character of malvolio in twelfth night essay

, Research Paper

In William Shakespeare ’ s Twelfth Night we encounter several interesting

characters. The character I found to be most interesting and most different from the

others was Malvolio.

Malvolio is the retainer of Olivia. Although he belongs to the servant category, he

believes strongly that he is better than the persons that he serves. Malvolio frequently

takes it upon himself to seek to train others when Olivia is non about. For illustration

he even takes it upon himself to train Sir Toby, his societal superior. Malvolio

appears to be a dedicated worker. Most of the clip Olivia seems to appreciate the solemn

self-respect with which he carries out his responsibilities, nevertheless, the others find him chesty and

respect him as an enemy.

Malvolio, like Rosalind in As You Like It is in camouflage. He pretends to be a

Puritan. He dresses in black and ne’er laughs. Throughout the film we ne’er see a

smiling on his face. This nevertheless, is simply a camouflage that he assumes, that allows him to

criticize others. Under his black garments, lies a bosom filled with amour propre. He frequently

reveries that Olivia will get married him and as a consequence he will go her equal. He

imagines himself have oning all right apparels and jewellery. He would so hold bid of the

family, and he would so be able to acquire retaliation on those who haven ’ t treated him


I find it dry that Malvolio is more successful at gulling himself than he is at

lead oning others. The other members of the family see through Malvolio ’ s

hypocritical nature. Even Olivia, who seems to value Malvolio as a retainer, says he is

“ sick of ego love ” , Act 1, Scene I, line 92 ) . Though others can see through him,

Malvolio fools himself wholly. Maria says, he believes that “ all that look on him

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love him ”; ( Act II, sc.iii, l.152 ) . He is certain that some accident of fortune has caused a adult male as

all right as him to be born a retainer instead than a maestro. He believes that luck will

finally correct that error. Malvolio ’ s self misrepresentation makes him the perfect mark for

Maria and Sir Toby ’ s gag. Maria ’ s missive is merely able to convert him that Olivia loves

him because that ’ s what he wants to believe. When the missive tells him to move proud and

haughty, it merely gives him permission to demo how he already feels. His ain pride

causes him to move every bit unwisely as he does. Malvolio ’ s existent ruin nevertheless, is non caused

by folly. About everybody in this drama is foolish at one clip or another. Unlike the

others, nevertheless, Malvolio merely can non express joy at himself, can non

acknowledge his mistakes. Therefore, he has no portion in the healing that occurs at the terminal of the

drama. While the others are all express joying at themselves and forgiving each other, Malvolio

clings to his choler. When he makes his concluding issue, he vows to take retaliation on


In Conclusion, from sing the drama I had a better apprehension of the secret plan. I

did nevertheless notice when seeking to follow the film with the drama itself, that it was a small

away. They foremost scene in the drama is non acted until 10 proceedingss into the film. In the

beginning of the drama I felt like I was watching a remaking of Titanic because everyone was

leaping into the H2O. I besides noticed that while I understood the intent of Viola ’ s

camouflage, she didn ’ t look excessively masculine to me. I thought the power battle between

Malvolio and Sir Toby was really entertaining. It was portrayed in a visible radiation, flimsy mode.

Overall the movie wasn ’ t excessively bad to watch and I thought Helene Bonham Carter was

fabulous in her function as Olivia.

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