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Twelfth Night - Character of Olivia and her arrogant steward Malvolio.

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Twelfth Night In this play there are many characters, but for this piece I am mainly going to concentrate on Olivia and her arrogant steward Malvolio. Olivia is the daughter of a very rich and powerful man. She is very intelligent, witty and refined. The Duke Orsino is madly in love with Olivia but, unfortunately for Orsino, Olivia is mourning her dead brother and swears to herself that she well continue this mourning for seven years and will have no relation until that time is up. Malvolio, as stated above, is the steward to Olivia. It's his job to make sure that everyone in the house of Olivia is fulfilling their required duty and, in Malvolio's mind, to keep them from having fun! All the employees who are under Malvolio's keep all think that he is arrogant, conceited and patronising, some have gone as far as to say that he is a puritan "The devil the puritan that he is". Malvolio thinks he is perfect in everyway and fails to see his own faults but takes delight in finding faults in others. He has a particular grudge against the family fool Feste. Feste was employed by Olivia's father along time back and has been entertaining the family ever since. ...read more.


He enters the room and says "My masters, are you mad? Or what have you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night" Malvolio does not approve of this type of behaviour, especially at this hour and will do everything within his power to stop this ludicrous bunch which have, in his mind, turned his lady's house into an ale house. He addresses Sir Toby in a threatening tone "Sir Toby, I must b round with you." It seems like he chooses the word round on purpose as in insult to Sir Toby's physical appearance. Malvolio goes on to say that Olivia has told him that if Sir Toby does not amend his drunken ways then she is willing to remove him from her estate. "She is very willing to bid you farewell" Sir Toby does not believe that his cousin would confide such a thing within a contemptuous steward such as Malvolio. Sir Toby' reacts to this by taunting Malvolio (with Feste) by dancing round him and singing, but after a few verses Sir Toby stops abruptly and confronts Malvolio and says to him that he is no more than a steward and that he has no authority over the Knights. ...read more.


Sir Toby, seeing his chance, decides to bring Malvolio up to an even higher state of humiliation. Sir Toby and the others imprison him for being a lunatic. Feste is made to look like a priest called Sir Topas and goes to see Malvolio in his cell and plays with his a mind. Malvolio complains of the dark, dank conditions he is in, but Feste insists that he is in a light upper room. Malvolio pleas with the "priest" saying "Good Sir Topas, do not think I am mad; they have laid me here in hideous darkness" Even though Malvolio is very arrogant, contemptuous and believes in a puritanical way of life he does not deserve such treatment as this. Playing with his emotions was one thing but imprisoning him and leading him to believe that the devil has control over him is taking it a bit far. When Malvolio is finally released he is outraged and leaves almost immediately. After having left, the lady Olivia receives a letter which expresses the steward's anger and announcing his resignation from his duties at the estate. When he returns to confront the lady Olivia he learns that it was a prank set up by Maria, and Fabian confesses that he was involved along with Sir Toby. Malvolio, rightly so, is furious and swears revenge on all those who had a part in this farce that caused great upset and anger to him. ...read more.

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