Twelfth Night Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are 3 stock characters in Shakespeare's the Twelfth Night?  

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First, stock characters are loosely defined as characters who reappear in literature and folk tradition and represent types of people who seem to turn up in everyone's life at some point--for example, the wicked stepmother; a damsel in distress; a powerful, corrupt businessman or politician; a friend who means well but is a fool; a person who poses as a friend but who tries to destroy his friends.  In many cases, stock characters simply have a function, that is, a doctor shows up to pronounce someone dead or a priest arrives to marry two lovers.  And most stock characters have names that disclose either their nature or the role in the play or both.

In Twelfth Nightsome stock characters are necessary for the plot to move forward.  For example, Malvolio, whose name means evil will in Latin, is described as a "kind of Puritan," which immediately places him in the persona non grata category for Elizabethans like Shakespeare who view Puritans as mis-guided religious heretics whose...

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