Bakhtin proposed that ’carnival’ in comedy ‘marks the suspension of all hierarchical rank, privileges, norms and prohibitions’. To what extent is the carnival spirit prevalent in Act One of Twelfth Night?
Viola becoming a man servant- trying to advance her rank
‘he was a bachelor then’ trying to save status and wealth through marriage to earn privileges ‘I have heard my father name him’ – shows approval, foreshadowing relationship ‘conceal me what I am’ different identity is hidden
‘thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him’ – castrated man Link to title as the feast twelfth night was only forthose of upper class
sir toby belch and Andrew aguecheek
As a kind of carnival or temporary king sir toby rules his sector of Olivia’s household according to the rules of holiday inconsequence Honoured with knighting but both show immaturity and are literally intoxicated throughout most of the play – master of disorderly revels Seen as un noble by reader as text is switched to prose as opposed to verse Andrew in particular lacks intelligence despite being knighted
Feste asserts rank through no fear of insults
‘Take away the lady’ calling her a fool- shows his honesty and integrity to not give up on Olivia Shows Olivia mourning us unnecessary when he is I heaven, shows paternal characteristics making his hierarchal position higher The more fool, Madonna, to mourn for your brothers soul being in heaven
Bakhtin proposed that ’carnival’ in comedy liberates the assumptions of the higher class through humour and chaos. Carnival spirit is prevalent in ‘twelfth night’ through the use of stock characters such as Sir Toby [Belch]. HIs gluttony and rebellious attitude embody the spirit of Twelfth Nights festivities, which were all about over-indulgence and the inversion of social order. We immediately see Belch’s ranking in society through his title of ‘sir’ showing his knighthood which should suggest he...
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