[MUSIC] As our faculty panel has just discussed, the Twelfth Night offers the satisfactions of comedic resolution. The place ending also leaves people out. Such a conclusion is not unique to Twelfth Night. In fact, most of Shakespeare's comedies end with important issues unresolved. In this lecture, I want to take an opportunity to make an additional point about how Shakespeare embeds within his play an awareness of the limits of comedy. Twelfth Night's Humor is driven by an awareness of the instability of human psychology. As Shakespeare explores the more extreme manifestations of desire, self absorption, pride, and the like. He also emphasizes the ways in which such aspects of the human psyche can lead to aggression and violence. In Shakespearean comedy, tragedy is never very far away. A brief moment in Twelfth Night's concluding scene provides a good example. The specific moment I have in mind is when Orsino voices his suspicion that Olivia has fallen in love with his attractive servant, Cesario. Orsino becomes more or less unhinged in the course of his bitter complaints at Olivia's unresponsiveness. The speech ends with Orsino threatening to kill Cesario just to spite her. Here is Orsino working himself up into a frenzy of, as he puts it, savage jealousy. Since you to nonregardance cast my faith, and that I partly know the instrument that screws me from my true place in your favor. Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still. But this your minion, whom I know you love, and whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly. Him will I tear out of that cruel eye where he sits crowded in his master spite. Come, boy, with me. My thoughts are ripe in mischief. I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love to spite a raven's heart within a dove. In the course of this speech Orsino's jealousy turns into murderous hate. He feels insulted, deprived of the respect and favor that he feels he deserves. By the end of this passage, Orsino sounds like a tragic protagonist, more like Macbeth or Othello than like a character in a comedy. Cesario's response that he will gladly submit to such a sacrifice. And I, most jocund, apt, and willing, to do you rest, 1000 deaths would die. Indicates how Viola's love has pushed her to a place of profound vulnerability, embracing the risks to her life just to satisfy Orsino's desires. Because Orsino's threats and Cesario's response are so over the top, the scene can be played for humor. In the Globe Theater's Globe on Screen production of the play, immediately after Cesario's speech, everyone on stage does a double-take. And Liam Brennan, the actor who plays Orsino, adds a puzzled, what? The added question and the cast reaction masterfully create a big laugh. I suspect that more frequently, as I've seen it done, the threat of murder is cut out all together. The fact that directors and actors feel a need to add to or trim Shakespeare's text, speak to the moment's strangeness. I believe the exchange shows Shakespeare's commitment to exploring the grimmer aspects of human psychology and human behavior. Orsino's threats and Cesario's response literalize the violence embedded in how the play's characters frequently talk about love. Twelfth Night's various plots have all involved the irrationality of desire, have each amplified the chaos and madness of love as the play progresses. We can see Shakespeare here pushing the comic play of love to its furthest limit, to the place where comedy almost edges over into tragedy. Shakespeare takes the carnivalesque energy, the complexity and social disruption associated with desire about as far as he can without turning Twelfth Night into a very different kind of play. Orsino's threats or soon forgotten with the arrival of Sebastian and all of the revelations that follow. But as emphasized in our faculty roundtable, not every conflict is so easily resolved. The plot centered on Malvolio does not find a happy conclusion. When Malvolio returns to the stage, he accuses Olivia of having wronged him by, as he thinks, soliciting his affection, then having him imprisoned. The character Fabian tries to defuse the situation by characterizing Malvolio's mistreatment as just a practical joke. Fabian hopes that the episode, quote, may rather pluck on laughter than revenge if that the injuries be justly weighed that on both sides passed, unquote. It was all just a joke, Malvolio started it. Can't we just share a laugh and move on? Fabian seems to be aware that Malvolio has reason to seek revenge. His attempts to prevent such a response fail. Malvolio refuses to see the humor in his treatment, refuses to be reconciled, and refuses to join in on the happy celebrations going on around him. In generic terms, Malvolio refuses to acknowledge that the play is a comedy. To help us think further about Malvolio's disruptive presence at the end of the play, let's hear further from Gareth Sacks and Randy Eckert about their views on Twelfth Night's conclusion.