Character Analysis of Malvolio and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Essay by pabhayHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2009

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Malvolio:-Malvolio is appointed by Olivia as a steward to maintain order in the household. Malvolio is a character who is in love with himself. He is obsessed with "self-love" and thinks too much of himself. Malvolio is a Narcisst1.

Malvolio is arrogant, proud and is an egotist. He is like a man looking down the wrong end of the telescope and sees everything in the world as being diminished in stature. He thinks no end of himself.

Malvolio goes so far that he once threatens to throw Sir Toby out of the house. By doing this, Malvolio has taken a step too far. It should be remembered that in the Elizabethan society, a steward is inferior to a knight. Malvolio being a steward is inferior to Sir Toby and he has crossed his limits when he threatens Sir Toby. Because, whatever limitations Sir Toby may have, he is still a Knight and is Olivia's (Malvolio's mistress) uncle.

This shows how arrogant he is.

Olivia gives an insight into Malvolio's nature when she says that he suffers from self-love or is arrogant and vain. Malvolio becomes arrogant, regarding Feste as old and lacking in wit when he (Feste) tells her that she should not mourn her brother's death. Malvolio disparages the fool and wonders how the mistress can take delight in such a rascal. This shows that Malvolio has no sense of humor; as he constantly tries to keep the house in an atmosphere of oppression. She chides Malvolio for his lack of patience with Feste, telling him that he is suffering from self-love and that a fool (Feste) does no harm.

Malvolio initially seems to be a minor character, and his humiliation seems little more than an amusing subplot to the Viola-Olivia-Orsino love triangle. Many...