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In "Twelfth Night," does Malvolio get what he deserves?In "Twelfth Night," does...

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johnnyutah | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:16 AM via web

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In "Twelfth Night," does Malvolio get what he deserves?

In "Twelfth Night," does Malvolio get what he deserves?

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damini | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted June 17, 2007 at 4:05 AM (Answer #2)

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From my opinion i think yes, because he had treated everybody else badly so he deserves whatever he got!

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revolution | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 25, 2009 at 3:36 PM (Answer #2)

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No. Despite being a puritan, a stiff and proper servant who likes nothing better than to spoil other people’s fun, he does not get what he deserves. I pitied him as Maria and Toby thought he was mad and confined in a dark room, showing that he was victimized by them and had became a victim himself. It seems that this unfortunate servant had, embodiment of order and sobriety had to be sacrificed so that the rest of the characters can indulge in the liveness and joyfulness felt in the story

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:44 AM (Answer #3)

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Put into the context of British history, one may feel that Malvolio deserves the treatment given him from Maria and Toby. Critics feel that in the deception of Malvolio by the others, Shakespeare comes closest to Jonsonian comedy, which is surprisingly satiric. So, in the ridiculing of Malvolio, Shakespeare unmasks the pretentions of the Puritan. 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM (Answer #4)

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Mal literally means "bad" and I think it is an interesting choice for a name.  While he is a punk, I do think that he is at least partly a victim of circumstances.  Wrong place, wrong time, or at least wrong employer.  His reaction, of course, was his own and he is responsible for that.  However, he was definitely manipulated.

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