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Describe the different forms of disguise and deception that feature in Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'.

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  • Essay length: 1235 words
  • Submitted: 23/02/2004
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AS and A Level Twelfth Night

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Describe the different forms of disguise and deception that feature in Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'.

For this essay I shall try and describe the different forms of disguise and deception which appear in 'Twelfth Night'. The elements of both disguise and deception are both very important to the play, they bring confusion between the characters which add to the comical tones of the play.

The main thought that we, the reader think of would be Viola's physical disguise as a male 'Cesario' which is one of the central plots that contribute to the comedy of the play. The thought of a male dressing up as a female (and vice versa) is increadibly funny to us today. This would work especially well on a stage, where the full impact of seeing someone trying to accumulate the characteristics of the opposite gender would hit the audience. Yet, because in Shakespeare's day, the female parts were played by boy actors, the original Elizabethan audience would have found a special sophistication in the part of Viola - which would have been a boy, dressing up as a woman, who in the play dresses up as a man. As confusing as it

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