Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is a romantic comedy, and romantic love is the play's main focus. In this play, Shakespeare shows how much pain love can cause. Characters such as Viola, Olivia, Orsino and Malvolio as well as others are all in love with each other forming a bizarre love connection. In the play, most of the lovers obtain the love they desire except for Malvolio. Malvolio is a steward of Olivia, and is one of the most complex and fascinating characters in Twelfth Night. Malvolio is a very competent servant, but has many shortcomings to his character. He is over protective of Olivia; he is shrewd and enjoys spoiling the fun of others like Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. His imprudence sets him up for torture and ridicule later on in the play. Malvolio has tremendous ambitions to rise out of his social class, and Maria plays on these ambitions to teach Malvolio a lesson about being shrewd. Maria forges a letter from Olivia that leads Malvolio to believe that Olivia is in love with him. At the close of the play Malvolio is finally made aware of this prank, and he is angered by the fact that he receives no apologies. He utters, "I"ll be revenged on the whole pack of you" (V, 1374). Malvolio, however, never returns to the play to carry out his threat of revenge. I think this is a major shortcoming to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Maria, Feste and Sir Toby torture Malvolio by incarcerating him in a dark room and trying to convince him that he is insane. Malvolio seems more like a victim than a victimizer. Malvolio is the only one in the story, in my opinion, to suffer, and I would like to see him seek revenge on the other characters for his suffering. My version of the play would include a sharp twist of the plot from a comic love story to a dark brutal tragedy of revenge.
If I were directing the play I would have Malvolio say, "I will stab my tormentors to death and play in their blood.