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Comparison Paper on the Character Malvolio

Many would not dispute the fact that people nowadays tend to recreate literary classics. The movie “She’s the Man,” a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” exemplifies this the best. At first glance, the film and the play appear to have apparent congruities. However, the differences and alterations that the screenwriter and the director have layered on top of the original story have transformed this traditional play to support the narrative and taste of mainstream audiences. Thus, while several aspects of both storylines may occur to be identical, some characters are interpreted variously in the movie. Namely, Malvolio is a severe character with subtext; still, he appears in “She’s the Man” as a pet tarantula, while some of his character aspects have merged with another to form new characters altogether.

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“Twelfth Night” is a play about the different individuals and their development throughout the story. This play includes a minor persona Malvolio who works as a servant in the household of Lady Olivia. In “Twelfth Night,” the most sophisticated characters have the scantiest knowledge, as this storyline is about disturbing natural cohesion. Meanwhile, the least sophisticated characters quickly get beyond the presumptions of their superiors. Some characters, especially Malvolio, were obligated to become more conscious because of the desire to act. As an example, Orsino realizes his mutual passion for Olivia is inaccurate and Olivia breaks her seven-year pact not to love. Malvolio is revealed to be arrogant and “ridiculous through his self-love” (Shakespeare 20). Feste had the final word, leading to the end of the play with a melancholy song that suggests the darker aspects of reality lurk beneath extravagance and merriment in this comedy.

The story in “She’s the Man” revolves around Viola Hastings as a stereotypical American teenager. She dreams of becoming a talented soccer player in her school. Unfortunately, a female football team was dismissed, and her application to play in the boy’s team was rejected. Thus, she intended to misrepresent herself as her twin brother Sebastian and then obtain his soccer team spot while he was in his new boarding school. As the reference to the servant from the play, who was deceived and displayed as a clown, Malcolm was portrayed as a fool who attempted to unmask Viola that was described as a persistent person. Despite being fully involved in reaching her goals throughout the play, Viola eventually noticed that she was desperately in love with her brother’s roommate Duke Orsino, who had been romantically involved with Olivia Lennox. Overall, the situation mentioned above emphasizes the generic interpretation from classical theatre to Hollywood comedy. Perhaps, this transformation reveals why Malvolio’s aspects of his character were divided between several individuals.

Shakespeare portrayed Malvolio as the stern servant in Lady Olivia’s household. He was extraordinarily talented and incredibly competent, and still, the servant was quite self-righteous. Unfortunately, Malvolio’s arrogance and puritanism draw Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria’s enmity. Consequently, they established to play a brutal game on him by convincing him that Olivia is in love with him. Ultimately, he revealed a strong desire to ascend above his social class in his illusions about getting married. Initially, Malvolio resembles to be one of the minor characters in the play. His humiliation appears little more than an engaging subplot to the love triangle between Olivia, Viola, and Orsino. However, as the comedy advances, the steward enhances increasingly tempting. Therefore, some reviewers may regard him as one of the most complex and compelling personalities in “Twelfth Night.”

The speech and actions of the characters primarily determine their characterization in a film. Therefore, the description of personalities represents a significant role in identifying different and minor figures in the movie and the play. Firstly, it seems complicated to determine who is playing the role of the servant. Undoubtedly, it is evident that a pet tarantula owned by Malcolm Feste in the film poses the name Malvolio. However, Malcolm himself exposes Malvolio’s characteristics and becomes one part of the complex steward character. Malcolm complains to his pet, “It just isn’t fair, Malvolio. I wait three years for Olivia, and then some transfer student comes in, and suddenly she’s acting like some obsessed teenager” (She’s a Man). He laments to the spider as if the uptight Malvolio from the play grumbles to himself.

Malcolm’s character is being constructed by his actions and attitude to the students. Holding a position of manual authority, he sometimes blames Viola for forgetting to wear special shoes in the bathroom. Moreover, Malcolm Feste presumes Olivia Lennox to be charming. Thus, he satisfies himself in a degree of self-pitying lamentation at her inaccessibility, expressing to his spider. It was a dismal disappointment for Feste when he suggested that Sebastian had revealed an attraction to Olivia. His inappropriate use of authority and his disapproval of himself are indicators of a kid who desires to reach an adult position. It also accurately defines Malvolio’s character because, in the play, he wanted to demonstrate to everyone that he deserves more than his social class could offer him. Malcolms behavior reflects Malvolio’s social pretensions without venturing into severe cultural critiques.

Malcolm Feste’s actions enhanced the characterization of himself. One of the plot departures from the original one occurs when he tries to overthrow his opponent and then realizes that the transfer student, who was considered to love Olivia, is Viola in disguise. Unfortunately, the real Sebastian came from London when Malcolm tried to expose Viola at a massive football match. Viola’s twin brother was capable of proving his gender, causing a reasonably mild embarrassment for Malcolm. This situation may well be assumed as a deliberate homage to Malvolio when he drew attention from Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria.

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Some people might assume that the beautiful but hysterical girlfriend is a typical character in Hollywood comedies, and Sebastian’s girlfriend perfectly implements this type in “She’s the Man.” Malcolm portrays Malvolio’s officiousness and arrogance, while Monique reflects the servant’s selfish side of his personality. In another mild public humiliation, Viola herself, in the guise of Sebastian, punishes her brother’s girlfriend by loudly ending their relationship in front of the students’ fraternity. Inevitably, those two humiliations were temporary, so both Malcolm and Monique are granted a happy ending, although, in the play, Malvolio was much more embarrassed after he was humiliated.

In conclusion, there is almost no difference between Malvolio’s personality in the play and its interpretation in the movie, even though several individuals represent him in “She’s the Man.” Although the Shakespeare’s comedy play and the Fickman’s modern movie belong to entirely distinct periods of history, the film successfully conveys various parts of the original plot and maintains some of the primary ideas. Furthermore, a vast majority of characters, especially the main ones, perfectly imitate the characteristics of figures from the initial play. In the movie, Malcolm and Monique distribute the steward’s qualities. Thus, the film’s events bring them together as a separate force as they operate together to uncover Viola’s identity as if Malvolio’s wish to marry was revealed. In this adaptation, an exclusively hilarious narrative and specific character types resulted in splitting the servant from the play into three characters, including the spider that inevitably poses the major Malvolio’s characteristics.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Twelfth-night: Or, What You Will. Cassell & Company, Limited: London, Paris, & Melbourne, 1892.

She’s a Man. Directed by Andy Fickman, performance by Amanda Bynes, Paramount Pictures, 2006.

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