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Essay/Term paper: Dont judge a book by it's cover:a twelfth night comparrison of feste and sir andrew

Essay, term paper, research paper:  English Composition

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Don"t Judge A Book By It"s 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? "He"s as tall a man as any"s 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 Toby"s is that he is a natural fool. In

a scene, Feste first says, "Beshrew me, knight"s 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 doesn"t 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 1600"s, he was

brought up to do just the opposite. Sad, but true. 

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