Who Is Malvolio A Fool

369 Words2 Pages
Moreover, Feste continues his work in exposing upper class absurdities through Malvolio. In Shakespeare’s plays, the fool often brings to light “slovenly and unhandsome behaviour, that they may reforme that simplicity in themselves which others make their sport” (Coddon 321). Dressed as Sir Topas, the priest hired to exorcise Malvolio, Feste attempts to reveal Malvolio’s unpleasantness toward others. As Malvolio sits in his cell raging about being wrongly accused of madness, Feste enters and begins his work in exposing Malvolio as no better than any other. When Malvolio refers to Feste as a fool and then says he is just as well in his wits as Feste, Feste states, “But as well? Then you are mad indeed, if you be no better in your wits than a fool” (IV.ii.…show more content…
In a cunning and clever display, Feste is able to reverse Malvolio’s phrasing in this scene to point out Malvolio’s shortcomings. If Malvolio calls Feste a fool and then says the two men are equal in their wits, then Malvolio cannot possibly be sane because he has compared himself to a fool. Throughout the play, Malvolio acts as a superior to the other servants in the house. Though he is not technically a part of the upper class, Malvolio wishes to marry into the aristocracy. Believing he is worthy of nobility, Malvolio projects his believed superiority on the lower class, denouncing them just as he denounces Feste as Sir Topas. However, Malvolio is no match for Feste and his wit. By confusing Malvolio, Feste reveals that Malvolio is no better than the other servants. Consequently, Feste gives Malvolio a much needed reality check in his attitudes toward others. Yet again, Feste’s sly trickery proves him to be more than just a fool, but rather a man with great wit who understands how others should be

More about Who Is Malvolio A Fool

Open Document