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

GCSE: Twelfth Night

Browse by
3 star+ (1)
Word count:
fewer than 1000 (43)
1000-1999 (99)
2000-2999 (31)
3000+ (14)

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 8
  1. 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.

    • Word count: 987
  2. Write an account of the plot against Malvolio and consider how far you feel he deserved it. Write about the plot's effectiveness as a piece of drama.

    'Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?' (Act Two Scene Three, line 84-85). In a raised voice he reprimands the three men on behalf of Olivia who at the time was trying to sleep. As Malvolio leaves it is apparent that nobody in the room likes him at all. He is so disgusted with the treatment he received from Malvolio he decides 'to challenge him the field, and then to break promise with him and make a fool of him.' (Act Two Scene Three, line 117-118). Maria persuades him to 'be patient for tonight.'

    • Word count: 1078
  3. Twelfth night - Feste says to Olivia, Maria and Malvolio 'better a witty fool than a foolish wit.' Give your opinion of Feste and Malvolio.

    I think that at this point Feste knew, that because Malvolio uses pretences that he is unable hold up, such as being a puritan but being very proud and vain at the same time, he had the possibility of being the target of something that he would not notice or be able to get out of if he did because he was a fool in mind rather than in occupation. I, too, would agree that it is better to be a clever fool than to be someone who believes himself or herself to be clever, when actually many people know you are a greater fool than the people around you.

    • Word count: 1535
  4. Do you agree with Olivia when she says that Malvolio

    The conclusion as to whether Malvolio is 'notoriously abused' may be different and even more complex for an Elizabethan audience. This is because Malvolio is essentially a Puritan, which carries implications of the way he would be viewed by an Elizabethan audience. Olivia reveals her feelings on the treatment of Malvolio at the end of the play when she says "He hath been most notoriously abused" and I feel that she gives a correct assessment of the situation, to a certain extent.

    • Word count: 1727
  5. Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino compares the love of women and men by saying "Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, More long, wavering, sooner lost, and worn, Than women's are." Discuss

    As Orsino says to Curio, "So full of shapes is fancy, That is alone is high fantastical" illustrates this. His first lover is Olivia who is of a high status and level in society. Duke Orsino sends a representative, Cesario (disguised as Viola), to pass his idea of love for Olivia and to woe on his behalf. The Duke is partly influenced by the looks of Olivia but is more interested in her position, like if she is equal to him, and her possessions. However, Cesario was his companion for about three months so at the end of Twelfth Night Duke Orsino changes his choice of lover from Olivia to Cesario as Olivia did not love him in the first place.

    • Word count: 1032
  6. How does Shakespeare resolve the problems he creates in the play "Twelfth Night"?

    Act 1 Scene2 she asks the sea captain for help "Conceal me what I am, and be my aid. For such disguise as haply shall become the form of my intent, ill serve this duke." She faces the next problem almost straight away Orsino gets Cesario to go to Olivia and get her to go out with him but Fancied by Olivia although she is really a woman a woman, In Act 2 Scene 2 she says to Olivia: "For she did speak In starts distractedly she loves me sure;" This problem is not solved to the end of the play when Sebastian (Viola/ Cesario's twin brother)

    • Word count: 1002
  7. How does Shakespeare make Act II Scene V of Twelfth Night particularly humorous?

    Situational comedy is produced in Act II Scene III when Malvolio is pompous and rude to Sir Toby and Sir Andrew, who are in fact of higher class than him, "Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?", this would make the audience feel that Malvolio is self important and is likely to make them feel dislike for him. Outraged by Malvolio's behaviour another servant, Maria, decides to trick Malvolio into thinking that Olivia is in love with him by sending him a letter, telling him to smile more and wear yellow stockings cross gartered to impress her, to teach him not to be so self-important and arrogant.

    • Word count: 1305
  8. An exploration into how Shakespeare achieves the comic effects in Act 3, Scene 4, where Malvolio appears "cross-gartered" and in yellow stockings.

    Or what are you?" In Elizabethan times, servants would not address their superiors in this manner. This can be interpreted as Malvolio's disrespect for his superiors and his 'distempered' view of these figures that do not match up to his ideals. The way Malvolio scorns Sir Toby makes the audience dislike Malvolio and side with Sir Toby and his companions when Maria comes up with the idea to trick Malvolio. Furthermore, when Malvolio enters in Act 2 Scene 5 he says, "'Tis but fortune; all is fortune.

    • Word count: 1357
  9. What are the contrasted attitudes to love in Twelfth Night and how are they linked to social class and social climbing?

    Lines 2-3, 1:1) by adding on that he hopes that if he feeds on too much of the music he will get sick of it and his love will die after 'eating' too much of the music. Also from this speech, we can tell the Orsino is of high social class, since his language is that of courtly love. He uses many fancy and royal words and phrases (act 1, scene 1, lines 1-15 eg. 'high fantastical') and makes his speech sound very high class.

    • Word count: 2605
  10. Is Twelfth Night Still Funny To A Modern Day Audience?

    On first view, the Twelfth Night has all the basic comic elements; clowns, double acts, women dressed as men, men dressed as priests and a "sublimely funny" servant, only funny because of his distinct lack of humour. Harold Bloom believes that Twelfth Night is indeed still funny to a modern day audience. In source 2 he declares that "the high comedy of the lovers gives way to the boisterous humour of the revellers and practical jokers Maria, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (translated roughly as "pasty of face")".

    • Word count: 1970
  11. Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's best-loved and most performed comedies because it is a joyous celebration of romantic love. Do you agree?

    Throughout the play there are many themes, which appear more than once and for different people in different situations. The main and most important theme in Twelfth Night is love. Shakespeare portrays love in many different ways. Love has different effects on different people in the play and usually has the effect of turning their lives upside-down. Another of the themes in Twelfth Night is folly and love is closely related to this in the play. In the opening scene of the play we meet Orsino who is wallowing in his love for Olivia.

    • Word count: 2170
  12. Discuss the different types of love presented in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

    'The element, till seven years', heat shall not behold her face at ample view'. This quote tells us that, Olivia is using the 'death of her brother' as an excuse not to love Orsino, as she will not see anyone till seven years has past. The type of love highlighted in this scene is called 'unrequited' love (love that is not given back when loved). After listening to that excuse Orsino continues to reveal that how much Olivia will love him totally.

    • Word count: 4166
  13. Twelth Night Production of Act 2 Scene 5.

    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.

    • Word count: 649
  14. Twelfth night - Describe the character of Viola in Act 3 Scene 1, by what she does, says and what other people think about her.

    Education for women was only for well off and rich families so we can conclude that she is very rich. Using what Viola says to other people and by what she talks about, we can describe her character in many ways. One of the characteristics is being serious. This is made clear in the play when she says: And that no woman has, nor never none Shall mistress be of it The previous means that she doesn't love Olivia and that she has never loved or will love a woman.

    • Word count: 1322
  15. If you were asked to direct Act 2 Scene 5 of Twelfth Night, which features and qualities would you try to emphasise and how?

    When Malvolio reads the letter, the opening words are, "If this fall into thy hand, revolve". By 'revolve', Malvolio is meant to 'think', but he takes it literally and actually turns round. This is a form of irony that is used throughout the scene, when one thing is meant, but another is interpreted. There is a lot of comic potential here as Sir Andrew, Sir Toby and Fabian are lurking and hiding in the bushes behind Malvolio, every time he moves, the other three have to reposition themselves, so not to be seen. If one was to pop their head up, the other two could be seen pushing him back down.

    • Word count: 1115
  16. Act 2 scene 5 Twelth night - What dramatic devices ensure that this scene is the main focus of comedy within this play?

    As a result they hope Malvolio looks a fool in front of Olivia. Scene 4 is a serious scene with Viola hinting that she loves Orsino. Orsino tells Viola that woman should marry older men than themselves because men are fickle: -"Let still the woman take, An elder than herself, so wears she to him;" (Line 27). He then contradicts himself by saying that no one can love stronger than a man: -"As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart so big to hold so much.

    • Word count: 1975
  17. Malvolio character assessment

    By this he is implying that he likes Olivia and his 'mock-grandiose manner' becomes clear in this scene. Maria accurately notes that Malvolio "cons State without book," meaning that he uses high-flown language without necessarily knowing its proper meaning. Malvolio resorts to legalistic-type language when berating the group for their merry-making. He notes their lack of "mitigation or remorse" in their "misdemeanours." Likely, Malvolio is not acting of Olivia's will, as he claims to be, he is such a high-strung and officious character that his chastisement of the party is not out of the range of his ordinary behaviour.

    • Word count: 1426
  18. Assess the importance of 'The Garden Scene' to the development of Twelfth Night. How successfully have you seen this translated into the production?

    However, it becomes obvious that Malvolio has other reasons for wanting to marry Olivia. A marriage to her would significantly increase his social status 'to be Count Malvolio.' Malvolio's delight with the letter was shown very clearly in the stage production. The actor playing Malvolio was skipping around the stage, shouting his emotions 'I do not fool myself'... 'My lady loves me'. This is a distinct contrast with the beginning of the scene, when Malvolio is quietly imagining being married to Olivia, and being 'Count Orsino.'

    • Word count: 1154
  19. 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.

    • Word count: 682
  20. Analyse the different methods that Shakespeare uses to inject humour into this play - Make close reference to the text.

    It is my belief, that the Elizabethan audiences were more likely to have found the method of disguise, more humorous than a more modern audience may find it. My reason for believing so is that as mentioned above, female roles were played by men during the Elizabethan times, however more recently, female roles are played by female actresses. This, I believe denies the modern audiences of that extra element of humour which played a significant part during the Elizabethan plays.

    • Word count: 2468
  21. Twelfth Night and Viola.

    Although, it is widely known that Shakespeare never stuck rigidly to any rule! Shakespeare used dramatic irony as a source of great amusement in 'Twelfth Night'. One example of this is when Viola is speaking to Olivia and she says 'I am not what I am' (Twelfth Night, Act 3, Scene 1, Line 26). Olivia is unaware of the full significance of Viola's words, whereas Viola and the audience realise that she is hinting at her disguise. Shakespeare also uses personification, similes and metaphors in 'Twelfth Night'.

    • Word count: 1766
  22. How does Shakespeare create and use comedy in the play Twelfth Night?

    Although all three of these characters claim to be in love only Viola is actually in love. Both Orsino and Olivia are in love with the idea and concept of love. Orsino claims to love Olivia but barely knows her and over exaggerates his love for her. In Act 1: Scene 1 Orsino opens the play with his feelings for his love for Olivia, 'If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken and so die.' Orsino is ordering the musicians to use up all the love sick thoughts that are torturing him with the help of their music.

    • Word count: 2442
  23. By referring to two or three scenes in the play, write about how Shakespeare creates dramatic intrigue in Twelfth night, through plot, character and language.

    I will discuss Shakespeare's use of language and ideas that prove this, throughout my work. In order to engage the Elizabethans, Shakespeare's target audience at the time twelfth night was written, among other things he uses dramatic intrigue. The plot, characters and language all being contributing factors. Today, even though the language is interpreted differently, the audience of the 21st century still appreciate Twelfth Nights eternal qualities such as the creative and almost complex plot structure, interesting characters and language including: puns, irony and hyperbole.

    • Word count: 3641
  24. Compare and contrast the role of two minor characters from two different plays.

    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.

    • Word count: 669
  25. Discuss the use of disguise and deception in Twelfth Night and its contribution to the play.

    Shakespeare challenges gender roles and the conventions of romance in his use of disguise. Seeing Orsino battle with his feelings for a young gentleman would be perceived as very humorous today but given the restrictions of Elizabethan society, it would have been a radical approach to the traditional ideal of a relationship. 'Other of Shakespeare's cross-dressed heroines such as As you like It's Rosalind re-establish their femininity at the end of the play by returning to their feminine clothes' (1).

    • Word count: 1889

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.