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

Malvolio's Identity In the play Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...


Michel Figot January 16 2003 Block B Malvolio's Identity In the play Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare creates a plot in which the relations are sabotaged by the characters and their disguises. Question of identity prevail in the most of the main characters in the play, like viola/Cesario, who work to achieve their goals. This gives place to a romantic tangled up comedy, where love blossoms and a structured ending occurs. The misunderstanding trickery leads to love between people who naturally are not supposed to be together i.e. Viola/Olivia unrequited love. The malice of some characters leads to the downfall of others. This produces a great deal of chaos with the emotions and social standings of characters like Maria, Olivia and Viola. For example, Malvolio an efficient, hardworking steward, who fantasizes with the idea of becoming a nobleman by marrying his mistress, Olivia. ...read more.


In fact, they dislike and ridicule him terribly by reminding him that he is just a steward. They all see him as a "Puritan," "egoist," and "hypocrite". (All this adjectives are spread throughout the play, showing that his offensive personality is in fact true). Finally "the whole pack" (V, I, 377) plays a practical joke on him to put him in his place where he belongs: a servant. Malvolio demonstrates his loyalty towards Olivia. The idea of marrying her, being a count and being very wealthy was just a dream that he never reacted to because it seemed very far from his grasp. When he finds the letter, he is completely overwhelmed and convinces himself that this is a very important piece of evidence of his Olivia's love. He gets carried away with his dreams, and starts to take action. This gives place to very humorous dilemmas. ...read more.


He is locked in a dark room and tiring to convince him of being "mad". His dignity is removed away in this sinister way of treating him while captive, and Malvolio becomes desperate while still denying being "mad." After some time in prison, his personality changes he speaks to Feste as an equal. "Good-Fool...I'll requite in the highest degree I prithee. " (IV, ii, 123.) He leaves in the final scene wanting revenge from the kinsmen and servants that played the joke on him. "I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you!" (V, I, 377) In this play the problem of social ambition and misplaced love are resolved. Nevertheless Malvolio's aspirations of becoming noble are more unreasonable than Sir Toby's of marring Maria who is socially unworthy. Malvolio finally faces the truth, and realizes that he is socially undeserving of his noble mistress, and departure. The happy "socially justifiable" couples come together and achieve happiness. The social hierarchy that was trued upside down during the play it is set back onto its feet. . 2 ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Mistaken Identity in Twelfth Night.

    3 star(s)

    opinion it is the most important one: it complicates and adds twists to the plot throughout the play, not to mention the humour it brings. Malvolio and Olivia (II, v) A rather amusing case of mistaken identity began in Olivia's garden.

  2. What are the contrasted attitudes to love in Twelfth Night and how are they ...

    In Act 3, scene 1, lines 33-42, we see Feste's view of marriage and fools. He implies that husbands are the fools and that marriage is useless and should not exist. We know this since he said lines 33-34 because he says Olivia is not married to a fool.

  1. Although 'Twelfth Night' is a happy comedy, there is a great deal of hurt ...

    he speaks "three or four languages", and then when he enters this conversation it makes him look a fool, Sir Toby- "Accost, Sir Andrew, accost" ... Sir Andrew- "Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance", where accost is to front her and board her, which Sir Andrew did not understand.

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

    Members of the audience at that time, particularly those directly associated with Her Majesty's Court, may well have picked up on this. In fact, most of the passage could be looked at as excellent general advice for doing well in court intrigues - this may also have been of note to courtiers attending Queen Elizabeth when she viewed the play.

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

    what Malvolio means, and are able to take humour from not only Malvolio's hopeless and cringe worthy situation, but also from the confusion of Olivia. The fact that Malvolio says that "we" know the "sweet Roman hand" could be seen as a reference to the audience in that he is including them in his speech as proof.

  2. How does Shakespeare manipulate the audience to dislike Malvolio towards the beginning of the ...

    His drunken behaviour would be inappropriate in this house at this time. Sir Toby takes control of the situation and questions Malvolio's comments. In line 97 ' Art any more than a steward?' How dare Malvolio say such things to Sir Toby, a nobleman, far superior to him?

  1. To what extent does Shakespeare provide his audience with a satisfying ending to twelfth ...

    The identities are revealed and viola is relieved to discover it is in act her brother that is Olivia's husband. Orsino has one main problem throughout the play. This is his love for Olivia, and her constant rejection. Orsino appears to be in love with the idea of being in

  2. A joyful fantasy full of impossibilities. To what extent is this a true description ...

    He addresses Olivia as ?Madonna?, which shows his upmost respect for her, as it means ?my lady?. It is ironic that Feste is mocking religion here, yet later he taunts Malvolio disguised as a cleric. This would have appealed to the audience because it makes them feel like they know more than what the characters know about each other.

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