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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: January ::
Malvolio and the Captain
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0019  Wednesday, 16 January 2008

From:		Cary Barney <
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Date:		Wednesday, 9 Jan 2008 18:41:17 +0100 (CET)
Subject:	Malvolio and the Captain

I recently directed "Twelfth Night" for my university and we grappled 
with the mysterious fifth act revelation that the Captain is being held 
under arrest at Malvolio's instigation. Rather than have it come out of 
the blue, we took the liberty of adding a dumb show in which the Captain 
tries on Viola's "women's weeds" out of curiosity and Malvolio has him 
arrested for cross dressing in public. Dubious, but it worked, at least 
in the context of our production. I'm wondering if anyone knows of other 
productions which have addressed this loose end in any way.

I'm also wondering if anyone has done any investigation and/or 
speculation on its origins. Specifically, has anyone looked into the 
possibility that it may have been an in joke for Globe patrons, along 
the lines of the Hamlet/Polonius  Brutus/Caesar reference, a nod to a 
previously produced play in which the actors playing Malvolio and the 
Captain might have been more prominently at legal odds?

Curious, but perhaps barking up the wrong tree,
Cary Barney

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