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Examine the Levels of Deception in The Twelfth Night

  • Essay length: 438 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level 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.

Probably the most obvious purposeful deception in the play is the character of Cesario, who is not at all what "he" seems. In fact Cesario is actually Viola who disguises herself as a man for most of the play not only to protect herself, but also in order to preserve her state of free will. 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

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