Twelfth Night: Aspects of Comedy- Text overview

Farnoush Islamzadeh
Mind Map by Farnoush Islamzadeh, updated more than 1 year ago
Farnoush Islamzadeh
Created by Farnoush Islamzadeh almost 4 years ago


AS - Level English Literature Mind Map on Twelfth Night: Aspects of Comedy- Text overview, created by Farnoush Islamzadeh on 04/18/2016.

Resource summary

Twelfth Night: Aspects of Comedy- Text overview
1 Twelfth Night contains many aspects of Dramatic comedy
1.1 Disguise
1.1.1 plot hinges with Viola dressing as a male servant in order to survive after being ship wrecked on the shores of Illyria hinges: 1. noun: a movable joint or mechanism on which a door, gate, or lid swings as it opens and closes or which connects linked objects. verb:1. attach or join with or as if with a hinge.
1.2 mistaken identites
1.2.1 Viola and Sebastian so alike that no-one cann tell them apart
1.3 Trickery + Tomfoolery
1.3.1 the lavish use of singing and dancing.
1.3.2 the ridiculing of hypocrisy
1.3.3 excess
1.3.4 and affection
1.3.5 the temporary domination of chaos and misrule;
1.3.6 and an ending where all confusion is resolved and three marriages take place. A few unhappy endings which result in unrquited love for Antonio and Sir Andrew
2 series of tangled love interest
2.1 Orsino loves Olivia
2.2 Olivia loves Cesario and then Sebastian
2.3 Viola loves Orsino
2.4 Sir Andrew and Malvolio love Olivia
3 Characters
4 Slapstick and physical comedy
4.1 most obvious form of comedy is 12th Night is slapstick humuour generated by Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
4.1.1 (who's names are themselves a source of humuour.) and their cronies. (crony:noun- a close friend or a companion)
4.2 humuour is immediately indicated (or signalled) by their use of:
4.2.1 prose bawdy language and song that would no doubt have appealed to the working class audience in the pit.
4.3 Their buffoonery during their midnight revel in Act 2 sn iii, where they...
4.3.1 drunkenly carous mock Malvolio and sing at the top of their voices, reflects their use of fun and joie de vivre
4.4 physical comedy in the scene where Sir Andrew and Cesario attempt to dual, but prove themselves utterly inept and fearful,
4.4.1 is clearly entertaining and invites laughter.
5 Role of Fools - Feste and Sir Andrew
6 Malvolio's downfall and schadenfreude (definition noted)


  • schadenfreude: noun:  pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune. "a business that thrives on Schadenfreude"
6.1 Comic villian ---> Malvolio.
6.1.1 whose puritanical stance and attempts to destroy the revelry of Sir Toby's party place him at odds with the lovable rogues and the joyous spirit of the play.
6.2 His hubristic attitude, evident in both ways.
6.2.1 he primands his superior & conceited belief that he could be his mistress' master, means that the audience, much like the onlookers in the Box-tree scene, enjoy his downfall.
6.3 His appearance in 'yellow and cross-gartered' stocking (where he dressed up in yellow stockings and looked ridiculous), was different from his usual funeral grab, is/this is a source of visual comedy.
6.4 his suggestive comments as he fantasies about Olivia - 'To bed! Ay sweetheart, and I'll come to thee!'
6.4.1 are amusing because of Shakespeare's deployment of incongruity.
6.5 the way he's thrown into a "dark room" and then taunted by Feste may seem cruel to a modern audience,
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