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Twelfth Night - Character study :Malvolio
Character study: Malovlio: Did he deserve the punishment that he received?
The character Malvolio (meaning literally “I mean ill will) is immediately affected by the implications of his name. His personage is implied directly to be one of negative and somewhat disagreeable nature, which is continued and supported throughout the play, leading to his downfall and mockery which both initially seem to be thoroughly deserved, due to his numerous defects of personality.
The first evidence of Malvolio’s undesirable disposition comes with his own first appearance in the play during which he makes a point of insulting the wit and intelligence of Feste “I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal”. Through doing this he shows himself to be man who condescends to those that he believes to be lower than him in any way, by acting on his own personal belief of superiority, and this later becomes a major player in his downfall.
Initial impressions are supported by further vices in Malvolio’s general character and these lead to further aversion to him. He shows himself to be a strict puritan and this is also suggested by the opinion of Maria “The devil a puritan that he is”. He denies himself indulgences and pleasure whilst at the same time begrudging these things of others. He makes a point of taking the moral high ground over Maria, Feste and more importantly, his social superior Sir Toby, when he scorns t...