Twelfth Night Essay

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Source: "Feste's 'Whirligig of Time' and the Comic Providence of Twelfth Night," in ELH, Vol. 40, No.4, Winter, 1973, pp. 501-13.

[Hartwig analyzes the relationship between Malvolio and Feste, suggesting that while Feste claims Malvolio's humiliation is "the whirligig of time" bringing its revenge back on Malvolio, it is really the result of Feste and Mana manipulating Malvolio by human means to achieve their own revenge. While Malvolio praises divine intervention when he finds the letter, believing that what Fate has decreed must be, he fads to anticipate the intrusion of Feste and Mana. When Malvolio is faced with the discrepancy between what he wants, and what really is, he refuses to broaden his spectrum of reality and is confronted by the possibility of madness. In the same way that Feste manipulates Malvolio into an unpredictable position, so comic providence leads the audience to an unexpected finale.]

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This section contains 4,385 words
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Buy the Twelfth Night Study Guide
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Twelfth Night from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.