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In 'Twelfth Night' Olivia's trusted steward Malvolio, like Sir Andrew, is the 'butt of comedy'.

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Malvolio Drama Essay In 'Twelfth Night' Olivia's trusted steward Malvolio, like Sir Andrew, is the 'butt of comedy'. His very name suggests 'ill-will', which echoes his role in the play. Malvolio is an egotistical, "overweening rogue", who is a straight laced, puritanical, social climbing rebuker of others for their anti-social and often sinful behaviour, or as he put it, "misdemeanours". Malvolio's character is summarised excellently by Maria in Act II Scene III: The devil a puritan that he is, or anything, constantly, but a time-pleaser, an affectioned ass that cons state without book and utters it by great swarths; the best persuaded of himself, so crammed, as he thinks with excellencies, that if is his grounds of faith that all that look on him love him. ...read more.


Malvolio's reaction to this statement shows one of three possible things about his character. Either he has enough self control to simply say nothing, demonstrating the traditional, astute, hard faced, and faithful servant Malvolio, or it could be used to show his complete, blissful isolation from the outer world, too busy wallowing in the self love that Olivia was talking about, or finally, and my personal choice, Malvolio could laugh the remark off to Olivia's face, but when she turns away show his inner hurt, at the malicious remark that had come from the mouth of the woman he loves, by facial expressions directed at the audience, thus showing a more sensitive and loving Malvolio which he is afraid to show to others. ...read more.


But for this to work the character of Sir Toby must become one of nastiness otherwise the relationship between the two will cause the audience to be confused and not know who to feel aggrieved for. In order not to be nasty Malvolio ought to be vacuous and vain, and , going back to an earlier point be totally and blissfully self contained in his own little world and should let everything wash over his head. Playing Malvolio like this up until he is released from the prison will help to make his character more three dimensional because of the out burst he should make when he delivers his famous final line at the end of the play. When Malvolio delivers his line, "I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you," it is one of the most important moments in the plays closing moments. The actor must make contrast with the usual Malvolio ...read more.

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