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Twelfth Night - Analysis of Malvolio in Act three, Scene four.

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Sam Tuke Twelfth Night: Analysis of Malvolio in Act three, Scene four. Having received a letter from his baiters, chaos ensues as Malvolio effects the supposed will of his love, Olivia. The scene opens as Olivia has sent for Cesario, despite that she said she wouldn't see anymore of him, and so as she discusses the humiliating situation she has got herself into with Maria, she is feeling rather embarrassed. 'I have sent after him; he says he'll come'. She is talking about Cesario and Malvolio. Whilst Olivia is contemplating her situation Malvolio arrives, and we see him for the first time as his reformed self. This is not a good time for Olivia to deal with such a situation, but Malvolio is already into his new happy entertaining act. 'Does he rave?' enquires Olivia, only half interested. When Maria says 'He does nothing but smile' it just shows how unsuitable he is for Olivia to discuss with such a matter. The sadness which Olivia continually refers to incidentally, is the sadness brought about by her unrequited love for Cesario. ...read more.


Things are about to come to a head after: Malvolio: 'Remember who commanded thy yellow stockings' Olivia: 'Thy yellow stockings'? Malvolio: 'And wished to see thee cross-gartered.' Olivia: 'Cross gartered'? Malvolio: 'Go to, thou art made, if thou desirest to be so' Olivia: 'Am I made'? Malvolio: 'If not let me see thee a servant still.' Olivia: 'Why, this is very midsummer madness' But alas then a servant enters and disrupts the mental flow of things, and the farce continues. Also it is a very strange thing for Olivia to say 'midsummer madness' as it is totally the opposite, it is after all the twelfth night! This may show how flustered she is. When she has no choice but to leave the Malvolio situation, she says to Maria 'let...my people have special care of him'. This show her like and respect for Malvolio, and that she cares for him even in his madness, after all he has been a good servant for her for a long time. In Malvolios following speech much irony and humor on Shakespeare's part are to be found. ...read more.


Malvolio doesn't realize what implications these goings on can have on him, and make little objection when Fabian suggests that a urine sample be taken for diagnosis. Malvolio is a little roused when Sir Toby addresses him as a 'chuck', i.e. a chicken. 'Go hang yourselves all' Malvolio pompously states when he begins to feel a little outnumbered and uncomfortable. 'His very genius hath taken the infection of the device' I think that by this Sir Toby means that Malvolios brain has been taken over with love for Olivia, and the result is madness. Now its Sir Toby's turn to be pompous as he arrogantly tries to take over Gods role: 'we may carry it thus, for our pleasure and his penance' for a penance is invalid unless the person wants to repent. At the last word from Malvolio in this scene, he is a little disgruntled by all the talk of madness, but is still on a high from Olivia's supposed affections, and so is yet far from realizing what is soon to befall him. Where he not so indignant, pompous and stubborn to Sir Toby then perhaps things wouldn't have worked out so badly for him, but then thing wouldn't have ended up so entertaining either. ...read more.

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