Essay Questions Twelfth Night

Essay Questions Twelfth Night-11
Good Sir Topas, don’t believe I’m insane, / They’ve shut me up here in horrible darkness”(4. This case undoubtedly reinforces the latter of the two, as a forged letter given to Malvolio, meant to mislead him and make him look like an idiot, clouded his vision of his relationship with Olivia.Once he superimposed his own reality, the others rejected his advances and deemed him unworthy of mingling with the rest of the crew. At this point Malvolio has lost all sense of human dignity and basic pride while at the hands of such malignant torment, and it is clear that the joke has lost its mere foolery, becoming something more sinister and torturous.When Malvolio wears overly eccentric clothes, everyone begins to get suspicious; when he begins speaking of a letter from Olivia (that she never wrote), then the other characters are absolutely positive that he has lost his mind.

Good Sir Topas, don’t believe I’m insane, / They’ve shut me up here in horrible darkness”(4. This case undoubtedly reinforces the latter of the two, as a forged letter given to Malvolio, meant to mislead him and make him look like an idiot, clouded his vision of his relationship with Olivia.Once he superimposed his own reality, the others rejected his advances and deemed him unworthy of mingling with the rest of the crew. At this point Malvolio has lost all sense of human dignity and basic pride while at the hands of such malignant torment, and it is clear that the joke has lost its mere foolery, becoming something more sinister and torturous.When Malvolio wears overly eccentric clothes, everyone begins to get suspicious; when he begins speaking of a letter from Olivia (that she never wrote), then the other characters are absolutely positive that he has lost his mind.

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Shakespeare uses the fine line between sanity and insanity to model the motif of Darkness as opposed to Light.

An exemplary example of this witty metaphor is Malvolio’s sorry situation when he tries to flatter Olivia.

It is no coincidence that the seemingly mentally ill has been put in a dingy chamber.

Shakespeare is using this tragic scene to reveal the difference between the sane, which see the world through a finely polished set of spectacles, and the insane, which see the same scenery, yet as if they were looking through an enormous kaleidoscope.

In his desperation, Malvolio exclaims “I tell you, this house is as dark as ignorance. Shakespeare uses this imagery to show how those without knowledge are often left in the dark.

And I tell you, no man has ever been treated worse than me. It is Malvolio’s ultimate egotism which makes him an easy prey for the pranksters.Yet when the wax clears from their eyes they are able to see the brilliant colors that they have been missing; as when the truth is revealed, lies washed away, and everyone is able to look on each other with a different light, seeing everyone as they really are.Although no characters in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night are seriously insane, it would certainly be a stretch to say that they are perfectly sane, seeing as most of them have a skewed view of the world around them.We can thus only wonder whether Orsino is truly in love with Viola, or if he is more enamored of her male persona.Orsino’s declaration of love to Viola suggests that he enjoys prolonging the pretense of Viola’s masculinity.The conspiracy, having accomplished its purpose in secretly humiliating Malvolio, should have then been revealed to him and brought to an end.However it seems that out of sheer cruelty and selfish fun, the pranksters continue the mockery, keeping Malvolio in the darkness of their cruel scheme.They take its maliciousness to a further degree, convincing Olivia and other onlookers that Malvolio’s bizarre behavior is caused by his insanity rather than their own actions, thus dragging them into the darkness along with the real butt of the joke.At the same time they attempt to convince him of this through imprisoning him and twisting his words into those of a lunatic.Yet, in Orsino’s case, the reader feels sympathy for the poor guy, as though he is being tricked into doubting and second-guessing his instincts by Viola.While the ones around her suffer from being kept in the dark, Viola is certainly not immune to the effects of her deception. After being plagued by darkness and deception for most of the play, the revelation of Viola’s true identity douses the fire of misconstruction and single-handedly overthrows the terrible tyranny of misconception that so violently ruled these humble people for far too many acts.

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