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Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare and Religious War

Twelfth Night, Act 2, Scene 3.

Echoes of the riot scene in Thomas More have been detected in the clash between Malvolio and the night-revellers in Twelfth Night. In this play Malvolio is both the rebuker and the one who is later attacked: he is framed, passed off as mad and imprisoned. The aristocratic characters, Olivia and Orsino, will be the ones who try and help him.

‘Monsieur Malvolio’ in Twelfth Night is ‘a kind of Puritan’. The dynamics are the same as with the immigrants: protection from above (from the aristocratic characters), suspicion and hostility from lower down the social ladder.


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