Twelfth Night Essay

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Source: "Malvolio's Fall," in Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 29, No.1, Winter, 1978, Pl'. 85-90.

[Wilbern discusses the carnal side of Twelfth Night , asserting that Malvolio's repressed desire is reciprocal to the lover's indulgence. The critic maintains that Malvo110 's social aspirations are motivated by a desire to sleep with Olivia. However, as Malvolio fails to keep separate his covert desire from his overt behavior, he is undone by his desire, and becomes the butt of the merrymakers' fun. The critic considers Shakespeare's wordplay in the letter supposedly from Olivia, suggesting that it provides in sight into the psychology of Malvolio the censor, and into Shakespeare's erotic play with language. Malvolzo's actions after his gulling resemble someone who is possessed, which is explained by the critic as a parallel to the basic scheme of a medieval Morality Play. The critic also considers the tension created by Malvolio in the final act, pointing...

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This section contains 2,830 words
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Twelfth Night from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.