I just read Twelfth Night. Do you think Malvolio deserved his punishment?
If so, why? If not, why not? Does your opinion about this affect whether you believe this is a comedy or a tragedy? If a comedy, do you believe this is Shakespeare's perfect comedy? Why or why not?!!
Well I happen to know ole Willie personally and we have discussed this for a minute. FIrst the Twelfth Night is neither comedy or tragedy, but is more technically a drama with overtones of both the others. Drama? Yes I said it. I believe that Shakespeare was trying to write something that did not exist in his time, an expositional take on religion, caste, or what we today would probably view as a situational comedy or a short narrative drama. The Twelfth Night is Shakespeare's version of a topical television show, for its day. Malvolio represents the royal class, the religious elite and is also the jester of the play. He is a fool character, perhaps like George in Seinfeld. Thats all I have to say.
I'm currently studying this in Literature class!
Well, Malvolio was pretty stuck up and conceited, so I can understand the other characters wanting to teach him a lesson. Especially in the scene when he finds the letter and reads it, and starts saying how he would benefit from marrying Olivia - he takes himself WAY too seriously.
However, I didn't like that Maria played with his feelings; that is, she tricked him into thinking someone was in love with him when they were not. I suppose that was the only way the trick could be successful though. Personally, I would feel awful if someone played such a trick on me, and my confidence would take a serious hit. But, I am sometimes oversensitive, haha.
The trick did give the play the comedic feel though - especially when Malvolio wore yellow stockings and would grin like an idiot around Olivia!
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