• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...


. The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare The Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most delightful comedies. It lets us laugh and appreciate the foolishness of everyday human beings and teaches us that the obvious fools are indeed not the fools but the wise ones. To never take anything for granted and to always keep hope that things will work out in the end. Shakespeare takes his exaggeration to the limit, aiming for ludicrous rather than ridiculous. His talent is well displayed when he turns people's much misfortune into this absurdly hilarious comedy. Two major themes in Twelfth Night are disguise and deception. These means of disguise and deception are illustrated by Viola, who when thought she lost her brother to the boisterous sea, feared for her future on the unfamiliar country of Illyria. Through her worry, her prompt mind went t+o work of a plan that would save her from the suspected dangers of being discovered. Accordingly she disguised herself as her brother deciding that it would be safer and easier to become a Duke Orsino's servant for men than women. Viola's father spoke of Orsino's same years before, mentioning "He was a bachelor then. So with that information in mind, she sets out as a man named Cesario. ...read more.


It surprised them to see such a change in attitude but they do not have any suspicion that it is not Cesario but Sebastian. The audience would be laughing at Sebastian's confusion at this point. Olivia enters the scene just as Sir Toby draws his sword. She immediately rushed to protect Sebastian whom she thinks is Cesario. When the three men have exited the scene, Olivia yet again declares her love for Cesario to Sebastian, who is now even more confused. She asks him if he will "be rul'd by me!" He accepts through all the confusion, seeing she was beautiful and somehow already loved him. Sebastian was not going to tell Olivia the truth that she did not know him because everything was working out well for him and that brings around the theme of deception. Duke Orsino deceived himself by thinking that he was in love with Lady Olivia when in reality he was in love with the idea of being in love. He made himself believe that he had a chance with Lady Olivia and that when she found out how much he loved her then she would love him back. Duke Orsino's love to Lady Olivia was unrequited much like Malvolio. Malvolio was a stewardess of Olivia's household. ...read more.


Orsino deceives himself when he is convinced that he is in love with Olivia. He is in love with love. Malvolio deceives himself when he thinks that he worthy of Olivia's love. He lets himself be made a mockery of this. Malvolio was deceiving Lady Olivia for a while because all the while that he served her, he just wanted to be made important. I enormously enjoyed Act 2 Scene 3 in which Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste and Maria were singing and joking around. The scene lightens up the seriousness of the play and makes you laugh at how unlike nobles Sir Toby and Sir Andrew actually are. This play made me think about how simple love can really be, whether it is love for your siblings or real love to someone. There could be many complications in your circumstances but as long as there is that love then everything can be made simple. The last scene was a particular triumph because everything was closed up, all the complications straightened out and everybody was left happy-except from Malvolio. I have seen the play live and I found it extremely humorous. It was very remarkable to watch and I tremendously enjoyed it. There is a single quote to sum up this play and that is: "Nothing that is so, is so" Samantha Johnson 3N1 Mrs Plenderleith English ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Twelfth Night section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Twelfth Night essays

  1. Examine the Levels of Deception in Twelfth Night Twelfth Night is a play ...

    His belief of Olivia's love for him, even before he has the letter leaves him vulnerable to be deceived by Maria's letter, as he does not find it surprising that Olivia would be in love with him. Orsino also suffers from self-deception.

  2. Discuss the theme of appearance and reality in Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'.

    Fests even takes on his employer and this is what we will be looking at. The incident that we will be looking at is right in the beginning of the play when he challenges Olivia in the courtyard of her own household.

  1. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare creates comedy for the audience in Act 3 ...

    low rank, and also because the bawdy play on words creates comedy on a basic level. It is obvious to the audience that Olivia does not intend her words to be read in this way, as being a beautiful young lady she would never consider him, and, furthermore, she is in the process of pursuing Cesario's love.

  2. Examine the Levels of Deception in Twelfth Night

    is but patched: virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that amends is but patched with virtue." This is not the type of comment that a foolish person would be expected to make; and so we see clearly that the title 'fool' is only a front, and that Feste's true character is very different.

  1. What Types of love does Shakespeare explore in Twelfth Night?

    every time Cesario tries to leave she tells him to come back the next day. This is pure physical attraction. She even sends Malvolio after him with a ring to make sure he returns: 'Run after that same peevish messenger, The county's man.

  2. Malvolio's Identity In the play Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

    This gives place to very humorous dilemmas. For example when Olivia tells him to "Go to bed" (III, iv, 30) he interprets this as if she wanted to sleep with him. This also triggers his need and desire for social climbing, because he misinterprets when Olivia: term of "fellow" (III, iv, 60)

  1. how Shakespeare uses disguise to suit his comic purpose

    We see this when Maria is speaking about Malvolio to Olivia " He is sure possessed, Madam" This is because they did not have the knowledge or technology to know what was wrong with people so they would just say they were possessed when in fact they actually had a mental illness.

  2. An exploration of the contribution of disguise and deceit to the humour of 'Twelfth ...

    Ay sweetheart and I'll come to thee' Maria also compares Malvolio's smiling face to a map of the west Indies, which stresses Malvolio's foolishness for carrying out the instructions of the letter so enthusiastically: 'he does obey every point of the letter that I dropped to betray him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work