Analysis of "Twelfth Night" Essay

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William Shakespeare, arguably the most important writer in all of English Literature, is certainly the most influential playwright of the English Renaissance. Born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in rural northern England, he was the son of a middle class glove maker. Competing against such illustrious company as Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson, Shakespeare quickly became one of the most popular playwrights in the city of London, and a favourite of the monarch, the powerful Queen Elizabeth I. Shakespeare wrote thirty-eight plays. "Twelfth Night" was written near the middle of Shakespeare' career, around 1601, and most critics consider it as one of his greatest comedies. "Twelfth Night" is about illusion, deception, disguises,…show more content…
He twisted Olivia's words (from a fake letter) around to make it sounds like she will admire his yellow cross-gathered stockings, when she really despises them, considering him as a mad. Feste, the clown, said: .".Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal, and you smile not he's gagg'd: and thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenge", and by doing so, Feste criticizes Malvolio's overestimation, when at their first meeting Malvolio said: "I marvel your lady takes delight in such a barren rascal." Through doing this, he shows himself to be a man who condescends to those that he believes to be lower than him, acting on his own personal belief of superiority. Thus, this self-inflated sour character is brought to his knees, unlocked in darkness, because he was considered as a "madman", and he "holds Belzebub at the stave's end as well as man in his case may do." This was done through a fake love-letter written by Maria, and when Malvolio appears, he shows the letter arguing that it set off his madness, which he signed as: "The MADLY-US'D MALVOLIO." Thus, self-love, pride, desire to climb the social ladder, and to burn the social class boundaries, all these factors drove Malvolio to a state of madness, as a consequence he was humiliated, leading to his downfall. By humiliating him, even Puritanism is mocked. Malvolio symbolized Puritanism (strict values, no fancy...), and due to the fact that the joke was around his new dresses for Olivia, yellow socks, smiles, the

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