“To what extent does the final scene (Act 5 . Scene 1) of Twelfth Night muddle our expectations of how a dramatic comedy should be resolved?”
Twelfth Night or What You Will, is the only play of Shakespeare’s to receive a double title that could also display / suggest a split personality. The play stirs moods of gleeful humour and mournful sorrow with a usual comic resolution to the final scene in the play, Malvolio's last words “I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you!” warn of unfinished business and the play ends with the possible suggestion of a less comical story to come.
The final scene starts of very typically with the Duke Orsino's unrequited love for Olivia Viola is still cross dressing in disguise as 'Cesario' and acting as the Dukes noble servant who is none the wiser that Olivia has fallen for him. Feste still has the letter that Malvolio has written to Olivia asking and begging her for help, Fabin and Feste have a sort of 'power struggle' between themselves over the letter as Fabin tries to read it. Orsino soon arrives and exchanges some banter between Feste and himself before sending him to fetch Olivia, this shows who has the real power. This causal banter sets a merry tone to the end of the play and at this point in the play we know that everything will come together and be solved, such as identity issues, but as an audience we are unsure how this will happen.
With the arrival of Antonio the atmosphere turns from a rather cheerful to a rather tense and uncomfortable one; throughout the play we notice there is no sense of comedy about him and he has no banter. However, as an audience we do feel sorry for him as he is an loser in the play who quite openly expresses his love for Sebastian which also puts him in even more danger than he already creates for himself. When Orsino asks Antonio why he came to Illyria, knowing it would be dangerous he explains that he was to serve the “ungrateful boy” by...