Twelfth Night Essay Questions On Comedy

Below you will find an exemplar student response to a Section A question in the specimen assessment materials, followed by an examiner commentary on the response.

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At the start of the scene it could also be suggested that Shakespeare forewarns us of Viola's affections (revealed at the end), which create a further layer of comedy given her inability to openly express her feelings to Orsino.

The manner in which she rushes to respond to his call when he first enters could suggest a romantic eagerness.

Viola's initial question to Valentine, 'is he constant?

' reveals the changeability of Orsino's emotions that we have already witnessed in the opening scenes when he demands music and then immediately has 'enough, no more'.

This is then verified by the excessive nature of his declarations of love for Olivia despite her repeated rejections of him in the past.

Twelfth Night Essay Questions On Comedy Law Essay Competition 2005

His commands to 'be clamorous' at the doors of a house in mourning are utterly inappropriate according to Elizabethan mourning conventions, (although his self-absorption prevents him from recognising this).

The fact that a servant and a female character is more reasoned and logical than the infatuated Duke is another comedic aspect.

What is more, Viola's revelation at the end of the scene 'Yet, a barful strife!

Read the extract below and then answer the question.

Explore the significance of this extract in relation to the comedy of the play as a whole.

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