Twelfth Night is considered by many to be William Shakespeare's finest comedy as shown by many comedic characters in the play In William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night the roles of three explicitly comedic characters will be discussed The first comedic character that will be discussed is Sir Toby Belch The second character that will be discussed is Sir Andrew Aguecheek and the last character that will be discussed is Feste the Clown It will be proven that Twelfth Night is Shakespeare s finest comedy and would not be as funny or comedic without the roles of these characters This is because Sir Toby Belch Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste the Clown are the most comedic characters in the play Sir Toby Belch as his name may symbolize is vulgar very fat and jolly Sir Toby is also Olivia s uncle Olivia lets Sir Toby live with her but she does not care for his rowdy behavior practical jokes heavy drinking late night carousing or his friends especially Sir Andrew Sir Toby also has an ally and eventually a soulmate Maria In Act 1 Scene 3 Sir Toby jokes to Sir Andrew saying Excellent your hair hangs like flax on a distaff and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off Shakespeare 1 3 91 92 In this quote Sir Toby Belch is referring to Sir Andrew s hair which is apparently flat and lifeless according to Sir Toby Basically Sir Toby is telling Sir Andrew that he hopes a woman takes him between her legs and that he gets syphilis a disease which causes hair loss
This quote proves Sir Toby s comedic character because syphilis is a serious sexually transmitted disease that causes hair loss and he uses rudeness and vulgarity to turn this into a joke The role of Sir Toby Belch helps the play develop because he is this purely comedic player bringing joy to the audience in the form of drunkenness and pranks and alternatively Shakespeare offers him to the audience as an alternative spirit with its own rude ways and ill mannered flaws Sir Andrew Aguecheek is a friend of Sir Toby s Similar to Sir Toby Sir Andrew is always in the mood to have some fun and he spends most of his time drinking singing and dancing which helps to create the play s fun atmosphere Sir Andrew is hoping to make Olivia his mate He doesn't stand a chance at dating Olivia but Toby convinces him to stick around and have another try at courting Olivia When Sir Andrew complains that Olivia seems to like Cesario Sir Toby convinces him to fight to prove that he is a man and to prove his love to Olivia Sir Andrew shows how gullible he is by agreeing to fight and then immediately backs down when he thinks Cesario is actually ready to fight Sir Andrew says to Maria Marry but you shall have and here's my hand Shakespeare 1 3 62 Since Sir Andrew Aguecheek is not the smartest he does not realize when Maria mocks him By taking his hand Maria calls Sir Andrew a fool This places Sir Andrew in the same group as all the other silly characters who go after relationships and partners that are not within his reach Sir Andrew shows the reader that he is a joke in Twelfth Night as most of his job is to be a comedic figure His role in the play provides comedy because he gets stuck in situations that make him gullible which in turn brings light to dull situations He also provides comedy through his looks as he has a long face and eccentric style of dress Feste the Clown is Olivia s licensed fool which means he can say whatever he would like Feste s job is to entertain by singing dancing cracking jokes and joking about everyone around him Feste has a skills that allows him to criticize characters with accuracy which could cause a problem for those who are around him
These situations may be embarrassing for others as this skill makes him seem like a professional at what he does When Olivia asks Feste to take care of the drunken and passed out Sir Toby Feste says He is but mad yet madonna and the Fool shall look to the madman Shakespeare 1 5 128 129 Feste explains to Olivia that Sir Toby is experiencing a crazy phase and that he will go take care of him This quote shows how Feste is not only portrayed as a clown in Twelfth Night he is also like a guardian angel This is because even while he clowns around with Sir Toby he also provides some constructive criticism about Sir Toby s excessive and dangerous behavior The audience seems to see and understand everything that is going on in the play as does Feste His character knows more than the other characters in the play which helps to break down barriers between the audience and the characters In conclusion it is proven that Twelfth Night is Shakespeare s finest comedy because the characters Sir Toby Belch Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste the Clown bring lots of comedy to this play Sir Toby Belch is important comedic character because he can turn any serious situation into a joke Sir Andrew Aguecheek is also an important comedic character because he is very gullible as he brings light to any dull situation Lastly Feste is an important comedic character in this play because he can either be a funny jokester or a valuable guardian angel Overall Twelfth Night would not be as funny or comedic without the important impact and role of the characters of Sir Toby Belch Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste the Clown
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