'Ultimately, Malvolio is a comic character' to what extent do you agree with this statment?
1259 WordsOct 22, 20136 Pages
‘Ultimately, Malvolio is a comic character’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Comedy is entertainment consisting of jokes and satire, in order to make an audience laugh. In my opinion, Malvolio is a comic character. A comic character would need characteristics to do with comedy. For example, in Malvolio’s case, he shows that he is an arrogant character, almost villainous, and because of Marias plot he can be seen getting what he deserves, and a villainous character getting their comeuppance would be seen as comic to an Elizabethan audience. This, and the use of ridiculous disguise, which would be the yellow cross gartered, and the social contradictions presented by Malvolio In Twelfth Night Malvolio is introduced as a…show more content…
He also extends his hopes by saying ‘The lady of the Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe’ (II.5.33-34) That he relays an example of a person having the fortune that he wishes to have, is showing his sincere hope that this happens to him. Malvolio then goes into a reverie ‘Three months married’ (II.5.39) ‘Calling my officers… Velvet gown’ (II.5.42-43) ‘Kinsman Toby’ (II.5.49) ‘Seven of my people… Obedient… Frown… Play with… Some rich jewel (II.5.49) Malvolio descends into a fantasy of having his own servants instead of being one, and describes his idea of living a rich life. However, when this descends into ‘or play with my- some rich jewel’ . As self-important as Malvolio can act, his true colours are shown when the best that he can conjure up in his reverie is a vague description of a jewel. This accentuates the position he is in, as a servant, because it is unlikely that a servant would have the knowledge of the name of a jewel. Because his fantasy falters in this way, Malvolio would be seen as comic. An Elizabethan society would see Malvolio’s fantasies comically, as general opinion would mean that the idea of a servant marrying the person that they work for is ridiculous, as people should stay in their rightful place.
Shakespeare also shows comic in potential in the character of Malvolio through his tendencies to be arrogant. In his first entrance, he is quick to insult Feste, and Olivia, in saying ‘I marvel