Describe the character of Sir Toby Belch in 150 words. 

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Toby is Olivia's uncle and is living under her roof.  He doesn't seem to have any means of income and, since he lives under his niece's roof, is clearly allowing her to support him.  He is also sponging off of Sir Andrew, his house guest, also staying with Olivia.  Sir Toby presents himself as sort of a mentor to Andrew, "helping" him to win the hand of Olivia, but seems much more concerned with having Andrew pay for their drinking and carousing.

Toby seems to be drunk throughout the entire play.  Olivia, in Act I, scene v, comments on how early in the day he is drunk, but seems resigned to his behaviour.  It is Malvolio who is disgusted with Sir Toby and Sir Toby who cannot abide the priggish Malvolio.  Toby's main part in the plot of the play is the tricking of Malvolio into believing that Olivia is in love with him and finally, into taking Malvolio "prisoner" in punishment for his "madness."

At the end of the play, it is reported that Sir Toby and Maria have married.  Fabian says that Toby has married her "in recompense" for her part in the plots against Malvolio.

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Twelfth Night

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