Twelfth Night Essay

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Feste is considered by many critics to be the best of Shakespeare's fools. Some critics, such as Hermann Ulrici, consider Feste the central figure in Twelfth Night. Ulrici maintained that the meaning of the play was concentrated in the fool. Surabhi Bnerjee argues that Feste plays an integral role in the play in that he enhances the spirit of festivity. Similarly, Peter Hall argues that Feste is the central figure of the play, and describes him as bitter, insecure, and cynical.

Alan S. Downer points out that it is Feste who exposes the true motives behind the others' actions, and in so doing propels the theme that unifies the three subplots which make up the play, and lifts Twelfth Night above a conventional romantic comedy. While Downer asserts that Feste does not actually manipulate the plot, Joan Hartwig argues that the actions of Feste and Maria mimic the...

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This section contains 3,428 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Twelfth Night Study Guide
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Shakespeare for Students
Twelfth Night from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.