strong bond is shown when Viola thinks she has lost her brother she displays a lot of grief and remorse for her 'dead' brother "O my poor brother!" Another two characters that display Filial Love is Sebastian and Antonio "If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant." Antonio and Sebastian fought in many wars together and have become very close friends. The other two characters are Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew.
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Viola is then disguises as a male eunuch and works for the Duke Orsino. Under the impression that Cesario is a boy with youthful looks, the Duke sent Cesario to woo the Lady Olivia on his behalf. Sarcastically, a love triangle is formed since not only Viola who has fallen in love with Orsino, Olivia has fallen in love with Cesario as well. As Cesario is a boy in Orsino's eyes, Viola is unable to confess her love for Orsino, "I'll do my best to woo your lady/ Yet, a barful strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife" (ActI ScIV).
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Also, Feste acting as a "corrupter of words" can be quite confusing and maddening, as Malvolio experiences in the play. Madness can be easily appreciated in Twelfth Night thanks to the situation Malvolio is put in. Apart from making Olivia think "he's much distract" and that he suffers a "very midsummer madness" the servants also try to make him think he is mad and possessed by saying "how hollow the fiend speaks within him" and how a "hyperbolical fiend" vexes him making him talk "nothing but of ladies".
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We could argue that Malvolio bought this mistreatment on himself and perhaps deserved it after his bad treatment of the other characters; In some way Malvolio thought that he had superiority over Feste and as a result treated him unsympathetically and intolerantly. He also put Feste down repeatedly. Malvolio was also a killjoy and during the play he gave the impression that he enjoyed spoiling fun. On a positive note Malvolio seemed dignified and when he threatened Maria, he also puts across an air of stupidity.
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How effectively does Shakespeare exploit different types of comedy to make Act II, Scene V of 'Twelfth Night' funny?
His character would also be funny towards the audience because of his sensibility, stubbornness and other exaggerated beliefs. Another comical character in the play is Feste. Feste is Olivia's fool. Feste plays with his words and by using comical language appeals to the audience. Before explaining the comic devices in 'Twelfth Night' Act II Scene V, it is necessary to know what has previously happened in the play. Malvolio is deeply in love with Olivia who is head of the house and has also been mourning for her dead brother for a long time.
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The Characters costumes will show what standing they have in the scene. The Knights and will be wearing grand clothes to show that they are Sirs but Fabian will be wearing less spectacular clothes. Malovolio will be wearing boring unimaginative clothes showing he is dull and a puritan. The lighting of the scene will be varied according to which character the light would be on. This is to give the audience an idea who is the main character in the act and what they see around them. In Act 2 Scene 5 I would have a brighter light shining on Malvolio.
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Imagine you are directing a production of 'Twelfth Night' with reference to the scenes Act II.V and Act III.IV what notes and advice would you give to the actor playing Malvolio?
The character Malvolio is a Puritan, a person with strict views about conformity or the conventional standards of moral conduct. In act two scenes five Malvolio picks up a letter and decides Olivia has written it to him. The comedy in this scene comes from Malvolio's interpretation of the letter. The letter contains hints that it refers to Malvolio, but not enough to justify his reaction. Fabian says that Malvolio is the reason that he is out of favour with Olivia, so he would 'exult' if Malvolio were made a fool of.
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This is shown when Maria says "My lady will hang thee for thy absence." (Act I Sc. 5 Line 3). She is exaggerating but it is interesting how instead of saying, "You are supposed to be here!" she says, "My lady will kill you when she sees you". It more seems like Maria is trying to tell Feste how much trouble he is in then to scold him. This is in contrast to how I believe Charmian would have handled the situation.
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Soon as I hear Olivia say "sad occasion" I will beam at her because Malvolio would think she was being sarcastic due to the letter that he received. I will raise my eyebrows on my next line and almost laugh while speaking. At the words "I could be sad" I will pout a bit while speaking to notify Olivia that I understand her 'sarcasm'. I will get up then and stand facing the audience. I will also stress the word "some" and shake one leg towards Olivia suggestively at "cross - gartering" and put it down immediately after.
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Describe two episodes from the play that you consider to be extremely amusing and explain why in each case.
The other reason why I think this scene if funny is that we can see Malvolio gradually discarding his sober and solemn image and transforms himself into the role of a romantic lover - as he reads the forged letter specially concocted by Maria, his mood changes from pure ignorance into discovery to exhilaration then finally into rapturous delight of that his lady actually loves him! His over exaggerating reaction when finding the letter also makes the play funny as it contradicts with the usual serious and reticent Malvolio, which further accentuates his highly imaginative self delusion and this overly exaggeration makes him look astonishingly foolish and amusing "Jove, I thank thee!
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Twelfth night - Viola has often been identified as one of Shakespeare's mostrewarding female roles for an actor, what attractive qualitiesdo you find in her character?
Many people would agree that any person who could feel like that is stereotypically shallow and petty, both traits people despise. She carries out orders unquestioningly to "woo" Olivia, when she herself knows she is wooing the woman that will be Orsino wife "who'evr I woo, myself would be his wife" when it is she that wishes to be in that place. She wants him to be happy and in giving him that happiness, her happiness she is left alone, is that not self-sacrificing?
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Which do you think is the more important in contributing to the humour of the play, the characters of the events?
I will smile, I will do everything that thou wilt have me." - pg. 93 (180) In this sentence he says that he has accepted the fact that she loves him, and is willing to humiliate himself to prove his love for her. He knows that what she is requesting is ridiculous, but he is willing to put his dignity aside for love.
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After performing a scene from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night I received a much greater insight into some of the characters in the play. I played the character of Sir Toby Belch in Act IV, scene i.
I thought this portrayed a good contrast between the two characters, Toby being the drunk, lethargic one, Sebastian being the bold and brave show off. There is also a sly element to Sir Toby. He is often callous towards Sir Andrew Aguecheek and it sometimes seem like Sir Toby is just using the foolish Andrew for his own entrainment, and isn't a true friend to him at all. In the act we performed I tried to convey this by taking a while to break up the fight between Sir Andrew and Sebastian, suggesting my character quite enjoyed, and found it comical, watching Sir Andrew get pummelled by Sebastian, coming across as somewhat of a stirrer.
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This adds to the drama of Act 2 Scene 5 because by the end of the previous scene the audience are already looking forward to seeing Toby, Andrew, Fabian and Maria get revenge on Malvolio. Another point is, in Act 2 scene 5, the audience discover more about Malvolio's character when he is in the garden talking to himself. He is revealing his true character because he thinks he is alone. We discover that in reality he is quite vein and thinks he has more importance that he does: "he has been yonder I' the sun practising behaviour to his own shadow."
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How are you Malvolio? What's wrong with you? MALVOLIO Watch what you are saying! MARIA Pray to God that he is not possessed by the devil! FABIAN Take his water to the wise woman! MARIA If I live through this, my lady will not lose him for more than I'll say. MALVOLIO What was that Maria? Feelings/Actions Uptight because he can't find Malvolio. Delight as he has found him. Curious. Annoyed as he has been interrupted. Annoyed, as Malvolio has not obeyed her. Confused why. Confused, as he doesn't know what's wrong with Malvolio.
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The fact he is a puritan is also suggested by Maria "the devil puritan that he is." but while he denies himself a life of pleasure he tries to take these things away from others as well as we saw in act 2 scene 3 when sir Toby, Andrew and Feste are drinking and singing in the house. At this point Malvolio's attempts to take moral high ground over Feste and Maria and Sir Toby and Andrew which he does not have the authority to do so and this in turn adds to the desire to punish and mock Malvolio.
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The positioning of this speech and its venomous tone is meant, without doubt, to prime the audience, and to turn the audience's neutral feelings towards Malvolio to ones of somewhat unjustified hatred considering the small amount that we have seen of him in the play so far. It is not just the under-plotters that mock Malvolio. His boss, Olivia, also criticizes Malvolio, but this time, due to the difference in status, to his face. She says that he is, "sick of self love."
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but he'll speak with you . Malvolio gives a damning report saying that viola is "as a squash 'tis before a peascod, or a codling when 'tis almost an apple... One would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him." When Olivia decides to meet Viola Malvolio doesn't question her decision although he disagrees with it. When Viola first speaks to Olivia she asks "The honurable lady of the house, which is she?". Olivia seems to be insulted by this as she then refuses to confirm that she is the lady.
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Explain How Shakespeare Explores The Dangers Of The Dark Side Of Love In Twelfth Night, And Support Your Answer With References From Acts 1 And 2.
She quickly comes to be favoured by him, and falls in love with the noble lord, Orsino. Even though she loves him, she keeps her disguised identity as a boy and delivers his messages of love to the other woman, Olivia. As well as this there are many subplots throughout the play, some of which are not romantic or comic at all. A good example of this is Malvolio, who is locked up in a mad house unfairly by other characters in the play.
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This is a fault because it may hold her back from doing a something that she should. I think that Shakespeare has given the characters faults to make them more interesting and realistic. Malvolio tries to impress Olivia but it does not work. Although she respects him she does not favour him, as he thinks, for having a good job. He is good at his job but should enjoy himself instead of thinking himself all the time. This is one thing that makes him an unlikeable character also he considers himself to be superior to other characters but no one really likes him and he does not know what they really think of him.
- Word count: 952