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

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

Extracts from this document...


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 The main storyline in Twelfth Night is love between Cesario, Orsino, Olivia and later on in the play Sebastian. Malvolio's part in the play is a backdrop situation separate from the main story. He brings a level of both humour and sympathy to the play. Malvolio is one of the main sources of humour in Twelfth Night. In the later part of the play a different side of him is exposed. Malvolio is Olivia's steward and his job is to manage Olivia's house; he is her chief servant. It's a very responsible job that he takes very seriously. He enjoys telling people what to do. During the course of the play Malvolio can be seen in many different lights. At the start of the play you have a strong distaste for him because of his constant snooping and him being a killjoy. Later in the play its funny to watch him fall for Maria's trick and make a fool of himself in front of the whole household. However, by the end you want to feel sorry for him as the trick goes too far and give out the impression that he is mad. ...read more.


He enters looking ridiculous in his yellow cross-gartered stockings. His constant smiling makes him appear mad, and he continually quotes the letter he found. Olivia thinks he has gone crazy. During the play Malvolio is badly treated by the other characters. In my opinion this is only through his own doing. Malvolio is seen in the eyes of the whole household as the party pooper. He takes his job very seriously. He is always very arrogant and tries to be manipulative to anyone that he thinks is doing anything they shouldn't. One of the first examples we see of Malvolio being bossy is in Act 1 Scene 5. He insults Feste the clown for his fooling. This is the first time we get a real idea what Malvolio is really like. Act 2 scene 3 is the best scene in the play to show Malvolio's personality. Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, Feste and Maria are all in the basement in Olivia's estate. The are drinking and singing very loudly. Malvolio goes to investigate what is going on. When he discovers what it is going on he is outraged and starts to shout at Sir Toby, threatening to throw him out. Sir Toby pays no attention to what Malvolio is saying. ...read more.


The final scene is just after the marriages of Olivia and Sebastian, and Orsino and Viola. The whole palace is full of laughter and cheer. Malvolio appears and ruins the mood. He has found out the true story and that he has been part of this clever ruse. He storms round the house shouting 'I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. this is the last we see of Malvolio in the play. throughout the play you get mixed feelings for Malvolio. At the start it is funny to watch him make a fool of himself but towards the end you start to feel sorry for him because of all that he has been through over the play and the amount of times he has been humiliated. Malvolio is a strong character in the play. He plays an important part in twelfth Night being the main source of comedy. He is often the centre of attention in the play but not for good reasons. Initially he maybe deserved the trick that was played on him. However when it turns malicious we can see it is severely affecting him, and by the end of the play is screaming he will have "revenge" on the lot of them. Malvolio concludes the play on bad terms, being the only character to end the play without a happy ending. 2214 words Will Creech ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Diary entries from Olivia and Viola/Cesario after their initialmeeting (Act 1 Scene 5) Olivia's ...

    I realised quickly what she had done. She used her cunning to ensure I will have to "come to [her] again" to return the ring. Oh this is so hard! Why can't I just return to my real life as a woman? Even though the path of true love is never simple things are now so complicated.

  2. Does Malvolio get what he deserves, or is it a joke gone too far?

    This outburst to Sir Toby leads to his resentment of Malvolio. However more importantly Malvolio also threatens to telltales to her mistress Olivia about Maria (Olivia's servant), who had entered the room to try (although she failed) to quieten the gentleman.

  1. How is Malvolio a comic character? Act 3 Scene 4

    Olivia: "What mean'st thou by that, Malvolio?" While Olivia is confused, the audience is laughing at Malvolio because they know what is actually happening. This is dramatic irony, when the audience knows something that the character doesn't. The dramatic irony is funny because we know that Malvolio is actually acting very foolishly.

  2. Twelfth Night has been described as a play of contrast-light and darkness; humour and ...

    "If music be the food of love play on, give me excess of it, that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die". Although Orsino is talking about love, the fact that he wants so much of it, so he may die, sums up excess.

  1. What Types of love does Shakespeare explore in Twelfth Night?

    We only find out at the end that they've run away to be married, when Fabian explains the whole plot against Malvolio: 'Maria writ the letter, At Sir Toby's great importance, In recompense whereof he hath married her.' However we've known since fairly near the beginning that Maria loved Sir Toby.

  2. In Twelfth Night, what are your Impressions of Malvolio and do you think he ...

    is what he does for a living, but he suffers humiliation at the hands of idle noblemen.

  1. Was Malvolio mistreated in Twelfth Night?

    Also in other Shakespearean plays, like 'The Merchant Of Venice' shylock is also stereo typed to be full of greed just for the fact that he was a Jew, Also in Nazi Germany times. German writers who wrote books at the time also stereotyped Jews to be evil and 'inferior race' just for the fact that they were Jews.

  2. Twelfth night - Feste says to Olivia, Maria and Malvolio 'better a witty fool ...

    he should not have done so, because Feste's mistress was the lady Olivia. Feste does have a sad side of his character, although we never find out why. For example at one point, when he is asked to sing a love, he chooses a sad song.

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