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As A Director If 'twelfth Night,' Explain How You Would Exploit The Comic Potential Of Act 3 Scene 4 And Act 4 Scene 2. Gcse A Grade

2442 words - 10 pages

'Twelfth Night', or 'What You Will' as it is sometimes called, was written in 1600. Much of the comedy in 'Twelfth Night' is due to the love interests of the higher classes, for example Olivia and Orsino and the behaviour of the less elevated, for example Malvolio. In 'Twelfth Night' hypocrisy and affection are ridiculed and some scenes highlight contrasts between ambition and actual achievement, this is often the case with Malvolio. Shakespeare's comedies (for example 'Twelfth Night') have many things in common, for example they often have a Mediterranean setting; in the case of 'Twelfth Night': Illyria. They also often have disguise (Viola dressing up as Cesario) and often main characters have a high social status, in 'Twelfth Night' this is the case with Olivia and the Duke Orsino. In 'Twelfth Night' some of the characters are serious, like Orsino, but some are comic, like Sir Andrew and Sir Toby. In the case of Malvolio and Sir Andrew Aguecheek they are funny because of their idiotic behaviour; they don't try to be funny. The other comic characters are 'clowns', like Sir Toby Belch and Maria who are witty at the expense of others. Shakespearian comedies often end with happiness for the serious characters; this is often marriage like the marriage between Viola and Orsino. However the ending for the comic characters is often not so happy, like Malvolio. Malvolio becomes the focus of a lot of 'Twelfth Night's humour because he is very pompous and he always looks down on the servants lower than himself. Malvolio was an easy target for tricks and jokes (for example the letter sent by Maria and Sir Toby) as he can be fooled very easily. Malvolio hates it when people get the better of him, so he hates being tricked.Malvolio is portrayed like a Puritan in Shakespeare's time. This would be humorous to a 16th century audience as Puritans were not generally liked so the un-Puritan audience would like seeing one being made a fool of. Puritans never went to the theatre so they wouldn't see the way they lived (e.g. wearing plain clothes, no sports etc.) being made fun of. Malvolio has much in common with a Puritan; for instance he dislikes merrymaking and drinking. We can see this in Act 2 Scene 3 when he says:"Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice?"Malvolio has a very high opinion of himself and this is emphasised after he reads the letter:"At your request! Yes; nightingales answer daws."When Malvolio says this he means that a valuable songbird such as himself (the nightingale) has nothing to say to a rude, common bird such as Maria (the jackdaw). Although he does not normally make it as obvious that he looks down on the servants, you can see he thinks himself better than lower servants. Malvolio is egocentric and quite vain in that he believes Viola could like him.In this scene,...

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