Class And Class Division In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

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Class Division is a Major Theme in Twelfth Night Shakespeare’s twelfth night is famous for its gender-bending theme making it easy for the audience to forget class and social ranking is a reoccurring theme as well. In Shakespeare’s time social ranking was very important. During the Elizabethan Era people were starting to gain hope that they could maybe change their social class, just as Malvolio and Feste. While others such as Sir Andrew believed that they could do anything, just because of their social status. Overall, social status played a key role in the development of the characters, while some tried to increase their ranking in society others took advantage of theirs. Feste is a “licensed fool” and works for spare change, and the other characters seem to treat him like servant. This is ironic because, Feste is one of the smarter and wittier characters in the book, however, he has a low social ranking and is therefore treated like he is stupid. In the play Duke Orsino says, “You can fool no more money out of me at this throw. If you will let your lady know I am here to speak with her, and bring her along with you, it may awake my bounty further.” (5.1.37-40). In this quote Duke Orsino is applauding Feste for his sense of humour and play on words, however he is also treating him like a messenger boy saying that he can earn a couple extra coins if he can get a hold of Olivia and bring him to the Duke. Some critics say that entertainers were treated like servants or
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