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"Twelfth Night" letter writing assignment
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Act II, scene iii—The Letter
We learn in this scene that Maria, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew are going to play a trick on Malvolio. They are going to leave a letter for him to find that appeals to his vain and self-centered personality. Maria can write like Olivia,so Malvolio will think that Olivia is in love with him.
Your task: Create the letter Maria is going to write to Malvolio! Items to keep in mind:
- Malvolio thinks a lot of himself. What might Maria say in her letter that would appeal to this side of Malvolio’s personality? (Look at lines 144-150, Maria’s line that starts “I will drop in his way some obscure epistle [epistle meaning letter]…”)
- They want Malvolio to think the letter is from Olivia and for him to think that she is in love with him—how will they do that? They can’t be too obvious! How will they prevent Malvolio from talking to Olivia about the letter?
- They want to use this letter to make fun of Malvolio—how might they do that? Will they ask him to do something? Say something? Act in a certain way? Arrange a meeting? Be creative!
- Remember how a letter starts and ends.
- Remember to keep spelling and grammar in mind.
- For extra fun, you can write it in the style of Shakespeare—use “thee” and “thou” and other “Shakespeare-ish” words. Otherwise, use your own language to persuade Malvolio that he has a secret admirer.
- You may type or NEATLY handwrite this.
About this Document
Guidelines for students to write the letter to fool Malvolio in Act Three.