Feste Twelfth Night Analysis

Topics: William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet Pages: 3 (559 words) Published: November 29, 2015

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night introduces a wise fool named Feste. As a licensed fool, Feste plays an integral role within the plot of the play. Feste acts as the voice of reason in a play filled with cross-dressing, disguises, confusion, trickery, and chaos. Feste has the ability to break down the barrier between the cast on stage and the audience members, while also embodying the festivities of the feast of the Epiphany and the beginning of Carnival. Even though Feste is called a fool in name, he becomes the only character to not be foolish in nature. Shakespeare uses the character of Feste to provide a running commentary on each of the characters while also participating in the action that is unfolding on stage.
Feste’s role as the voice of reason allows him to bring out the...

Within Scene Five of Act One, Feste returns from his absence at Olivia’s home and stumbles upon Olivia. Olivia says to her gentlemen “Take the fool away” (Shakespeare 1.5.38) to which Feste replies “Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady” (1.5.39). The altercation between the two occurs because Feste has just learned that Olivia has decided to properly mourn her brother’s passing by abstaining from men for seven years and cloaking herself with black. Feste makes a jab at Olivia’s choice to mourn her brother by stating, “The more fool, Madonna, to mourn your / brother’s soul being in heaven” (1.5.70-71). Feste brings to light that the mourning she has subjected herself to is done in vain. If her brother’s soul is truly in heaven, she has no cause to mourn him. A.C. Bradley writes of Feste, “He is as sane as his mistress; his position considered he cannot be called even eccentric, scarcely even flighty; and he possesses not only the ready wit required by his profession, and an intellectual agility that it...
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