Past Essay style questions June 07 ‘The end of the play raises more questions than it answers.’ To what extent is this your experience of Twelfth Night ? November 07 ‘Malvolio gets what he deserves.’ Is this a fair assessment of Malvolio’s character and treatment in the play? June 08 Discuss ways in which self-deception is significant in the play. November 08 Discuss the presentation and significance of Feste, the clown, in the play. Illyria place of reversals Labelled as a comedy, but plenty of elements that are sinister. The role of music and songs in the play. Discuss the presentation of masculinity. Projected scenes for extract question Used June 07 Olivia and Viola/Cesario’s first meeting ‘Willow cabin’ speech Comment closely on Shakespeare’s presentation of Olivia and Viola at this point in the play. November 07 Orsino and Viola’s ‘What dost thou know?’ conversation With close reference to the extract below, comment on Shakespeare’s dramatic presentation of romantic love. June 08 Orsino at the start Comment closely on the following passage, looking carefully at how the Duke’s use of language establishes his character and sets up ideas about love that are developed later in the play. November 08 End scene With close reference to character, language and action in the following passage, consider the effect that Malvolio’s reappearance might have on an audience just as it seems that the play has reached a happy conclusion. In similar vain – ie love - dramatic presentation – language Viola’s soliloquy 2:2:all Viola’s 2nd meeting with Olivia – 3:1:80 page 75 and 77 Sebastian’s soliloquy marriage to Olivia – 4:3:all page 121 - 123 Orsino finally meets Olivia - aggression – confusion – 5:1:86ish page 133 Discuss how this extract is representative of the play’s presentation of deception. Sub-plot, Humour, comedy, subversive, deception. Box tree scene Duel Malvolio’s imprisonment scene Notes Feste – King Lear, Macbeth - serious provides a sardonic commentary on proceedings – a bridge between the world of the play and the outside world – story and audience – similar to the chorus but plays a more active role in the story. Utters critical truths – Raport with audience and personages on stage within story. Utters generalised comments which bear no specific relation to the situation. 1.5.4246 Baiting of Malvolio - ‘sport Malice’ 5.1.363?? Themes Twelfth night time of Epiphany; a time of realisation such as the events of the denouement. It was a time of festive court entertainment. In particular, the 12th night involved masquerades. What’s in the Names? No one hears Viola’s name until the end where it occurs three times in twelve lines ending with, ‘that I am Viola’ thus answering Orsino’s call for music (violin) In between the vioin and the cello just like viola is between sexes Orsino means ‘little bear’ hungry and violent? Viola – beautiful singing and poetry are similar to Violin 1.3.56/ 2.4.38/92/109 Olivia Malvolio All share similar letters Sounds like love Subversive themes and underlying Violence/bullying 1.1.22-24 ‘like fell cruel hounds’ 1.2.56 Viola talks violently about her sexual identity. For a play which on one level ends like a conventional comedy, with a happy pairing off of the couples, the whole of the last scene is permeated by violence and death. Find Orsino’s aggressive and violent words spoken to Viola and Olivia. 5.1.115-117 Antonio arrested and facing the death penalty. Sir Toby – ‘ bloody coxcomb’ Sebastian in distress over Antonio 5.1.216-217 Malvolio 5.1.339 And he leaves threatening to ‘be revenged on the whole pack of you’ 5.1.375 Deception and disguise Based on two Italian plays Gl’Ingannati – the deceived ones Gl’Inganni – the deceptions Freeing the language from the speaker of gender and class leaving him/her free to deliver stuff for us to consider on the nature of gender, class, love, loss, grief, bullying and violence The action may lack credibility but the sentiments do not. Orsino - women at the mercy of men’s designs. 2.4.100 Speeches are arrogant – Why should Viola bother with Orsino? His conspicuously offensive clichés , ‘women are as roses whose fair flower..’ 2.4.3839 His pride is hurt even though Olivia has never given him any hope – ‘why should I not kill that I love’ 5.1.115 He deceives himself. Hasn’t seen Olivia in the three months duration of the play. Only in the final scene. Unrealistic infatuation based on looks He is luxuriating/indulging in ‘sweet pangs’ 2.4.16. Oxymoron /paradox of melancholia Identifies with Feste’s song ‘sad cypress’ ‘poor corpse’ ‘sad true lover’ 2.4.50-65 Claims to be model of true love ‘unstaid and skittish except with beloved’ 2.4.18 He is clearly self deceived – conceited language ‘my love is more noble than the world’ 2.4.80 Arrogant speeches ‘there is no……give my heart’ 2.4.92 And 2.4.100 Why should Viola bother with Orsino? Orisno’s conspicuously offensive clichés ‘Women are as roses whose fair flower’ 2.4.38-39 His pride is hurt at the end, even though there’s been no come on, he asks, ‘why should I not kill that I love…’ 5.1.115-117 However His reaction to Cesario’s story suggests there is a real person trying to get out! ‘What happened to your brother’ His personality is static when considering his self deception, the development of real emotion to Cesario, however, saves him. In admitting his love for Olivia as being false, he shows himself as a credible husband for Viola. Find these quotes. He goes from an effete, insipid buffoon to a fit husband. Discuss Page 7 “Noble duke in nature as in name.” There are strong parallels between Orsino and Olivia’s self deception. Avoidance of reality As soon as they acknowledge reality they cease to delude themselves. Does Olivia experience this? Malvolio Malvolio shows himself to be ludicrous, pompous, ambitious and vulgar. Self deception greater than Orsino’s? He believes that he is surrounded by’ idle, shallow things’ not of his ‘element’. 3.4.122 Does he like Olivia or the status, power and opulent lifestyle afforded by his position as steward. Jewel story by the box hedge. ‘Self love’ is already evident before letter is found Olivia, ironically, genuinely cares for him, ‘let some of my people have a special care of him.’ ‘not have him miscarry for half of my dowry’ 2.4.62-64. Maria confirms this ‘My lady would not lose him for more than I’ll say.’ 3.4.104-105 The problem with Malvolio Incarcerated and deceived Was his treatment too harsh? Distasteful? Severe and protracted? Incongruous with the work as a whole? Troubles and complicates work as a whole? Egotistical killjoy? 18.104.22.168 Would we do the same? He is probably just following orders: it’s his job! He has to work for a living unlike the idle gentry! Affirmative light-hearted comedy – this is a discordant note. Is he recompensed or placated at he end? Orsino ‘pursue him and entreat him to a peace’ but nothing is done to do this in the play’s boundaries. The irony of the end – Malvolio gets his revenge! 1 Sir Toby is beaten and so is Sir Andrew, ‘biters have been bitten’ 2 Maria is married to a drunken waster. 4 In a broader sense, his type of person – puritan – gets revenge on every mocker as King Charles is executed at their request. 5 In an even broader sense and slightly abstract, Malvolio’s character has the most scope for actors – most coveted role for serious male actors. Gender and Disguise ‘Disguise I see though art a wickedness’ 2.2 Viola – Gender ) Feste Impersonation ) Is Shakespeare making a point about genders itself? Maria – Forgery of Olivia’s handwriting. ) T W Craik sees Viola’s disguise as another instance of Shakespeare using a well established tradition of Renaissance drama to lighten the mood. Nevo (1980) Sexual identity is in state of disequilibrium. One that is corrected at the end. Knott (1965) Illyria is ‘a country of erotic madness’ – based on the fact that the audience would be highly conscious of boy actors playing female roles. Perhaps this view is too modern considering that this situation was the norm in those days, a long established convention, therefore, less visible. Belsey (1985) Sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were a period of flux for the family as a social unit. Femininity strongly tied to the definition of the family, therefore as women gained more status – the family changed. Popularity of gender disguise in Renaissance literature explained – for example a period of fascination with Amazons, female warriors and ‘roaring girls’ and woman disguised as pages. Cambell (1985) Viola and Captain – central theme of masculinity Viola thought to be a Eunuch and the Captain thought to be a mute. Viola’s male disguise as a ‘castration’ of power. This counters traditional views that becoming a male should be a gain in power not a loss. Surrounding the theme of Gender disguise is the wider theme of putting on of social behaviour as assumptions of identity. Orsino to Viola I have unclasped to thee the book of my secret soul’ 1.4.13-14 Dramatic irony – orsino unaware of disguise Deeper Irony – Orsino sends Cesario because of his girlish looks – makes presentation more romantic. Makes romantic love best presented by/with a feminine aspect – 1.4.34? Is Shakespeare asking the question of what it is to be a man? 400 yrs ago.