Fooling Around With Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

2080 Words9 Pages
Danielle Pitch
Dr. Rettig
ENG 409: Shakespeare
29 November 2016
Fooling Around with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night In his famous comedy, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare took a conventional comedic concept and constructed a fool character that inserts an intricacy and resonance to his work. This fool is completely placed distant from society and moreover disregards or is unable to reflect the model of society in which he finds himself. The fool is identified as the inferior in society, where he stands lower in the class system. Olivia states this notion by saying “There is no slander in an allowed fool though he do nothing but rail” (I.v. 83-84). The fool in Twelfth Night, Feste, whose insider-outsider position as a professional fool, supports him to obtain steadiness among the surrounding contradictions in a way that is unlike any other character in this play. He stuns and puzzles; persuades conjecture; and he works as a mediator between the play and audience. As stated by Walter Kaiser, it is when Feste mocks the characters’ flaws and turns to his wits to “create laughter, to teach us the truth, and to embody paradoxes.” By walking on this fine line, Feste reveals the foolishness and truths of the other characters. The play deals with all aspects with great segments of passionate love, sharp wordplay, and natural comedy, which all indirectly help deem this play as “the greatest of all Shakespeare’s pure comedies”, by most Shakespeare critics. The play’s success,

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