Twelfth Night Fool Essay

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‘To what extent is the comedy of the play dependent upon the Fool?’ In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, we are presented with various characters and plots which supply the play with comedic elements due to the role they play. The comedy of Twelfth Night is predominantly stemmed from the ‘foolish’ characters and the scenarios they are involved in. Write here about traditional definition of fool etc. Almost every character in Twelfth Night is portrayed as a fool in some sense, and there are two main categories of fools, the ‘Natural Fool’ and the ‘Artificial Fool’ under which many of the characters lie. The professional fool is Feste who serves as a practiced jester to Olivia therefore, his character is somewhat labelled for him and thus can be…show more content…
Viola’s disguise becomes a central theme in creating the comic confusion in Illyria, his can be seen when Olivia asks “Are you a comedian?”, to which Viola replies “No my profound heart; and yet, by the very fangs of malice, I swear, I am not that I play.”(Act 1, Scene 5) This quote could perhaps be seen as deceiving or contradictory as Shakespeare has wittingly made reference to Viola’s disguise in ‘I am not that I play’, which has a literal meaning. This particular scene provides comedy through foolishness as Olivia has taken a liking to Viola who has been sent on Orsino’s behalf. A similar scenario takes place in Much Ado About Nothing which is another play by William Shakespeare; in Act One the character of Don Pedro has an idea to disguise himself as Claudio in order to woo Hero. This confusion of identity consequently causes problems for both Don Pedro and Claudio. However, regarding the scenario in Act 1 Scene 5 involving Viola and Olivia, it is clear that Shakespeare has placed this scene carefully in a sequence; this has been done to juxtapose the succeeding scene to create dramatic irony and to also maintain the comic tone. Therefore, that is why this scene is immediately preceded by the appearance of Sebastian, permitting the audience to gain pleasure out of Viola’s

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