Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 149. Monday, 8 March 1993.
From: Robert O'Connor <
Date: Monday, 8 Mar 1993 13:43:39 +1000
Subject: 4.0132 Assorted Queries
Comment: Re: SHK 4.0132 Assorted Queries
Roy Flannagan asked:
>Is the audience really supposed to like Sir Toby Belch? I have one
>student (not notably puritanical), who finds more to like about Malvolio
>than Sir Toby.
I have always had a soft spot for 'Twelfth Night' - it was one of the plays
that got me hooked on Shakespeare in the first place - and like many people
I suppose I am often troubled by the torments meted out to Malvolio toward
the end of the play. I always thought his "I'll be revenged on the whole
pack of you" begged for a sequel (any takers?).
Considering some of the nasty things said in other plays about English
drinking habits (for example by Stephano and Trinculo in 'Tempest') I think
if nothing else Sir Toby is intended to be as familiar a figure to an
Elizabethan audience as Malvolio, and perhaps just as reviled. The trio
formed by these two and Andrew Aguecheek may be funny, even likable, but
they are not admirable.