Twelfth Night

An analysis of the character of Malvolio from William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

This paper analyzes the play, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and, specifically, discusses the severe treatment of Malvolio in the play. It examines how Malvolio is a servant who desperately hopes to rise above his station in life and how he does not gain the sympathy of those around him because of his haughty and prudish attitude. It argues that, even though Malvolio is not the most congenial character, he does not deserve the severe treatment he receives during the play.
It is here that the character of Malvolio really begins to flesh out for the audience, and even for the other characters. He is one of the most well rounded characters in the play, and as he struggles to overcome his servant status, he not only becomes more pitiable, he becomes more human. Who has not had some kind of cruel practical joke played on them like this, and who has not hoped to better themselves in life? Malvolio may be obnoxious and disliked, but he is not cruel or evil, and he is treated badly by those around him when he really did little to deserve such treatment. If anything, Malvolio has just shown that he has ambition, and his ambition overshadows his good sense.