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

How Does Shakespeare Use Comedy In Twelfth Night? Make Detailed References To At Least One Scene

Extracts from this document...


Stephen Nutbeam How Does Shakespeare Use Comedy In Twelfth Night? Make Detailed References To At Least One Scene Twelfth Night is a delightful romantic comedy incorporating many elements of farce. It looks at imaginary events taking place at the end of the Christmas period when people have let go of there everyday cares and have time to do so, as the play is subtitled, what you will. In Elizabethan times, festivals held at this time of year turned the usual order upside down. There is evidence of a everyday reversal of everyday order taking place in the court of Misrule held in one of the Inns of Court of London each year about twelve days after Christmas when a Lord of Misrule took the place of the lawlords and churchmen who normally presided over the court. This reversal of the usual order is reflected in the interests of the behaviour of the characters in Twelfth Night. Viola, Orsino and Olivia are embroiled in a romantic triangle of unrequited love, misunderstanding is heaped upon misunderstanding, and those with a taste for the low life indulge themselves in revelry, mischief and playfulness. Malvolio, the Puritan, pays the price for his serious attitude to life and becomes a scapegoat for the revellers. The play is a witty and light-hearted musical and the key musician is Feste the clown. ...read more.


Dost thou live by thy tabor? FESTE - No, sir, I live by the church. VIOLA - Art thou a churchman? FESTE- no such matter, sir: I do live by the church; for I do live at my house, and my house does stand by the church. VIOLA- So thou mayst say the king lies by the beggar, if a beggar dwell near him; or the church stands by thou tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church. FESTE- You have said, sir, to see this age! A sentence is but a cheveril glove to a good wit: how quickly the wrong side my be turned outward. VIOLA- Nay, that's certain; they that dally nicely with words may quickly name them watton. FESTE- I would, therefore, my sister had no name, sir. VIOLA- Why, man? FESTE- why, sir, her name's a word, and to dally with that word might make my sister watton. But indeed, words are very rascals since bonds disgraced them. This is a continuos play on word, which is very confusing the first time it is read. I had to go over it a few times before I understood what Shakespeare meant. VIOLA- Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live by thy tabor? This line means save you and your music. Do u live by the drum? ...read more.


In this last scene the couples pair off and that's the end of the play. The couples pair off because Shakespeare's comedies always end in love and never in death or some form of tragedy. Twelfth Night is set out with two plots the main plot and the sub plot. These are set up as follows: Main Plot Sub Plot These are the two plots. The main plot is the serious one with the sub plot being comical. The way that the play is set up it jumps from plot to plot from scene to scene. The way they are linked is by Viola who is found in both plots throughout the play, there is one scene where Feste is performing in Orsino's court which also joins the two plots together. Shakespeare has used this technique to keep the audience interested in the play, and to keep them on fall watch because they had to think to find out what was going on. This was also good use of writing because people like to go out and watch a comedy, even though they are they get a serious plot at the same time. To conclude this essay Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was a brilliant comedy and paved the way through for all modern day comedy. Personally I never found the play at all funny but I believe this is because I am into a more adult and sexual comedy and this didn't suit my tastes. ...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?

    Orsino now wants to go to the garden to enjoy his romantic mood again. In the play we see that Orsino is self-indulgent and cares more about his 'love' for Olivia rather than interacting with the outside world. Only after the arrival of Viola in Act 1: Scene 4 does Orsino begins to break out of his self-involved character.

  2. What exactly is the purpose of Feste in 'Twelfth Night'?

    When Olivia and Feste first meet in the play, Olivia is offended by Feste and his appearance there: 'Feste: Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady. Olivia: Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you grow dishonest.'

  1. What makes 'Twelfth Night' a Comedy?

    Young boys whose voices had not broken were hired to play the women, which is funny enough as it is. But if you add in the fact that Viola disguises herself as Cesario, a man, then you have a boy playing a woman, playing a man!

  2. Consider the ways in which love, obsession and disguise inform our understanding of the ...

    To which Viola replies "That you do think you are not what you are." Viola is trying to guide Olivia into having self knowledge. To which Olivia replies "If I think so, I think the same of you." To which Viola almost lets down her disguise by saying "I am not what I am."

  1. Act 2 scene 5 Twelth night - What dramatic devices ensure that this scene ...

    The letter plays on his excessive self-love making him the object of ridicule. The main comedy comes from Malvolio's misinterpretation of the letter. He even considers becoming 'Count Malvolio' reassuring himself that it is possible: -"There is example for't: the Lady of the Starchy married the yeoman of the wardrobe"(Line 35).

  2. Act 2 scene 5 of "Twelfth Night" makes for delightfully funny theatre. Give a ...

    Malvolio is very efficient but also very self-righteous. He has a poor opinion of drinking, singing and fun and his haughty attitude has earned him the hatred of Sir Toby and his friends, who together plan his downfall and intend to "fool him black and blue." In order to do so, Maria has forged a letter to trick Malvolio into thinking that Olivia is in love with him.

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

    Bottom, of 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' is another good example of a Shakespearean fool. One theme of 'Twelfth Night', and one that recurs in many of Shakespeare's plays, is confusion and farce. It begins when Viola lands on an unknown shore, and promptly dresses as a man in order to find work in Duke Orsino's palace.

  2. A close, critical analysis of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' with regard to relating a particular ...

    it instead states that any normally rational person, when in love 'quite taint their wit.' This idea is demonstrated by several of the main characters throughout the play, Orsino being the most obvious example - although he is complex because he could either be interpreted as madly in love with Olivia, or if you take the narcissistic view, with himself.

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