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Describe the different forms of disguise and deception that feature in the Twelfth Night

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Introduction

Describe the different forms of disguise and deception that feature in the Twelfth Night. Disguise and deception play significant roles in Shakespeare's romantic comedy Twelfth Night. Shakespeare places emphasis on these somewhat "wickedness" (A2 S2 L26) traits to somehow create a traditional romantic comedy; where despite the negative ideas of disguise and deceit play a prominent role, love blossoms and a happy ending prevails. The tireless use of these ideas in different forms and guises, which endure throughout the whole play highlights the themes of love, madness and appearance versus reality; where disguise and deceit both take credit for possessing a major responsibility in providing twists, turns and humor in the main and sub-plots. Orsino is the first character introduced to the play. He is the Duke of Illyria and therefore the most powerful character implemented into Shakespeare's play. Upon his arrival to the story, he immediately disguises his ignorance of love by speaking in poetics form to deceive the audience and the characters around him. "If music be the food of love, play on" (A1 S1 L1) is promptly contrasted in line 7 "Enough, no more; 'Tis not so sweet as it was before". This contradiction implicates his ignorance of what love is really about. His vocabulary and figurative language, both influenced by poetic speech does well to fool everyone that he is not what he seems. People would see Orsino as a likeable character that carries the aura that he can achieve anything; he is a self-absorbed man who thinks very highly of himself. ...read more.

Middle

Viola is like Feste in the sense that they both play on words; both doing so as a way of showing that there is more to them than what meets the eye. She almost cries out to Orsino by telling giving hints as to her true identity, "I am all the daughters of my father's house,: And all the brothers too" (A2 S5 L121), often speaking in riddle. She also has an encounter with Feste where she counters his play on words that he may know her identity by saying, "I am sick for once, [Aside] thought I would not have it grow on my chin" (A3 S1 L47). In countering in a war of wits, she riddles to Feste that she is in fact a woman. Viola's brother Sebastian also manages to have a role in the deceit over his short period of time in the play. His only relationship that occurs throughout the play is with Antonio, the man who saved his life. There are suggestions that Antonio has repressed homosexual feelings for Sebastian that he disguises by pretending to only be his close friend, "If you will not murder me for your love, let me be your servant" (A2 S1 L34). Sebastian himself lives part of the play in deceit by pretending to know what is going on when he enters the plot when he has no idea. He asks "Are all the people mad?" (A4 S1 L26). Nevertheless, even though he believes everyone to be mad, he plays along with Olivia who believes he is Cesario, and living in this dream, Sabastian marries her. ...read more.

Conclusion

He acts as if the real life situation is like a play, and in essence makes it all a play within a play. The characters share dialogue that expresses what they are trying to say but also has a double meaning, which tells the audience that the play is not real life and is essentially just a play. "You are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain and show you the picture" (A1 S5 L235). This is an example of subtly letting the audience realize that they should not be fully wrapped up in the play as it is just a play. This idea coincides with what Olivia is saying in the context of the play as she is letting Viola see her face. The play contains a number of little subtexts to regularly remind the audience that the play is fictional. All these subtexts are disguised within the context in which the character is talking about. There is obviously an inextricable link between both the ideas of deceit and disguise, as when one of the ideas is created, the other promptly follows; as is seen in throughout the play. Twelfth Night is situated in the genre of "romantic comedy", and both of which have been built upon from the foundations disguise and deceit have created. The two roles define what the play is all about; because of the "wickedness" (A2 S2 L26) behind disguise and deceit, the outcome is both the themes of romance and comedy, which is what the play effectively revolves around. Shakespeare uses both ideas as the foundation to create the whole of the story, emphasizing both the drama and comedy involved. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ryan Prado 12t2 ...read more.

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