Twelfth Night | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by David Willbern

This literature criticism consists of approximately 10 pages of analysis & critique of Twelfth Night.
This section contains 2,959 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by David Willbern

SOURCE: Willbern, David. “Malvolio's Fall.” Shakespeare Quarterly 29, no. 1 (winter 1978): 85-90.

In the following essay, Willbern relates Malvolio and his downfall to the play's theme of festivity.

Malvolio, that humorless steward, sick of merrymakers and self-love, seems almost a stranger to the festive world of Illyria. His very first words reveal his acrimonious opinion of Feste, the soul of festivity:

OLI.
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend? 
MAL.
Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him. Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool. 

(I. v. 73-77)1

Everything about Malvolio's character sets him apart from frivolity.

Even his vocabulary isolates Malvolio. When he chastises a rowdy Sir Toby by demanding “Is there no respect of place, person, nor time in you...

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This section contains 2,959 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Willbern