Twelfth Night Essay

2038 Words Nov 26th, 2000 9 Pages
Twelfth Night "Twelfth Night is a comedy of light and shade. Its characters are not unreservedly happy and the events are not unreservedly humorous." Discuss. As a comedy, Twelfth Night is obviously intending to not only entertain its audience but also point out problems in society. It is imperative to entire merit of the play not to be realistic but to allow for empathy. Therefor to have a comedy of complete lightheartedness there would be no balance and hence no avenue for audience interaction. Without light we would have no darkness and for this reason Shakespeare has had to incorporate tragedy in order for the comedy to have it's desired effect. The two in …show more content…
It is ironic that such wit and wisdom are found in the "fool." Cesario refers to Feste as, "This fellow's wise enough to play the fool: / And to do that well craves wit." The obvious key to understanding the themes Shakespeare is conveying we must closely examine the characters, with which he communicates. Feste is not a character of low, blunt comedy, his merriment is truthful not scornful or artless. Act 1 scene 5, "The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the fool…" Feste is clever well balanced and has a keen understanding of himself and others. This combination of intellect, humor and subtlety effectively conveys the themes of Twelfth Night, rather than a cruel, crude, unreservedly humorous character that would be not nearly as potent. Malvolio is a prime example of the need for a balanced, self-aware person. Malvolio's name suggests his character, Mal meaning bad, and volio will. This wicked disposition is his self-deception and lack of balance and it is this that we find comic not however bluntly humorous. Conflict between characters is an aspect of the plot that makes it certainly more than unreservedly humors. However, there are also different levels of conflict in Twelfth Night.

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