Is Malvolio Really Mad

475 Words2 Pages
The accusation of being mad creates a performance that is assumed to be authentic but is instead, a showcasing performance of love. Malvolio is a character that gets caught up in a practical joke that Maria invents to teach him a lesson regarding class structures. Malvolio is obsessed with status, and is always condescending the other servants and nobleman for their low-ranking behaviour. Malvolio uses madness to describe the noblemen Sir Toby and Sir Andrew when he says, “My masters, are you mad?…Have/ you no wit, manners, nor honesty…” (2.3.78-9). Malvolio is disgusted by their behaviour, and the fact that he uses the word “mad” to question Sir Toby and Andrew represents that breaking rules of social dignity is inappropriate and does not place Sir Toby and Andrew as members of…show more content…
Like Orsino, Malvolio goes to great lengths to get the attention of Olivia and Malvolio does this by abiding by the letter that Maria forges to look like it was from Olivia. In the letter to Malvolio, it states to “Remember who commended thy yellow stockings,/ and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered” (2.5. 133-34) and in the postscript it states to also “appear in thy smiling” (2.5.152). Maria’s letter instructs Malvolio to wear these yellow stockings and garters which is ironically what Olivia loathes. When he shows up wearing the yellow stockings while constantly smiling in order to woo Olivia, she describes his behaviour by stating, “Why, this is very midsummer madness” (3.5.52). which alludes to the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream written earlier by Shakespeare. Madness of love is evident in that play with regards to the transfer of affection from Demetrius between Helena and Hermia. It is also by this madness that causes both Demetrius and Malvolio to lack judgment and senses which cause them to be victims that cannot resist the illusion presented by

More about Is Malvolio Really Mad

Open Document