Analysis of Malvolio in the Twelfth Night by Shakespeare Essay

1163 Words 5 Pages
The character of Malvolio is treated too cruelly for Twelfth Night to be classed as a comedy. Malvolio is constantly humiliated and has some of the major elements of a tragic character. The revenge served to him is extremist and is not an equal reaction to his behavior.

Malvolio's puritan nature and extreme unwillingness to be social with his peers upsets certain characters more than others. Sir Toby and Maria show carelessness for his person as he has a strict adherence to rules, contrasting with their blatant disregard for rules and discipline this is conveyed through the line “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” Sir Toby mocks Malvolio's puritanical strictness and restriction. The term
…show more content…
A recurring theme within Shakespeare’s plays is revelry and revenge and Twelfth Night is definitely no exception. Shakespeare’s depicts the character of Mavolio’s as pretentious, conveying his disregarding of social order and to the annoyance of his peers, his self-righteous temperament. He is also Puritan, this makes him an increasingly despised figure in Elizabethan times and to an Elizabethan audience.
His arrival in the play marks the initial ridiculing of Feste. He is degradingly harsh and patronising towards him, as he believes that Feste is “an ordinary fool that has no more brain than a stone” and that he is “gag’d”. He has no consideration for the fact that they are both of servants of the court, so neither in reality is superior to one another. The bitter intermittent comments are one of the factors resulting in the cruel treatment of Malvolio. Later in the play, Malvolio targets his opposing servants, retorting that “you are idle shallow things: I am not of your element” Sir Toby attacks this statement by questioning his pompous views and conveying his views as absurd “Art thou any more than a steward?” By putting himself on a pedestal He loses the respect of his dissimilar peers resulting in them resenting his character and desperately seeking revenge.
Revenge comes in the form of Maria. Maria is a servant in Olivia’s household, and is of equal

Related Documents