Twelfth Night
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Malvolio

Fate, show thy force, ourselves we do not owe, What is decreed, must be. And be this so.

[1.5.284-5]

Also called

  • Some kind of puritan (Maria, 2.3.130),
  • Overweening rogue (Sir Toby, 2.5.27),
  • Bawcock (Sir Toby, 3.4.106),
  • Malvolio the lunatic (Feste, 4.2.21-2),
  • Madman (Feste, 4.2.41),
  • Poor fool (Olivia, 5.1.359)

Relationship Status

Unknown

Character biography

I pride myself on the way I keep order in my lady’s house. Without rules, the way things are managed in the house can become completely disordered. My mistress’s uncle, one Sir Toby, is not worthy of her hospitality. I would be happy if he were banished from her sight along with his friend Sir Andrew who also brings trouble. In my attempts to bring order, I find my colleague Maria, my mistress’s gentlewoman, not always as helpful as I would like and I suspect her of secretly siding with Sir Toby and his riotous behaviour. One day I feel sure my mistress will recognise my worth and confer upon me rewards I can only secretly dream of.

Serves…

Olivia

Dear agony aunt

I feel like the people I work with are bullying me. They mock me, humiliate me and embarrass me in front of my lady. Should I tell my employer, forgive them or seek revenge?

Just tell them how you feel; if they keep doing this tell you employer.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 13:05

All you need to do is be nice to these bullies, tell them that you don't like them hurting you (mentally) and try to befriend them. You never know what could happen! If this doesn't work then tell your employer what they do to you and hope for her to sort it out.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 17:45

Dear Malvolio, It sounds like you're going through a tough time. Do you have anybody to talk to this about? I think you should tell your boss and hopefully they should be able to do something about it. Bullying is not okay!

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 13:19

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The Steward

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

The post of steward in a grand house is of absolutely vital importance. A good steward keeps a house running smoothly and always ensures that the other servants working at the house are in good order.

In order to demonstrate what makes a good steward, we arranged to meet Malvolio the highly respected steward at the house of the gracious Countess Olivia.

Good Servant Guide- Malvolio, thank you for finding the time in your busy day to talk to us. What would you say makes a good steward?

Malvolio- A good steward should be serious, upright and calm at all times. It is of fundamental importance that your master or mistress should not have to be concerned with the running of the house so the steward must take that responsibility upon himself.

GSG- A steward is responsible for the management of other servants in the house. How would you say this aspect of the role should be carried out?

Malvolio- You must have firm rules for the other servants to follow. Any slip-shod work must be severely punished to prevent standards from falling. Only by firm control can you keep the other staff in line.

GSG- Are there any particular problems in your role which it might be useful to share?

Malvolio- A difficulty can arise with other guests staying with your master or mistress. For instance, my mistress has a relative staying who, I am afraid to say, has not quite the same approach to life in a great house that one would expect. This can be quite difficult to deal with.

GSG- Finally, do you have any plans for the future such as a promotion you would like to tell us about?

Malvolio- Well, I think I can say that my role in the house of a great lady such as my mistress prepares one for greater things. I have hopes that my worth will be noticed and lead to a promotion which will surprise those who know me!

GSG- We will wait and see then! Thank you for your time Malvolio.