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Extracts from Shakespeare's Animated Tales featuring 'Twelfth Night' Act 2. Malvolio finds a letter planted by Olivia's maid Maria and believes it is a love letter from his mistress.

Classroom Ideas

Shakespeare frequently uses letters as a dramatic device in his plays. Students could be asked to consider the dramatic purpose of the letter in this section of the play. What does the device reveal about Malvolio's character? Students could divide a page into two halves, considering on each side Malvolio's positive and negative traits, using quotes to support their points. Finally students should consider how far Malvolio is an unfortunate victim, or the mastermind of his own downfall. Do students think that we as the audience are implicated in the 'bear-baiting' in any way? Finally, can students comment on what the use of the letter as a dramatic device, allows Shakespeare to show us?

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