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

Twelfth night - Feste says to Olivia, Maria and Malvolio 'better a witty fool than a foolish wit.' Give your opinion of Feste and Malvolio.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Helen Thompson Feste says to Olivia, Maria and Malvolio 'better a witty fool than a foolish wit.' Give your opinion of Feste and Malvolio. In Shakespeare's play, Twelfth Night, there are many very different characters. Feste and Malvolio are two good examples of characters, very different from each other. One is someone who acts like a puritan and scolds others when they do not act in the same way, whereas the other is someone who gets scolded for being clever with his words and for enjoying singing. This does not mean I would like the play more if one of the two characters were not in the play. Both characters add different things to the play. In the first scene where we see Feste and Malvolio together Feste says 'better a witty fool than a foolish wit.' This comment shows some of Feste's dislike towards Malvolio as it seems to be directed towards the steward, although he does use himself in the comparison, as Feste is obviously the witty fool and Malvolio, the foolish wit (I believe this because the comment seemed to be directed towards Malvolio and this seems to be Feste's opinion of Malvolio). ...read more.

Middle

Olivia: 'I know his soul is in heaven.' Feste: 'The more fool, Madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.' I like the way that Feste is able to outwit people. He manages to use words to suggest different meanings so that he ends up being right and others end up being wrong. One example of this is above. Feste even describes himself as a 'corrupter of words' rather than Olivia's fool. Malvolio seems to represent everything that Shakespeare disliked at that time. At the time the play was written the puritans were trying to have all the theatres closed as it was supposed to be sinful. Malvolio was seen as a killjoy, just as Shakespeare saw the puritans. This shows that Malvolio must have been designed to be disliked. This is, in fact, one of the reasons why I do like him, Shakespeare created a character so easy to dislike that I enjoyed disliking him. He has so many faults, like being 'sick of self-love', that he is a very entertaining character. If he had not been 'sick of self-love' he would have not believed that the letter was written for him and so the whole prank could not have occurred, and so his faults cause him to be very entertaining. ...read more.

Conclusion

Malvolio has many faults. He has too much pride and vanity. He is able to deceive himself too easily, due to his vanity he convinces himself that it is quite believable that Olivia could love him. He is also extremely gullible and not nearly as clever as he believes himself to be (which Feste noticed before) which then causes the prank to be as effective as it is. Another fault of his is that he does not seem to learn from his previous actions and their consequences. He shows this when he says that he will be 'revenged on the whole pack of [them]' even though it was his attitude, like this that caused the other to play the prank in the first place. These faults make up most of his character and make him very entertaining to watch, especially the yellow cross-gartered stockings bit. In my opinion both characters add a great deal to the play and even though one was meant to be disliked, I liked both a lot. This was partly due to their faults and partly due to their attitudes towards others and their situations. I believe without either character the play would have been missing a great deal and would not have been as enjoyable. ...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. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    It was also incredibly difficult and rare for anyone to move between different ranks, which makes the constant switching of rank of various characters in Twelfth Night shocking, and humourous. One example of Malvolio getting above his rank is when he responds to Maria with the statement "Yes, nightingales answer daws!"

  2. The most perceptive characters in Twelfth Night are the best at fooling others. How ...

    Sir Toby also entertains the audience incredibly well with his incitement of Sir Andrew and Cesario, known cowards, into a duel. All of this is not just for Toby and Maria's amusement; they genuinely want to try and teach Malvolio a lesson, and with Toby's increasingly close relationship with Maria,

  1. What exactly is the purpose of Feste in 'Twelfth Night'?

    The prime example of this is Sir Andrew. It is in the scenes with Sir Andrew and Feste together that the most enjoyable entertainment emerges. It is also during Feste's first scene with Andrew (2:3), that the true irony of the play is seen.

  2. how Shakespeare uses disguise to suit his comic purpose

    To be a good Courtier you have to have certain standards and Sir Andrew lies about having these standards, so therefore is a liar. By the end of the play everyone in the play and the audience realises Sir Andrew is not the perfect Elizabethan Courtier and is in fact

  1. Twelfth Night Analysis of Feste

    We learn this in Olivia's statement stating that Feste is "an allowed fool" meaning he is licensed, privileged critic to speak the truth of the people around him. We also learn in a statement by Curio to the Duke that Feste is employed by Olivia's father.

  2. How far do you agree with the view that Twelfth Night is a comedy ...

    he creates of them; telling these lies to the opposite duelling partner. He notifies Sir Andrew that Cesario is the "very devil", a "Virago"; which causes panic and fear throughout Sir Andrew's whole body, although she is anything but that.

  1. DID MALVOLIO DESERVE TO BE TREATED SO HARSHLY?

    - It would certainly appear so! Everyone has a clear reason to hate Malvolio, - he has done nothing to appeal to anyone, except maybe Olivia, but he has given, even her, reason to dislike his selfish attitude. It is extremely easy to argue that someone needs to teach him a lesson!

  2. How is Malvolio presented in "Twelfth Night"?

    In turn he makes his character one of further malevolence. He secretly longs for the life of a man higher in social status and fancies, that through the love of Olivia, he could become such a person ?having come from my day bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping ?.

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