How does Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ Compare to Uriah Heep in Charles Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’?
The character Malvolio is depicted in William Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth night’ play which was written in the 16th century and was first performed in 1603. Life was incredibly hard for common people in Elizabethan times as there was a new church and many Catholic’s were persecuted. The character Uriah Heep is depicted in the Charles Dickens novel ‘David Copperfield’ which was written in the 19th century and was published in 1850. Life in the 18th century was harsh and cruel, poverty and disease were rife and the population was increasing rapidly. Both Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare were prolific writers whose
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Both Uriah Heep and Malvolio are egotistical characters who wish to improve their social status by marrying into a higher class. Agnes Wickfield for Uriah and Countess Olivia for Malvolio. They are so unhappy with their station that they will do anything to rise to a position where they have more power to control those around them. This can be shown when Malvolio refers to himself as “Count Malvolio”. Clearly this ambition seems possible to Malvolio as he also seems to be pretentious enough to envisage himself as Olivia’s husband. Malvolio wishes to become a Count so that he can control everyone including Sir Toby Belch indicated by the following quote in the play “Cousin Toby…..you must amend your drunkenness”. A further quote “Toby approaches; curtsies there to me” is a further submission of his dream. Uriah Heep is an insincere moneylender who professes to be "ever so humble" and he seems to be an obsequious clerk and nothing more. This is until later on in the novel when he expresses his desire for Agnes Wickfield which can be shown by the following quote “Agnes Wickfield is I am safe to say is the divinest of her sex” this desire is further confirmed by the quote “I’ve an ambition to make your Agnes, my Agnes”. His compliant façade has been covering his greedy and ambitious nature which has now been exposed to Mr Wickfield and David Copperfield by the previous quote.
Even though both of these