Examine the Levels of Deception in The Twelfth Night
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Examine the Levels of Deception in The Twelfth Night Twelfth Night" is a play based on deceptions, both purposeful and accidental, which I think, Shakespeare uses to convey his ideas of certain aspects of human nature, that he does not particularly like, by presenting it in this humorous lattice of confusion and chaos. The social messages in Twelfth Night are largely about, the need for a balance in life, that you should not judge on appearance as they can be deceptive. Shakespeare makes it clear that deception, when used for entertainment, can be very destructive but also very amusing for the spectators.
I think that by placing the heroine in this situation Shakespeare is using Viola as a means for examining female capabilities and instincts. The shipwreck has left her in an unprecedented, indeterminate state: she has no one to connect with at all. Lacking anyone to provide for her, she is forced to take measures to protect herself so that the understood reason for her deception is to insure herself against immediate danger but also to retain her prospects and status for the kind of future that she would like to have.
Night is at some point under an illusion: Orsino that he is in love with Olivia; Olivia that she is married to the memory of her late brother; Viola that her brother is dead; Sebastian that Viola has perished; Malvolio that Olivia is in love with him; Sir Andrew that Olivia is in love with him; Antonio that Viola-Cesario is Sebastian; Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Maria and Feste that Sebastian is Viola-Cesario, and so on. These illusions succeed not because they are skilfully and convincingly maintained, but because the people who apprehend them are all too easily taken in by fictions. Not only are people deceived by outward appearances, but also, and much more significantly, they are often self deceived. Shimlu Miah
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