The inclusion of music and vocals non merely helps to inspire even the most boring of theatrical public presentations ; it besides grasps the audiences attending and sometimes adds greater deepness and significance to the subject of the drama. Shakespeare includes vocals and catch-lines of vocals in many of his dramas ( both in comedies every bit good as in calamities ) to give a deeper significance to the dramatic action and state of affairs. With the exclusion of The Tempest, Twelfth Night is possibly Shakespeare ‘s most musical drama. It is the lone Shakespearean play which begins and ends with music.
There are two classs of vocals in Twelfth Night. The first class of vocals are the complete vocals sung by the clown Feste and the 2nd class of vocals comprises of disconnected wordss sung by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste in a bibulous province. This paper focuses on the first class of vocals, that is, the larger section of vocals sung by Feste. Feste sings a sum of five vocals in the play- “ O Mistress Mine ” ( Act II, scene three, lines 40-45,49-53 ) , “ Come Away Death ” ( Act II, scene four, lines 52-68 ) , “ Hey Robin, Jolly Robin ” ( Act IV, scene two, lines 78,79,81,83,85 ) , “ I am Done for Sir ” ( Act IV, scene two, lines 130-141 ) and “ When That I Was and a Small Bantam Boy ” ( Act V, scene I, lines 398-417 ) ) . Apart from lending to the musical ambiance of the drama, the vocals perform a figure of maps. First, they help to stress the subject of the drama, particularly the subject of gay comedy with melancholy strains. Second, they highlight the tempers of the characters in the state of affairs on which the vocal is sung. Third, in the custodies of Feste the vocals serve as a satiric tool to mock certain characters of the drama and eventually the vocals aid in supplying a integrity to the drama. This paper analyses in item each of the five vocals sung by Feste in the visible radiation of the above statements.
Significance of Feste ‘s Songs in Twelfth Night
Music played an built-in portion in the dramas of Shakespeare and his coevalss. Just as today ‘s theatrical public presentations and film entertain the audience with a ocular dainty, “ in the wendy houses of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the aural dimension carried out a more important map ” ( Wilson and Calore 3 ) . Wilson and Calore farther province that the vocals “ served the intent of underlying the temper of a character or state of affairs ” and the “ cues for sound effects and music frequently occup [ ied ] a outstanding place on the page [ of the text ] ” ( 4 ) . With the exclusion of The Tempest, Twelfth Night is possibly Shakespeare ‘s most musical drama. It is the lone Shakespearean play which begins and ends with music.
Harmonizing to John R. Ford, there are two classs of vocals in Twelfth Night ( 36 ) . The first class of vocals are the complete vocals sung by the clown Feste and the 2nd class of vocals comprises of disconnected wordss sung by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste, “ Songs fuelled by ale and limited by memoryaˆ¦ that occur to one of the revellers in the heat of the minute and so disappear ” ( Ford 37 ) . However it is the five vocals of Feste that captures the audience ‘s attending. Harmonizing to Ford, “ in the custodies of Festeaˆ¦ music becomes a deft satiric tool, mocking the mawkishness of Orsinoaˆ¦ the fecklessness of the revellers and the secret… desires of Malvolio ” ( 36 ) .
The first vocal Sung by Feste “ O Mistress Mine ” ( Act II scene three, lines 40-45, 49-53 ) highlights the gay spirit of the drama, intimations at the melancholy strains and even mocks Olivia ‘s attitude towards love. The vocal is an first-class illustration of the impression of carpe diem ( translated as “ prehend the twenty-four hours ” ) , an exhortation to do the most of the minute, of fugitive young person and clip. There has been an statement over whether the vocal was composed by Shakespeare or non. Verity states that this vocal was “ found in Morley ‘s Consort Lessons, printed in 1599, that is, before the likely day of the month of Twelfth Night ” and that it was likely “ an old lay non composed by Shakespeareaˆ¦ but perchance, Shakespeare was the writer and re-used the vocal when he came to compose this drama ” ( 97-98 ) . In this vocal, the lover tries to do his darling realize that with the transition of clip their young person will die and they will finally decease. Thus they should bask both life and love every bit long as they are still youthful- “ In hold there lies no plentifulness ; / Then come and snog me, sweet and 20, / Youth ‘s a material will non digest ” ( Act II scene three, lines 51-53 ) . The hedonic philosophy of basking the minute ( peculiarly the ephemeral young person ) before it is gone irretrievably, contrasts to the morbid attitude towards love shown by Olivia.
Harmonizing to Donno, the words of the vocal appear to hold a peculiar relevancy to Olivia ‘s folly in eschewing the “ ‘sight/ And company of work forces ‘ , to which Feste alluded in I.5.27-30 ” ( 74 ) . Through this vocal, Feste seems to mock Olivia ‘s determination to veil her face for seven old ages and avoid the sight of work forces in order to mourn for her brother ‘s decease. In Act I scene 5, Feste openly criticizes the absurd nature of Olivia ‘s vow- “ The more fool, Madonna, to mourn for your brother ‘s psyche being in Eden ” ( lines 76-78 ) . The words of the vocal seem to press Olivia to set an terminal to her frivolous promise and do the most of her young person and beauty while it still lasts. David Daiches nevertheless, calls this vocal “ the most haunting of all Shakespeare ‘s vocals ” ( 259 ) . While other critics prefer to construe this vocal as an incarnation of the gay spirit of the drama by foregrounding the subject of carpe diem, Daiches is of the sentiment that this vocal makes the audience aware of the “ sadder notes underlying the romantic ” ( 260 ) . In malice of stoping on a happy note ( except in the instance of Malvolio ) , Twelfth Night is filled with “ danger, mishap, self-delusion, self-indulgence [ and ] misinterpretation ” ( Daiches 259 ) . Through this vocal Feste prepares the audience to confront a universe where “ What ‘s to come is still diffident ” ( Act II scene three, line 50 ) .
The following vocal Sung by Feste “ Come Away, Come Away, Death ” ( Act II scene four. lines 52-68 ) seem to repeat the Duke ‘s bootless love for Olivia and Viola ‘s every bit hopeless love for the duke. Donno states that it was a “ aˆ¦ common people vocal Sung by adult females [ and ] the words suggest patient devotedness towards work forces who treat them severely ” ( 83 ) . It is a melancholy vocal which highlights the Duke ‘s temper and its sad wordss makes Viola confess her unanswered love for the Duke. Although Twelfth Night is a romantic comedy, Shakespeare in this drama presents love as something which causes hurting and agony and this reflects the melancholy undertones of the drama. Through this vocal, Feste seems to intentionally sing the present province of the duke ‘s nonreversible love for Olivia. This vocal depicts love as a agony that is caused by a just amah and the lover considers himself dead because of the inhuman treatment of the beloved who pays no attentiveness to the lover. The lover is so down and hopeless that he wishes decease to take him off. The Duke instantly identifies himself with the vocal and says: “ Me thought it did alleviate my passion much ” ( Act II scene four, lines 93-95 ) . The “ just cruel amah ” ( line 55 ) of the vocal is none other than Olivia whose refusal to accept Orsino ‘s love has spiritually killed the latter ( or at least that is what the Duke wants to believe in ) . This vocal with its extremely affectional tone about makes Viola uncover her feelings for the Duke. The melancholy nature of this vocal stands as a crisp contrast to the gay spirit of the old vocal. If the old vocal dealt chiefly with gaiety this song trades with unhappiness and decease.
After a spread of a whole act, the following vocal “ Hey Robin, Jolly Robin ” ( lines 78-79, 81, 83, 85 ) Sung by Feste once more takes topographic point in Act IV scene two. This scene deals with the gulling of Malvolio who has been locked in a dark room by Maria, Feste, Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. Disguised as Sir Topas the minister of religion, Feste tries to convert Malvolio that he is huffy and possessed by the Devil. By singing this vocal, Feste makes himself known ( as the Fool ) to Malvolio. Harmonizing to Verity this vocal was “ aˆ¦ a duologue between the two lovers, Robin and his friend, who discuss their love personal businesss in inquiry and reply ” ( 125 ) . This vocal continues with the message of hurting that consequences from unanswered love. The lines “ My lady is unkind, perdy ” ( line 81 ) and “ She loves another ” ( line 85 ) is an indirect mention to Olivia and her love for Cesario. Therefore through this vocal, Feste mocks Malvolio ‘s pathetic status in which he is fooled into believing that Olivia is in love with him.
The following vocal Sung by Feste “ I am Done for Sir ” ( lines 130-141 ) takes topographic point in the same scene. While the old vocal marked the presence of the buffoon, this vocal prepares for his issue. Malvolio, who is despairing to acquire out of the dark room, sends the buffoon to convey him paper, ink and visible radiation so that he can compose a missive to Olivia bespeaking his release. In answer to this petition, Feste sings this vocal. In this vocal there is a mention to the activities of the Vice and the Devil of the Morality Plays. Harmonizing to Verity, the Vice and the Devil represented the “ popular amusing component ” of the drama ( 126 ) . The Vice carried a “ sticker of lath ” that is a soft wood in his manus and the Devil would dress up as a bear with long talons and carried a nine. The Vice would seek to cut off the Devil ‘s talons with his sticker of lath. By placing himself with the Vice, Feste establishes two things- foremost, that the Fool or the buffoon of Shakespeare ‘s dramas was developed from the character of the Vice in old Morality Plays ( Verity 126 ) . Second, like the Vice who would assail the Devil, Feste excessively takes his retaliation upon Malvolio by torturing him in a dark room disguised as Sir Topas.
The concluding vocal Sung by Feste in Act V scene I “ When That I Was and a Small Bantam Boy ” ( lines 398-417 ) forms the epilogue of the drama. Harmonizing to Ratri Ray this epilogue is “ alone ” as “ it is the lone drama which has a vocal at the terminal ” ( 194 ) . Harmonizing to Verity this vocal was another popular lay which Shakespeare adapted in this drama, as a similar stanza is besides sung by the Fool in King Lear in Act III scene two, lines 74-77 in the alleged Storm Scene ( 135 ) . In the last vocal Feste hints measure by measure the defeats of an ordinary individual ‘s average being from boyhood to old age. During childhood “ a infantile buffoonery was accepted as something fiddling ” ( Donno 149 ) . However when the kid grows into an grownup, such buffooneries were “ considered proper merely to rogues and stealers ” ( Donno 149 ) . When the kid grows up to go a adult male and desires a married woman, his wants remain unrealized and eventually in his old age he becomes a loveless rummy. The two choruss in the first four stanzas- “ With hey, Ho, the wing and the rain ” and “ For the rain it raineth every twenty-four hours ” conveying out the futility of human life where the air current and the rain ( in other words nature ) display a empyreal and hardhearted indifference to the day-to-day personal businesss of human being. Through this vocal Feste presents a distressing image of a dull and drab life. Most of the characters in Twelfth Night are made to undergo a period of defeat. Orsino is frustrated with his unanswered love for Olivia, Olivia urgently tries to court Cesario, but in vain, Viola is forced to stamp down her love for the Duke, Malvolio finds to his discouragement that that he is fooled into believing that Olivia loves him and Sir Andrew excessively hopelessly loves Olivia. However, maintaining in melody with the gay temper of the drama, Feste discards the pessimistic position of life by saying- “ But that ‘s all one, our drama is done, / And we ‘ll endeavor to delight you mundane ” . Thus, life will go on with its ups and toss off merely as the rain continues to fall every twenty-four hours. However since that is non the drama ‘s concern Feste rings down the drape, signaling the return to the sweetbriers of everyday being.
There has been a batch of argument over whether Shakespeare wrote the wordss of the vocals or whether he simply added the popular vocals of his twenty-four hours because they bore resemblance to the subject or character of the drama or whether the music was composed by noteworthy instrumentalists of the twenty-four hours like Robert Morlay and William Byrd ( Ford 36 ) . However such guesss must be laid aside and the vocals should be enjoyed and viewed by the readers as first-class commentaries to the events that take topographic point in the class of the drama.