feste twelfth night

Topics: Mourning, Intelligence, Love Pages: 3 (836 words) Published: November 26, 2013
How does Shakespeare establish the character of Feste in Act 1, scene 5?

Plan –
Feste’s underlying intelligence (shown when arguing with Lady Olivia) Feste is presented as a likeable character
Feste’s state of mind can be questioned
Feste has a deep understanding of the other characters

Shakespeare uses a uses a large range of dynamic methods to portray the different layers to Feste’s temperament. At the commence of the scene, we are lulled into a false sense of security about the fool. However, as the body of text continues we see that he has many other traits to his personality, for example; his intellect, his endearing nature, state of mind and his ability to read other characters and what love entails.

Throughout Act 1, Scene 5 we gain the sense that as a fool/joker; Feste lives up to the expectations of spending the majority of his time making witty puns which lulls the reader into the false sense of security that he isn’t very intelligent. However, when Olivia orders for him to be taken away, Feste quotes latin. ““Lady, ‘Cucullus non facit monachum’—that’s as much to say as I wear not motley in my brain” (I.v.48–50). “ This suggests that his follery uniform (his motley) does not mean that he is any less intelligent than she is. As the reader we gain the sense that this may have a depth of truth as Feste backs his intelligence by having the ability to quote a latin proverb whilst in the middle of an argument. Furthermore, this undermines Lady Olivia’s intelligence. In the sense that Feste disguises his true intellect with his “motley”, it provides us with a strong parallel to Viola. This is because Viola also disguises her identity of a woman. Shakespeare does this so we are able to make the character of Feste more vivid and more relatable because we have another character in which we can contrast and compare to.

It appears to the reader that in Act 1, Scene 5 Shakespeare is constantly changing our views and opinions on...
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