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Twelfth Night Coursework

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Introduction

2301 Twelfth Night Coursework. How does Shakespeare make act 2 scene 5 of Twelfth Night particularly dramatic? Twelfth Night, written by Shakespeare in the early 17th century, is a romantic comedy containing several sub-plots and one main plot. The main plot is the complex love triangle between Orsino, Olivia and Viola/Cesario. This is seen as extremely strange as Viola, a woman, is dressing up as a man to work for Orsino. She then attracts the attention of a wealthy woman named Olivia - Viola then doesn't know how to react as Olivia is blind to the fact that Viola is actually a woman. When the audience first learn this - it is in Act 1 Scene 2 - Shakespeare uses a technique called dramatic irony. This is where the audience knows something a certain actor doesn't. In this case, the audience knows that Viola is actually a woman and the other characters are aware of this - it becomes very humorous. One of the main sub-plots is when Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Feste and Maria devise a trick to play on Malvolio. Throughout the play Malvolio is described as a Puritan. This was a word mainly used in Shakespearian times and it suggests a person that sticks to strict principles and avoids life's simple pleasures. This was a clever move of Shakespeare as he realised the audience would take an instant dislike towards Malvolio due to his Puritan beliefs being put into action. ...read more.

Middle

This again is contradicting Puritan beliefs. The audience find it very amusing that Malvolio can even dream about marrying someone so superior to him. Malvolios's arrogance would make the audience detest him even more as he thinks they may actually be suited in marriage. Shakespeare keeps mounting up negative sides to Malvolio's personality in order to prevent the audience from feeling sympathetic towards him in later parts of the play. Sir Andrew also provides humour within the scene. However, likening his character to Malvolio, the audience is laughing at him, rather than with him. The audience do find it funny how Sir Andrew is trying to fit by agreeing with all of Sir Toby's comments. His comments seem to have no significance to the scene, moreover this adds a comical value to the scene as it is almost transparent that he is simply sucking up to Sir Toby One may wonder why Shakespeare chose Fabian to participate in the scene. In my opinion he did this to calm down Sir Toby and make sure that their rowdiness is not overheard by Malvolio. Fabian is constantly trying to settle the group down: 'Oh peace, peace, peace! Now, now' Shakespeare also chose, intelligently, when not to include Feste within the scene. His intelligent and witty remarks would have dominated the scene. However, Shakespeare intended for Malvolio to be the main character in this particular scene. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience are then left in anticipation as they are anxious to see Malvolio smiling in front of Olivia. We also must remember smiling in front of Olivia would be disrespectful and inappropriate as she is still in mourning of the loss of her brother In the 1996 film starring Nigel Hawthorne and directed by Trevor Nunn. Sir Toby's anger at Malvolio's arrogance when he dreams of being married to Olivia also adds to the humorous value of the scene. The audience must also remember that Olivia is Sir Toby's niece: 'Having been three months married to her' with Sir Toby's response: 'Oh, for a stone bow to hit him in the eye' Sir Toby is overwhelmed as it seems that Malvolio has no feeling for the importance within social boundaries. He wishes Malvolio would be hit in the eye with a catapult. However, his possible actions become more serious when Malvolio's topic changes to the power he would gain from being married to Olivia: 'Seven of my people with an obedient start make out for him. I frown the while, and perchance wind up my watch or play with my - some rich jewel. Toby approaches, courtesies there to me'. This angers Sir Toby as Malvolio is picturing himself as superior to Sir Toby. Also he adds to the arrogance by calling Sir Toby, Toby. He leaves out the Sir because he realises Sir Toby would now be his equivalent. ...read more.

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