Analyzing Malvolio

by: Robert Elkins

Twelfth Night

Malvolio's Identity

Malvolio is the head servant of Queen Olivia and he would consider himself to be a leader since he leads his co-servants to obey Queen Olivia in the right way. He believes he is the highest and best servant there is and he needs to have a change to his title. He believes he is powerful and needs to rise above his social class. He is very self-righteous and he knows it by trying to be superior to anyone lower than him or who he think he should be higher than. He would also say he is loyal because of how he accomplishes Queen Olivia's duties that she sends him on. He believes he always knows what's best as well. He proudly suggest being of a higher class by saying, "Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make out for him. I frown the while, and perchance wind up watch, or play with my--some rich jewel. Toby approaches, curtsies there to me--" (II.v.52-55). This quote shows how much Malvolio has put some thought into being in a higher class by having Sir Toby Belch, Olivia's uncle, who is in a higher class than Malvolio bow to him. It also shows how much Malvolio would believe he is confident by not having a problem with being of a higher class and sending servants off when he too was a servant at a point.
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Malvolio's Gender

Malvolio is a male head servant and overpowers every other servant. He really isn't judged on being a male but he is forced to act cruel or mean to his lower servants because he is the head male servant. He has to be able to separate and show the right from the wrong. His gender also puts him in a brutal joke because traditionally he is supposed to show affection towards females and that sets him up to be liked by Queen Olivia so he takes the opportunity to show his feelings too. Malvolio gets caught up liking Olivia after he finds out she likes him, something any other male would do. He says, "Maria once told me she did affect me, and I have heard herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion" (II.v.20-22). This portrays how any male would think of signs that would make a suggestion true or put it to thought. The benefits of Malvolio being a male is that he can make a living by working for Olivia and get paid on his own.

Perception of Malvolio

Malvolio has two sides to his perception, or to how people see him. His master Queen Olivia would say he is very efficient because of how he attends to thing around her household. She'll also think he is generous, innocent, and good-natured. On the other hand, everyone else sees him as mean or takes his job too seriously with his bossy orders. They also see him as a killjoy because he hates drinking, singing, and fun, plus his superior attitude makes people not like him as well. He is strict and straight to the point when giving directions to his co-servants. Also him being arrogant made him earn a cruel joke from Sir Toby and Maria. Sir Toby says, "Ah, rogue" (II.v.31) when Malvolio confidently reads "Olivia's" letter to him by meaning that Malvolio is a jerk for really believing Olivia likes him. Malvolio sees Olivia's side to be similar to his perception of himself because he is a loyal servant and puts her before his self to get her work done. The other side Malvolio would disagree with because he believes he is just trying to get work done by suggesting the right thing to do and a guy who believes what he sees.
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Similarities and Differences between Malvolio and Me

The similarities between Malvolio and I are, we are both productive and organized. We both are also, good at receiving tasks and accomplishing them and we are both leaders in a way.


The differences between Malvolio and I are, Malvolio speaks what is on his mind but I keep lots of things to myself. Furthermore, Malvolio is hated by most while I am generally liked by most. Malvolio is a strict leader, like a dictator, while I take a different approach, like telling you how to do something in a respectful way and give compliments. Finally, Malvolio just accuses people in a situation but I adjust to it and look more in-depth then confront someone.

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She's the Man

Malvolio's Identity

Malvolio/Malcom's identity in She's the Man was neat and organized because he criticized about hygiene. He made a scene about Olivia not wearing any shoes in the shower room saying it was unsanitary (She's the Man). He would believe that he is obedient because he follows the campus rules accordingly and he listens to whatever Olivia tells him as well. He would say that he is helpful since he tried to help expose Viola to the principal. Malvolio would say he is clever or very observant for figuring out about the Hastings family and finding out that "Sebastian" was really Viola in disguise. In She's the Man, Malvolio starts to get suspicious about "Sebastian's" accent and the way she acts like talking to her mom about wearing high heels (She's the Man). He would say that he is confident he keeps talking to Olivia even though she sends him off or completely ignores him. In She's the Man, Olivia ignores him every time he tries to talk to her because she is too busy lost looking at Sebastian (She's the Man).

Malvolio's Gender

Malvolio is forced to act manly because of his gender but in the movie he acts otherwise. In She's the Man, Malvolio/Malcolm nit picks about Viola not wearing shower shoes but most importantly when Duke Orsino hits him with a towel he yells and falls down (She's the Man). This shows how he could really hates germs which no regular male would complain about and the way Malvolio/Malcolm fell down so awkwardly, instead a male would try to hit Duke Orsino back. Also, Malvolio/Malcolm allied with Monique, Sebastian's girlfriend, to show that Viola is disguising as Sebastian to get back at her for Olivia liking him. In She's the Man, Malvolio decided to join with Monique to bring up that Viola's secret in front of everyone at the soccer game (She's the Man). This won't happen for a normal male because they really wouldn't care or observe Viola like that. Malvolio has has really no limitations for being a male because he can generally do many things at his school and it turns into benefits for him.
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Perception of Malvolio

Malvolio is perceived as someone who is noisy and a "snitch" because he was seen telling on Viola multiple times and trying to figure out her story. He also is annoying because he gets in the way of Olivia and Duke Orsino. In She's the Man, Duke Orsino is seen sitting with his friends while Malvolio attempts to talk to Olivia, when this is happening Duke and his friends tell Viola about how they really dislike Malvolio because he gets in the way by always being around her (She's the Man). This shows that other characters see Malvolio as a nuisance and always in the way. Other character would say that he is a joke because he really isn't taken seriously and everything he says may be true but his evidence comes up short. In She's the Man, Malvolio tried to tell the campus about Viola disguising herself as a boy but it turns out Sebastian came back early for the soccer game unexpectedly and showed that he was really a boy (She's the Man). Malvolio would disagree with the way other see him because he is just trying to help by offering vital information to his peers and he was trying to get a girl that he liked, but didn't know he was interfering with Duke Orsino.
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Similarities and Differences Between Malvolio and Me

The similarities between Malvolio and I is we are both smart because in the end we put the pieces together and find out what's going on. Furthermore, we are both confident in everything we do just like he was confident in revealing Viola's secret, I am the same way about everything I do in my life.


The differences between Malvolio and I is Malvolio is consistent on what he wants, so he will not give up on something until he gets what he wants like trying to get Olivia or telling Viola's secret. Instead I am the type to stop as soon I feel like I am told no I stop. Finally, Malvolio is attentive to everything but I wouldn't bother to know about someone, I would just keep it to myself or not even notice anything.

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