Twelfth Night Malvolio Character Analysis

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Malvolio Malvolio has an important role to play in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Through Malvolio, Shakespeare makes many important points about the puritans of his era. He uses Malvolio to outline many problems that he saw with these people, creating a character whose flaws are quite apparent, and somewhat exaggerated. He is not only the antagonist, but also an important social statement. Malvolio is a man of low moral character and condemns others in order to bring himself up.
Malvolio is a selfish person. His whole life centers on himself. When he finds the planted letter, he immediately assumes that Olivia is talking about him. He is certain that she could only be talking about him. This assumption is proof of Malvolio’s self-appreciation. He believes that a noblewoman would take an interest in her
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He is generally unpleasant to be around, as he finds fun both repulsive, and evil. He treats his peers as lesser than himself, feeding his false sense of superiority. Malvolio often talks down to others, for example, “My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have ye no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?” (2, 3, 85-90). He speaks with contempt, to everyone. His religion makes him more of a target as well. His strong beliefs that allow him to condemn others do not bode well with his coworkers. He is also quite gullible and delusional. Malvolio immediately believes that Olivia would be interested in him from a simple four letters. “M, O, A, I; this simulation is not as the former: and yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for every one of these letters are in my name” (2, 5, 30-32). He does not stop to think that Olivia most likely did not write this letter, instead, he is more caught up in the idea that Olivia could be talking about him. Blinded by delusions of power and grandeur, he begins to mistake Olivia’s words, believing them to be sexual

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