Twelfth Night

How is Maria's character in Twelfth Night a stock character? What is a stock character?

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A stock character is a character that is a stereotype, such as a damsel in distress 'type'. The stock character is used by a writer because the audience already understands what motivates these characters and what they are likely to do in certain circumstances. Maria, in 12th Night, falls into this category as she acts in typcial archetypical ways and drives some of the action in the play.