Spoken Identity In Twelfth Night

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Twelfth Night and the features of Shakespeare’s comedy This essay will discuss two main features appearing in the selected scenes in Twelfth Night, respectively the fool and the mistaken identity. The first part of the analysis will consider the division of the fool and its contribution to the comic effect. The second part will consider the mistaken identity and how it influences the comedy. ‘Fool’ is one of the important elements in Shakespeare’s comedy, creating comic effects. From act 3 scene 4 to act 4 scene 3, there are 4 fools, respectively Feste, Malvolio, Toby and Andrew. Feste is a ‘licensed fool’ due to his costume. On the stage, Feste is wearing a bright-colored clown costume combined with red, green and yellow and a bell hangs…show more content…
Darkness is opposite to what Feste tries to convince Malvolio. Feste begins by asking ‘Say ’st thou that house is dark?’ (4.2.31-32) and continues to swear that ‘it hath bay windows transparent as barricades and the clerestories toward the south-north are as lustrous as ebony’(4.2.34-36). These statements are all used to counter what Malvolio perceives. Then, Feste says ‘there is no darkness but ignorance’ and uses one of the plagues of Egypt to indicate Malvolio’s stupidity. However, Malvolio states insistently that the prison is completely dark, reasoning ‘I say this house is as dark as ignorance, though ignorance were as dark as hell’ (4.2.42-43). This directly reflects the stubborn of Malvolio and it is difficult for Feste to convince him. It is worth noting that in this prison scene Malvolio is literally unable to see, yet audience and Feste know the house is not dark when the play is performed on the stage in Globe production. The audience is able to see the daylight in the theatre and know Malvolio is tolerated by the prison because he cannot see the light. This leads the audience to be aware of Malvolio’s desperation and the fact that he is not mad. The madness is what Feste imposes on him. This kind of stage performance makes Malvolio’s treatment

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