Twelfth Night Essays Characters

Twelfth Night Essays Characters-40
When discussing Malvolio’s inability to transform himself there is evidence that he can, such as when he changes into the yellow stockings for Olivia.Never would the noble, joy-killing Malvolio be caught dressed this way; yet for love, whether it be real or not, he does.This is funny because it’s ironic, Malvolio is only a steward and yet he is pretentious enough to assume he is more important than the other characters in the household.

It is especially ironic and amusing as it shows the extent to which he is just as petty as the other characters he has been insulting throughout the play.

I think Shakespeare wants the audience to really dislike Malvolio in the first half of the play so that they find scenes such as this especially hilarious.

ay, sweet-heart, and I’ll come to thee." This lust and sexual disposition is another example of irony as Malvolio acts as though he is a dignified puritan and makes out he is of higher moral standings than the other characters, who are also chasing love throughout the play but in actual fact he is behaving in a similar manner.

Malvolio however, also has a dream of becoming "Count Malvolio" as he put it and therefore it could be assumed he is not in love with Olivia but he is in love with the idea of becoming a count by marrying her.

There is the possibility that this is a real love for Olivia as throughout the play she is the only person he respects.

However there is the argument that he isn’t changing, just temporarily upholding his moral standings to behave like a "madman" in the chase of a higher social status.

You could also assume Shakespeare has characterised Malvolio this way to make the audience hate him and therefore laugh even more when he is humiliated further on in the play.

This would suggest that Malvolio doesn’t have to be capable of transformation to be funny.

His delusional thoughts of his own superiority signify he doesn’t understand equality which is essential to a romantic, real love.

I believe through this portrayal of Malvolio Shakespeare is saying Malvolio is incapable of love.


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