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GCSE: Twelfth Night

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  1. In Twelfth Night, what are your Impressions of Malvolio and do you think he is treated too harshly?

    Have you no wit, manners nor honesty but to gabble like tinkers at this time of the night? Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house that ye squeak out your coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?" This statement makes him sound like a killjoy, but isn't Malvolio speaking sense? The fact is that the three drunkards in Olivia's house (who is mourning her brother's death) are actually being noisy, thoughtless and selfish. Olivia's maid Maria becomes involved, and clearly she isn't a friend to Malvolio, as she herself has made one or two remarks about him: "What a caterwauling do you keep here!

    • Word count: 1095
  2. Twelfth Night

    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...".

    • Word count: 668
  3. Twelfth Night

    Self deception to some is funny as it plays on the dramatic irony idea, as the character self deceiving themself is not aware they are doing so unlike the audience who do know about it. Malvolio is a character that tends to be picked on by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste and Maria. Sir Toby and Maria deceive Malvolio by use of forged handwriting. Maria writes a letter to Malvolio pretending to be Olivia, who he admires, telling him to smile, "put thyself into the trick of singularity", when around her also her must wear yellow stockings.

    • Word count: 1120
  4. Samuel Johnson criticised 'Twelfth Night' because it 'lacked credibility and failed to present a true picture of life' so is 'Twelfth Night' just a pantomime?

    masters become servants and servants had control of their masters. It was a time of excitement for everyone. But sadly it was a momentary pleasure for as soon as the sixth of January came round times went back to normal. 'Twelfth Night' has elements from mummer's plays dating back as far as the thirteenth century and even has elements the same as today's pantomimes. The elements included are cross-dressing, bawdy humour and daft slapstick sword fights. Traditionally in mummers plays there are men dressing as women e.g. dames and this is also present in pantomimes. 'Twelfth Night' also has this humorous factor as Viola cross-dresses as Cesario.

    • Word count: 1032
  5. Analyse and show how Shakespeare shapes the audience's perception of Olivia's steward, Malvolio.

    gone far enough in reforming the principles and structure of the church; they wanted to purify their national church by eliminating every shred of Catholic influence. Shakespeare knew this would mean that the audience would have already decided that they did not like this character. This would be because in the Elizabethan period, Puritans were opposed to ostentatious display, dress, finery and jewellery along with other colourful displays. The were looked upon with distain by theatre-goers because of their attempts to shut down the theatre, as they believed it was a "sinful place".

    • Word count: 2169
  6. How far do you agree with the view that Twelfth Night is a comedy where tragedy lurks just under the surface?

    However even though the play stands as a comedy, the tragedy of the character Malvolio and the cruelty shown towards him still questions the humanity of the audience and society in Elizabethan times in finding such a heartless and spiteful circumstance facetious. This play is clearly not a tragedy and even though much cruelty and vindictiveness is projected at Malvolio by the characters Sir Toby, Maria, Sir Andrew, Fabian and Feste; they are not evil, merciless characters of the play.

    • Word count: 2509
  7. In this passage we see the hilarious results of Maria's deception, which bears fruit in Malvolio's alleged madness. The trio's -Maria, Fabian, and Sir Toby- mockingly

    What is more, Malvolio, who prides himself as a man of religion, is seemingly regarded as a man now possessed by the devil, and to see someone who looked down upon others as faithless sinners, so treated is really quite amusing. The manner in which Maria twists Malvolio's words around so that it seems that he is offended when they 'speak ill of the devil' is quite clever and hence amusing. Words like 'defy the devil', 'hang him, foul collier!'

    • Word count: 1220
  8. Explore how Shakespeare uses Dramatic Irony to Create a Humorous Situation in "Twelfth Night"

    In Twelfth Night there are many themes and one of them is love, this creates humour because the characters don't really know who they are supposedly falling in love with enabling dramatic irony to form. Also love in this play is shown as a joke; this is because the characters are falling in love and most of the love is unrequited love such as: Malvolio loves Olivia but Olivia loves Cesario, who is actually Viola who loves Orsino, however Orsino loves Olivia.

    • Word count: 1158

    Malvolio, of course, with his egotistical nature, when he finds the letter in his path, sealed with Olivia's wax seal, immediately thinks the "dearly beloved" refers to him, & that the letter is from Olivia. He, of course, opens it. He consequently follows the instructions Maria has written & behaves quite unhinged, - completely humiliating himself. Maria however, & Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste & Fabian, who are all in on the plot, do not however stop there. They all go out of their way to completely ruin Malvolio's life.

    • Word count: 3913
  10. According to Northrop Frye in The Educated Imagination, literary conventions are typical patterned ways of writing that happen repeatedly over time in the world of literature. To write stories, the writers imitate other people's work

    An illustration of the hero's journey convention, for example, is the story of Hercules in Greek mythology, found in the award-winning movie about a Roman hero, The Gladiator; the Cinderella story convention is found in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night play, and both also illustrate the cyclic story of the loss and regaining of identity. An early example of the hero's journey convention in which the hero progresses through the life cycle of success, failures, and then back to success is the story of Hercules.

    • Word count: 1300
  11. In what way does act 1 scene 5 of Twelfth Night prepare the audience for events that happen in the rest of the play?

    The accepted view of love in the Elizabethan times was that personal preference was unimportant, and it was up to parents and relatives to arrange their sons and daughters marriages amongst upper class and rich families in order to level or uphold their wealth, land and power. Shakespeare proved otherwise in this play as we saw the rich countess lady Olivia fall in love with the servant Cesario. Aside in a soliloquy Olivia reveals her love affections for Viola, "...catch the play Methinks I feel this youths perfections".

    • Word count: 1599
  12. "Twelfth Night"

    Conventionally a Shakespearean comedy has a confusion of identity which the audience may or may not know about. This adds another dimension to the play as the audience know something which the characters do not and are willing the characters to figure out the confusion. Shakespeare includes comic characters as well as more serious ones. The audience are encouraged to laugh at these characters while they would laugh with the others. Comic characters speak in prose and often the audience find it easier to relate with them as they are more 'normal'. Another convention of a Shakespearian comedy is a happy ending much like a fairy tale and Shakespeare used songs and music to convey this felling of joyfulness.

    • Word count: 1206
  13. "He hath been most notoriously abused" How far do you agree with Olivia that Malvolio has been unjustly treated in the play?

    In the play there is a rather pompous servant by the name of Malvolio and during the play a questionably 'funny' joke is played on him. Malvolio is the person who tries to enforce and maintain the rules and therefore spoil all the festive fun. However another servant, Maria, along with Sir Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek play a joke on him, which is later (perhaps) taken too far. Malvolio is also very officious he values status and reputation. Malvolio's name means "bad desires" or "bad intentions."; his name seems to reflect his personality.

    • Word count: 1330
  14. Twelfth Night character analysis

    Also, Orsino uses hyperbole when he says "Me thought she purged the air of pestilence". He also says "And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds" meaning that he believes in love at first sight. Orsino is also a very fickle person and a self-centered man who only cares about himself. We know this, when Valentine, Orsino's messenger tells him that Olivia will be veiled for the next seven years and not meet with any man due to the death of her brother, Orsino starts thinking that if she loves her dead brother so much, she will love Orsino the same way when Cupid's arrow will hit her.

    • Word count: 2015
  15. Make notes on the characters of Viola and Sebastian. What is their importance as characters within the play? In "Twelfth Night", Viola's character comes across stronger than Sebastian's

    Viola's selflessness also come across at the start of the play where she falls in love with Orsino but to make him happy she still tries to woo Olivia for him even though she wants to be with him and not her. Once we meet Sebastian in Act 2 he comes across as a grateful kind person when he is thanking Antonio who saved him from drowning. "My determinate voyage is mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a touch of modesty that you will not extort me from what I am willing to keep in."

    • Word count: 1840
  16. Do the Three Characters trapped in the 'Love Triangle' all get what they deserve?

    There are other lies that she tells throughout the play, which could give the reader an impression that she is a liar. Viola falls into a trap immediately when she starts to feel attracted towards the Duke Orsino, she is at this time disguised as Cesario and the duke is wondering why he is having feelings for this other man. Viola thinks she won't be able to get the Duke Orsino, this could be for a number of reasons but two of these are because of background.

    • Word count: 1606
  17. Twelfth Night Coursework - Malvolio

    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."

    • Word count: 575
  18. Looking at Act 2 scene 5 and Act 3 scene 4 consider the role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night in terms of context, humour and whether or not you he deserves our sympathy

    Malvolio represents the puritan lifestyle. He does not smile or believe in having fun, which is why the trick is played on him in Act 2. This would be very funny to the audience and the characters in the play as they all know what is going on. Before he even stumbles upon the letter, he is day dreaming of being head of Olivia's house. 'To be Count Malvolio' is just one of the things he says. He is dreaming of being married to Olivia, but the impression we get from the first half of the scene is that he want to marry her for the power and not so much because he loves her.

    • Word count: 2239
  19. Throughout Twelfth Night deception caused confusion between many characters, but the one character that remain in the centre of this confusion was Viola. The deception was caused because of her outward appearance

    She in turn falls in love with Viola's counterpart Cesario. Olivia's love is revealed when she sends her servant Malvolio to return a ring, which Viola never gave to her. She says, "Run after that same peevish messenger, The County's man. He left this ring behind him... I do I know not what, and fear to find Mine eye to great a flatterer for my mind. Fate show thy force." This shows her love for Cesario and how she secretly lets her know. When Viola realises what has happened she immediately realises the love triangle which has occurred.

    • Word count: 1336
  20. TWELFTH NIGHT COURSEWORK ACT 5 In the last act of the play the plot entanglements and confusions are not only sorted out

    The captain has been imprisoned by Malvolio though. Olivia decides to get Malvolio to set him free, but she remembers that Malvolio, too, is imprisoned for madness. It is at this point that Feste appears with Malvolio's love letter to Olivia. Feste then proceeds to read it aloud so that it sounds like it is a madman that has written it. However, Olivia and the other people in this scene do not fall for this and Fabian is asked to read the letter instead. Fabian then reads it sensibly and the other characters at this point realize the mistake that Malvolio is not mad.

    • Word count: 2171
  21. Twelfth Night- Act 1

    She is the character whose love seems the purest. She is not self-seeking but self-sacrificing. She speaks simply and directly about her love in a language that is not affected but sincere. The other characters' passions are fickle. Viola's love for Orsino is constant and deep. Only Viola seems to be truly, passionately in love as opposed to being self-indulgently lovesick. Viola's chief problem throughout the play is one of identity. The plots device of disguise enables Shakespeare to suggest that Viola is a more complex character than might appear at first sight.

    • Word count: 2302
  22. The main theme of the play is mistaken identities. The three main characters are Orsino, a Duke, Olivia, a countess, and Viola, a woman who dresses as a man so she can be a servant to Orsino

    I will discuss these to see if they have any humour among them. Malvolio is a servant who thinks he is more superior than he actually is. Before he finds the love letter he is day-dreaming about himself being married to Olivia. Malvolio says "There is example for't: the lady of Strachy married the yeomen of the wardrobe -." This would be funny because Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Fabien, a friend of theirs, are hiding in the bushes listening and watching Malvolio.

    • Word count: 2060
  23. In Shakespeare's time women were generally thought of as inferior to men. In "Twelfth night" does the playwright suggest that he may not accept this idea and how does he show the audience this?

    She will cry in her room everyday, she loved her brother so much that she was willing to keep his memory alive by mourning for seven years, this shows the very strong character she held, as this was an almost impossible task. Women were thought of as inferior at the time the play was written. Women were ruled by the men of the household, but because Olivia's father and brother have died she has no-one to rule her life, this shows her strength as she has taken advantage of this, by ruling her own household and servants by herself.

    • Word count: 1071
  24. This essay will be exploring how Malvolio is a strong victim for humour, how Shakespeare shapes the audiences perception of Malvolio

    Malvolio's strange conduct first becomes apparent in Act 2 Scene 3. Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste are drinking and singing. It is very late; they are very drunk and very loud. Maria comes in to quiet them down, but it's all just too exciting and she doesn't want to end the fun everyone is having at the party. Typically Malvolio ruins the evening with his bad temper and scolding, 'My masters, are you mad? Or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?'

    • Word count: 1554
  25. To what extent can you feel sympathy for Malvolio

    Then, 6 lines after he says: 'I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal.' 1.5 l.67 This line really shows that he thinks of Feste as a 'barren rascal' and that he is really arrogant the way he looks down on Feste. He also tries to get Olivia away from Feste when he says the line, and he is basically saying 'I am amazed that you like being with such a worthless joker.' As Malvolio loves Olivia, he wants her all to him self. This is a problem for Cesario because Malvolio sees him as competition because he is young and handsome. He shows this in 1.5 l.115, when he dismisses Cesario several times.

    • Word count: 1414

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