Twelfth Night
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Feste

Wit, and’t be thy will, put me into good fooling!

[1.5.28-9]

Also called

  • Barren rascal (Malvolio, 1.5.74-5),
  • Ass (Sir Toby, 2.3.16),
  • Feste the jester (Curio, 2.4.11),
  • Corrupter of words (Feste, 3.1.33-4),
  • Foolish greek (Sebastian, 4.1.16),
  • Good Fool (Malvolio, 4.2.106)

Relationship Status

Unknown

Character biography

I think being the Fool in Olivia’s house is important because she is a lady who needs to think about trying to become happier. She is in mourning and I think it is my role to try to make her see that mourning so long for her brother is turning her into a recluse. I hope I can make her see that she has her own life to live and that no amount of mourning will bring her brother back. I can see the faults of all those around me like Sir Toby whose drinking is ruining his chances of getting together with Maria. The life of a Fool is not easy as, if I cannot make Olivia laugh, then I might be cast aside and lose my job. No-one around me really sees that my life is quite lonely. Although I join in with all the exploits of Sir Toby and I know that he wouldn’t give me a second thought if I was to lose my place. The life of a fool is not always a funny one.

Torments…

Malvolio

Dear agony aunt

I like to play the fool and have a laugh, but one of the people at work keeps putting me down in front of others. My friend has a plan to get back at him, but it seems mean and I'm not sure I want to get involved. Any advice?

If this person is putting you down then you should 'thrust' (Quote) the punishment onto them.

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 19:12

If you truly believe it to be mean then you need to tell him this so maybe he can take this into account and stop this from becoming out of hand.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 17:32

Go with your gut. If it seems wrong or bad, don't do it. Imagine how you would feel if you were them. If this person is making you feel bad, talk to your boss about them.

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 13:22

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Locked Content

The Fool

The Good Servant Guide – everything you need to know about finding the right staff

Many of our great houses still keep a Fool on the staff. A Fool can really help the life of a great house by bringing joy and make comments to bring some light relief to the master or mistress.

We have found some time to talk to Feste, Fool at the house of the grand lady the Countess Olivia.

Good Servant Guide- Feste, tell us about your work at the house of Olivia.

Feste- It is hard work. People don’t think it is, but they don’t realise that you have to keep on watching what is going on around you and then thinking of witty and humorous things to say. Not easy. And you have to be prepared to sing whenever they ask too!

GSG- Some great houses have dispensed with their Fool. Why do you think it is important to have a Fool on the staff?

Feste- The Fool helps to make the life of the house joyful with songs and witty remarks. It can be very serious in a great house like Olivia’s especially as she is in mourning at present. My witty remarks and jokes help to lighten the atmosphere and help my mistress to see the brighter side of life.

GSG- It sounds as though it might be quite a risky position.
Feste Yes, it can be because, sometimes, you might have to point out things that the master or mistress doesn’t want to hear.
GSG Such as?

Feste- Well, I pointed out to my mistress that her mourning might be becoming too excessive. You just have to hope that your words will make her think and look at her life from the outside. It’s a sensitive job and an important one. If you get things wrong and annoy your mistress instead of making her laugh, then you can easily lose your job.

GSG- Thank you, Feste for explaining the fool’s role so clearly for our readers. Perhaps more of our great houses should think about finding a Fool.