William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay examples

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William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies, involving complex plots, which result in hilarious outcomes. The main plot of Twelfth Night tells of Count Orsino's efforts to woo the Lady Olivia who does not return his affection. Instead, Olivia is smitten with Orsino's servant Cesario, unaware of his true identity. Cesario is actually shipwrecked Viola who, believing her brother has drowned, dresses up as a man to work for Orsino. Viola consequently falls in love with Orsino who believes her to be Cesario. In addition, Shakespeare has created an equally confusing sub-plot involving Olivia's servant Malvolio and the other members of Olivia's
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In my opinion the joke that was played upon Malvolio to humiliate him was taken too far and in the end he was "notoriously abused" unjustifiably. Feste, as usual, realises before the other characters that the joke has gone too far and loses interest in it, "I would we were well rid of this knavery" On the other hand I believe that Malvolio did deserve some of the punishment that he was subjected to simply because of his pompous and arrogant personality. Malvolio was a puritan and that is why his behaviour is so contrasting to that of all the other characters in this play, "Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

When Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night in 1623 it was essentially ahead of its time because the Malvolio-based sub-plot foreshadowed the conflict of the Civil War in the next century. I believe that the opinions of the Puritans in general are expressed through Malvolio in the course of this play. Puritans on the whole were people who did not like the thought of people doing pleasurable activities and enjoying themselves. Malvolio was a Puritan and so predictably did not believe in fun, so when at the end the joke is revealed he has the response of "I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you". Puritans also
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