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How Is Malvolio Presented In Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night. A play which embraces illusion, deception, love, and pure madness! It is written by one of the most influential writers in all of English Literature. Shakespeare. Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most well-recognised works. Casted in the late Elizabethan era, Twelfth Night includes a minor character named Malvolio. Based on the way, Shakespeare created his name; my first impressions of Malvolio were, evil and sinister based on the prefix ‘mal’.
At the start of this play, Malvolio is presented as a selfish and self-obsessed man, who has a very high expectation of himself. This is also believed by Olivia, who is Malvolio’s mistress. Olivia is of a higher status and she comments Malvolio to be “sick with self-love.” ANALYSIS. Also it is an early indication of how the plot
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Malvolio begins to question whether the love letter was written for him. The dialogue “it did come to his great hands" implies the factor of self-obsession as he refers to greatness to describe him. In addition, Malvolio says “his” which was a term usually regarded for royalty and superiority. It is believed, in the 1601s, it was more appropriate to use “thy” for a more informal and causal use. Therefore Malvolio, who is only a steward, is brave enough to believe he more significant than the other characters creates irony. Shakespeare has applied this because he wanted Malvolio to represent a certain part of the society. He wanted a character that would summarise the views of society to the audience in a clear way. A puritan was a name given to someone who believed that it was necessary to be in a covenant relationship with God. Their ultimate accomplishment was to purify the Church of England and to redeem one’s soul from a sinful condition. In twelfth night, Malvolio is often compared to as a puritan. Malvolio’s style would have not been a surprise for Elizabethan audience, as Puritans started to become
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