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In Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, does Sir Toby possess any good traits?

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sujuloves13 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM via web

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In Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, does Sir Toby possess any good traits?

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katemschultz | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted May 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM (Answer #1)

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Sir Toby Belch is a character created to be merry opposition to Malvolio (mal meaning "bad.")  As we can see from the play, Sir Toby's primary goal of life is to enjoy it--he eats, drinks, makes crude jokes, and is forever in the company of his benefactor, Sir Andrew Aguecheek.  Even looking at Sir Toby's name give a clue to his positive character:  Belch--something a person does after a long night of eating and drinking, and, in some cultures, done to show appreciation for the meal just served. 

 

While Sir Toby does have his less than desireable qualities--his trick-playing on Malvolio that may go to far, and his using Sir Andrew for his money--Toby's primary role in the play is one of humor (cominc relief to the main plot of love) and to show that life and all of its delicacies are to be enjoyed. 

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