How Does Shakespeare Present the Deception (and Treatment) of Malvolio in Twelth Night?

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“Comedy exhibits the external or internal deception of the Individual who, however, must not proceed in his delusion to a serious ethical violation, nor transgress the limits of sanity.” In the light of this statement, how does Shakespeare present the deception (and treatment) of Malvolio within the comic subplot of Twelfth Night? Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ gains its name from the days commencing the christmas period which are famous for their fun and festivities. Pompous, puritanical Malvolio is so antagonistically against all varieties of ‘fun’ that, naturally, his deception and mockery provide the make-up for a hilarious sub plot. At face value, this provides some welcome light relief from the turbulent main story; however, under analysis it can be questioned whether the joke delves too deeply into the uncomfortable and in doing so destroys the comedy in the deception. Early on in the play (Act 2 Scene 3) the audience enjoys the jovial atmosphere alongside the characters until Malvolio abruptly ruins the mood. “Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?” Malvolio seems to relish scolding Sir Toby and the others as he includes the simile “gabble like tinkers” which proves he has taken the time to select the right words to insult them with. The audience dislikes him for disrupting the fun of the scene whilst it provides a specific motive for the conspirators to plot his deception. Shakespeare uses one detail about Malvolio to instantly turn the audience against him: Malvolio is a puritan. At the time the play was written, puritans were not popular with the general public because of their miserable rules against most forms of entertaintment. Malvolio displays desire for expensive materialistic things in Act 2 Scene 5, such as “some rich jewel”. He is being hypocritical since he scolds others for having
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