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Jenna Hecker 31005 Essay exam Part 1 Analysis of Sir Toby in Twelfth Night In Shakespeares comedy Twelfth Night an emphasis is put on the importance of not taking oneself too seriously This feeling of folly triumphing over gravity is proven by the success of the happier less serious characters throughout the story The embodiment of folly in Twelfth Night is Sir Toby Belch the drunken uncle of Olivia He serves many functions in the play showing the narrator the importance of not taking oneself or ones ambitions too seriously Sir Toby acts as an example of one of the only characters with real conviction in the play Tobys story functions as a secondary plot in Twelfth Night His torment of Malvolio the overly serious manservant seems to come only out of boredom and seems to only be profitable for his own enjoyment He is a retired night with nothing left to be but enjoy his retirement and his actions show Malvolio that for a servant there is no real option for social advancement for someone like him Sir Toby is the antagonist of Malvolio in the story He and Maria represent the opposite of Malvolios hard-working un-smiling spirit They exist to leave the audience with a feeling that sometimes chaos must reign Sir Toby could also by a bit of a stretch be considered a warrior for true love His love for Maria who is not of the same social standing comes from a genuine connection with her while Malvolios pining after Tobys niece Olivia is simply a quest for social advancement Malvolio dreams of bettering himself and of rising above Sir Toby whom he has never liked he does not want to be with her because he loves her Toby is perceptive of this which is why he finds the trick he plays on Malvolio not to be cruel but funny He is showing Malvolio the idiocy of his plan
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