It is odd that this disguise at first seems unnecessary.
Malvolio is locked in a dark room and cannot see Feste.
He has some wise thoughts, for example, on the question of virtue: “Anything that’s mended, is but patched: virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that amends is but patched with virtue.” This is not the type of comment that a foolish person would be expected to make; and so we see clearly that the title ‘fool’ is only a front, and that Feste’s true character is very different.
Feste is also shown as highly perceptive, for example when he says to Maria “if Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a piece of Eve’s flesh as any in Illyria.” this is an accurate foretelling of the marriage between Maria and Sir Toby that takes place.
Sir Toby: (to ‘Cesario’) “There’s no remedy, sir, he will fight with you for’s oath’s sakes” Shakespeare creates dramatic irony with the first line of this dialogue as the audience realise that the only reason Fabian can ‘scarce hold’ ‘Cesario’ is because he is so desperate to get away!
Essay On Twelfth Night Disguises
This also contains a hint that the ‘friendship’ between Sir Andrew and Sir Toby is a deception in itself as Sir Toby does not hesitate to use Sir Andrew for entertainment in much the same way as he earlier used Malvolio.Feste disguises himself in order to fool Malvolio, using the comical elements of literal disguise.As Sir Toby Belch says: “put on this gown and this beard; make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate” Apart from the immediately obvious deception seen here, this disguise is interesting in a number of ways.Shakespeare makes reference to the Biblical account of creation to suggest Maria’s femininity.Comments made by Feste throughout the play show the audience that the original image Shakespeare creates for him by remarks such as Olivia’s “Take the fool away” are misleading.Shakespeare clearly intends this comical aspect with Feste as; living up to the role of ‘licensed fool’, all that he says is designed to be amusing: Malvolio: “…good Sir Topas, go to my lady-” Feste: “Out, hyperbolical fiend…talkest thou of nothing but ladies?” Feste is completely aware of what Malvolio means at this point and throughout the scene, but Shakespeare chooses for him to deliberately misunderstand, resulting in a wonderful comedic situation for the audience.If it is true then the entire friendship of these two characters is based on a deception.This is a serious issue, which contrasts with the comic theme of the play.However its purpose is to create comedy for the audience.This disguise is quite cruel in the way that it deceives Malvolio, but it is actually seen as funny by the audience and by other characters.