Twelfth Night, or What You Will
Twelfth Night, or What You Will
by William Shakespeare
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Character Role Analysis


The "ill-willed" Malvolio, who rains on everybody's parade, is definitely the villain of our play. He's haughty and likes to tattle on everybody. He also somehow manages to imprison the sea captain, who is holding Viola's "maiden weeds" (her dress). This is a bit of a problem, since Duke Orsino says he wants to marry Viola after she changes clothes and starts to look more like a girl. We never really worry that Malvolio will actually ruin Viola's chances for happiness – the minor costume glitch is more of a delay than a permanent problem. Still, Malvolio is a total pain and he never really goes away. In fact, as he runs off stage, he promises to get revenge for the mean prank that made him look so foolish.

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