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Why does Sir Toby believe that he can act as he wishes in Olivia's house in Twelfth Night?

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sanditk3 | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:07 AM via web

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Why does Sir Toby believe that he can act as he wishes in Olivia's house in Twelfth Night?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM (Answer #1)

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There are two reasons why Sir Toby feels he can act as he wishes in Olivia's house. First of all, he is using his relationship to Olivia to get away with his bad behaviour. As Maria makes clear in Act I scene 3, the two characters are cousins, and thus Sir Toby is exploiting that relationship to get away with his partying and carousing.

Secondly, it is important to realise that Sir Toby in this excellent play symbolises the spirit of Twelfth Night, which was a festival celebrated on 6th January. This festival represented the last big party before the Christmas season was over, the decorations we taken down and everybody returned to their normal, monotonous routines in dark January. Twelfth Night was all about excess and chaos, and Sir Toby is definitely the character in this play that represents chaos and excess. Thus it is in his nature to always behave as he wills, to go to the very limits of acceptable behaviour, and then to consciously cross that line, so that the party spirit he represents remains unchallenged.

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indiantatti | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted June 11, 2011 at 12:07 AM (Answer #2)

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the answer for this question is that sir toby acts like this because is that he knows that olivia would not kick him out of her house because thaey are related. second, olivia wanted someone to stay with her because of the recent death of her brother.

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