Dont Judge A Book By Its Cover
Looks can be deceiving, and in the case of Sir Andrew and Feste the fool, the
statement certainly applies. Looking at the personalities of these two characters
throughout Twelfth Night, no one will see that each character is the exact opposite of each
other. Their comparison is their contrast. The first, Sir Andrew, is of foolish wit, who
looks that part he is supposed to play on the outside. He looks sophisticated and very
intelligent. Yet when actually speaking with this character, the opposite applies and he
really is just a fool. And Feste, the other character, looks the part of a fool and is used for
mere entertainment. Yet on the inside, he exhibits the mind of an intelligent person, maybe
even a scholar. These two characters compare in their extreme differences.
A fool must look the part as well as play the part. But does Feste do this? He does
this quite well actually. But then how can one call him witty and intelligent? It is basically
because he only plays the part of a fool. The key word is plays. He is not really a fool.
He states I wear not motley in my brain.(pp.28). This quote reinforces that he only
wears the clothes of a fool on the outside, but his over brimming amount of intelligence
shows he is a real person, with thoughts, ideas and comments to be made. Only being a
fool may restrict him from doing such. Throughout the play, Feste acts as witty as a
mischief-maker. He does get to use his wit, just not in an ideal fashion. Unlike Sir Andrew,
he does not brag about qualities he does not posses. Feste has many talents that do not go
unnoticed. He may be considered the most intelligent person in the whole cast of
Sir Andrew Aguecheek is a lover of life and a pure fool. He looks the part of a
noble man, and tries to play the part as well. Even his title, Sir, refers to a knight. But
what is he really like? Hes as tall a man as anys in Illyria (pp.14), according to Sir
Toby Belch. Toby is very mistaken though, since Andrew is no more than a foolish drunk.
The only thing that separates his personality from Sir Tobys is that he is a natural fool. In
a scene, Feste first says, Beshrew me, knights in admirable fooling:, and Andrew replies,
Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so do I, too. He does it with better grace,
but I do it more natural. (pp.58). Andrew himself is stating that he is a fool by nature.
Clearly he looks the part of a refined gentleman. He says he speaks another language but
when spoken to in that language, he doesnt understand it. And this shows to be more
proof that Andrew is a fool hidden behind a mask of a noble person.
A fine comparison was made between these two crucial characters. A fool who is
smart, and a nobleman who is a fool. Shakespeare really is brilliant, since he though up
such an elaborate story that says looks can be deceiving. And that statement sticks out
plain as day. The next clown on the street that you see could be the smartest person to
ever walk the Earth, and the same goes with the next smart looking teacher you see. On
the other hand he/she could be a genuine idiot. So as a final proposition, Shakespeare asks
us to not judge a person by their outer wear and their fake public behavior. The only
contradiction with this statement is that since Shakespeare lived in the 1600s, he was
brought up to do just the opposite. Sad, but true.