| Quote #7
We love this moment in the play, especially because Aguecheek is proud of the fact that he guesses correctly that Malvolio is talking about him when M refers to a "foolish knight." Aguecheek knows enough to recognize when he's being slandered but he isn't smart enough to be mad at the insult.
| Quote #8
When Feste asks Malvolio if he's faking his madness, we're reminded that madness is often synonymous with foolishness and folly in the play. Feste knows that Malvolio is neither insane nor pretending. In fact, Feste has just returned to Malvolio's dark prison in his disguise as "Sir Topas," the priest who conducts a mock exorcism to rid Malvolio of his supposed "demons." Still, Malvolio's ridiculous behavior and silly costume cause others (like Olivia) to think he's a "lunatic." Fun tip: Shakespeare will later return to the idea of madness as demonic possession in King Lear (c. 1603-1606) when Edgar, disguised as "Poor Tom," pretends to be a lunatic possessed by the devil.
| Quote #9
The play's notion of folly is not limited to the silly antics of characters like Aguecheek and Feste. Here, Antonio mistakes "Cesario" for Sebastian and accuses "Cesario" of cruelty and dishonesty. Though we know "Cesario" is innocent, this passage reminds us that Antonio has foolishly pursued Sebastian, who does not return Antonio's love.