"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive" Examine the themes of deception and self-deceit in Twelfth Night.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive" Examine the themes of deception and self-deceit in Twelfth Night The comical play, Twelfth night, which was written by Shakespeare, is a classic example of seventeenth century humour, wit, deception and self-deceit. In the play we see how twin Viola and Sebastian are separated, and they both think that one another is dead; "My brother, he is in Elysium" (Act I i line 1) but are reunited in disguise, in a land of madness and delirium, called Illyria. This essay will be covering the themes of deception and self-deceit. Self-deceit means when a character is lying to his or herself, and deception means something that is intended to trick someone into believing something that isn't true. Two examples of these are, when Viola dresses up as a man and starts to believe that she really is a man, and when Maria makes everyone believe that Malvolio is really mad and is possessed by the devil. In this act we see a lot of self-deceit, for example, as Viola arrives onshore, she dresses as a man, making herself think that she is a man. This is the first case of self-deceit we see in the play. She dresses as a man to get close to Orsino because he doesn't want to see any women, "I have heard my father name him. He was a bachelor then." (Act 1 ii line28-29) but she starts to belive that she really is
"Discuss some of the ways in which Shakespeare entertains his audience in Twelfth Night"
"Discuss some of the ways in which Shakespeare entertains his audience in Twelfth Night" One of the main themes throughout Twelfth Night is that of confusion and mistaken identity. This is illustrated mainly by Viola as Cesario, confusing all of the characters into thinking that she is a man. The only people that know of her true identity (apart from the sea captain at the very beginning) are the audience. This makes it more enjoyable and entertaining for the audience as they know exactly what is going on and can see the comedy in the plot as it thickens. This links to the other main theme of the play, that of entertainment and comic characters. This is illustrated through Sir Toby Belch; who is quite clever and enjoys playing tricks on people such as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Malvolio who are less intelligent and more unaware of their humorous characteristics. The scene in which Sir Toby and Maria trick Malvolio into thinking that Olivia is in love with him is a good example of a humorous and entertaining scene. "Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I know this letter will make a complete idiot of him" Malvolio, although he is a servant, often looks down on Sir Toby as if he is better than him. "Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?" This is obviously one of the reasons that Sir Toby dislikes Malvolio and enjoys playing tricks on him, but is
Explore how Shakespeare uses Dramatic Irony to Create a Humorous Situation in "Twelfth Night"
Explore how Shakespeare uses Dramatic Irony to Create a Humorous Situation in "Twelfth Night" Dramatic Irony is one of the main techniques that Shakespeare uses to make "Twelfth Night" a comical play of the Elizabethan times. Dramatic Irony is when the audience know something not known by one or some of the characters. The use of dramatic irony creates humour; this makes the play work well, allowing the characters relationship to work better. During the Elizabethan time Sumptuary Laws were around, these laws told the people of the Elizabethan times what colour and type of clothing to wear depending on what class they were off. In Twelfth Night these laws are being broken by Viola and Malvolio, Viola is dressing up as a man and Malvolio is wearing clothes of a higher status. Also during the Elizabethan times women were not permitted to perform on stage so their roles would have been done by young men. This would have worked well during that period as Viola is dressed as a man for most of the play and if a young man played her part the audience would have found it more hysterical. In Twelfth Night there are many themes and one of them is love, this creates humour because the characters don't really know who they are supposedly falling in love with enabling dramatic irony to form. Also love in this play is shown as a joke; this is because the characters are falling in love
Twelfth Night, Scene one act one
. Malvolio describes viola ‘of mankind’ meaning that he is nothing more than an average human being. Malvolia gives Olivia a very negative impression describing him as ‘ill mannerd’ and rude. Malvolio makes it clear that ‘he’ll speak’ with Olivia whether she likes it or not. From Malvolios negative impressions Olivia greets Viola intruged. She asks ‘what personage and years is he?’ showing interest and curiosity. . Viola asks for’the honourable lady of the house’ when Olivia replied ‘I shall answer for her.’ Olivia keeps Viola unaware of who she is. Viola says she has ‘ never sae her’ meaning she has never met Orsinos love before. Viola has only heard of Viola’s beauty and appearance from Orsino. Olivia is wearing a ‘veil’ over her face to disguise her identity. 2. The line ‘ I am not what I play’ would make the audience laugh as they know that Viola is disguised as a man. Viola ignores this message as she is blinded by love. By Viola ignoring this message it again shows how Shakespeare is putting across how love is deceiving and blind. 3. Unpredictable . Viola refers to playing ‘my part’ and that ‘she took great pains to study it and tis poetical’ she is referring to the fact that orsino has written and sent her as a messenger to present his speech to Olivia. Viola was not successful in making Olivia fall in love with
Shakespeare uses language as a tool for disguise in Twelfth Night and King Lear. Discuss
Shakespeare uses language as a tool for disguise in Twelfth Night. In Act 1 Scene 5, when Viola attempts to woo Olivia for Orsino she calls her ‘most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty’. This is the type of language Orsino would use to compliment her beauty. She uses courtly love language which would have been mocked in the Renaissance era as Shakespeare did in Sonnet 130 and Much Ado About Nothing. Although these works were intended to attract both the educated and ordinary folk, this particular aspect related to the more educated of the audience. In this same scene, Viola says ‘No, good swabber’, exaggerating her masculinity by speaking as she thinks a man would speak. This shows she doesn’t think highly of men, and thinks they all speak this harshly. The word ‘swabber’ emphasis this point as it is sailor language, something that Viola thinks is the epitome of manliness. When Shakespeare would have staged this play, the actor playing Viola would have been male as no women were allowed to act. This would create comedy as it would be a man acting as though he didn’t know how to be masculine. In Act 2 Scene 4, Orsino and Viola talk about Viola’s ‘sister’ dying of love and she says ‘I am all the daughters of my father’s house, and all the brothers too’. In this she is admitting the truth and then adding ‘and all the brothers too’ to make is
How does Shakespeare portray the theme of identity in Twelfth Night?
How does Shakespeare portray the theme of identity in Twelfth Night? Twelfth Night is a comedy written by William Shakespeare. It follows certain patterns which are commonly found in Shakespeare’s comedies; it ends in marriage and is based around disguise and false identities. The play starts off with a ship that that was shipwrecked just off the coast of Illyria, and the two main protagonists, Viola and Sebastian are separated and both believe each other to be dead. They both end up in different places and only when, at they end of the play, do they find out that they are both alive. Viola, when she arrives in Illyria just after the shipwreck, believes that the only way to ensure her survival was to get a job at Orsino’s Court, as a man. She took on Sebastian’s identity, only naming herself Cesario. This means that Sebastian’s memory is kept alive and enabled Viola to fill the gap of his ‘dead’ brother. Duke Orsino presents himself as an insecure man who is upset about the fact he has no wife. He, along with Olivia, judges people by their looks and this means no one is good enough for him. He expects, being the Duke of the island, someone will come to him to be his wife instead of the other way round. This shows he is quite snobbish and takes his important position to mean that he is the greatest and the best. Duke Orsino has great love for Olivia. He sends
How does Shakespeare make the exposition of Twelfth Night highly dramatic?
“If music is the food of love, play on”, remarks Orsino which heralds the beginning of an extremely dramatic and philosophical scene. The Duke’s opening words showcase his longing, pining, and desiring for Olivia’s love. The fact that Orsino is immersed in the world of love with Olivia, even after her constant rejection showcases his eccentricity about Orsino’s love, which might be with the idea of love and not for the lady. Matters of love, desire, emotions, rejections also evolve from the scene, giving the audience a framework of the events that follow making the play extremely dramatic. Shakespeare makes the use of positive archaic diction and gory imagery, characterisation, interactions of character, the theme of love and exaggeration. Shakespeare uses positive diction juxtaposed with gory imagery to portray the attributes of Orsino’s love for Olivia. Orsino can be seen wresting in love, “sweet sound”, calling music extremely melodious and divine. This shows how deep in love Orsino is where even music is very soothing, and every sound seems like silk against the skin. A Duke having a dukedom to take care of is not capable of spending his precious time, on expressing his love. This portrays irony between an actual Duke and the one portrayed here. This makes the exposition highly dramatic as the difference between reality and imagination can be perceived by
Twelfth Night Subject: Describe all the problems encountered by Viola through being disguised. How does Shakespeare create dramatic fun and games through disguise? Jun Minohara Goode 'Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness', Viola breathes futile sighs, without knowing what to do. It is an irony: To solve a problem, she disguised as a eunuch = a man, yet she found herself in a middle of problems. When she drifts to a foreign land, Illyria, after meeting shipwreck, she decides to disguise herself as a man. Being a man, she thinks she can avoid most of problems. Conceal me what I am, and be my aid For such disguise as haply shall become The form of my intent. (Act one Scene 2 line 52) However, hiding her identity, the gender creates a sequence of problems. The problems have become tangled each other, weaving an elaborate story. The story is full of contradictions, duplicated hidden meanings, ironies and paradoxes, which make rich layers of the story of the Twelfth Nights. The main problem for Viola through being disguised is a love triangle, from which a sequence of problems is derived. Olivia, falls in love with Viola-Cesario, without knowing she is a woman. Viola-Cesario secretly adores Orsino, Duke of Illyria. Orsino is obsessed with Olivia. However, we don't know if Orsino really loves Olivia or if he just exaggerates his love, because we don't see them
Choose an exert from the play and comment on: a) How it is made dramatically powerful b) How it contributes to your wider understanding of the play Act II, Scene v is one of the main scenes in the play and is the scene where Malvolio is set up by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Sir Fabian and Maria. They place a letter for him to read pretending to be Maria. Malvolio instantly falls for this and does all of the ridiculous things in the letter such as wearing cross gartered yellow stockings. This scene has the main characters of the group; Maria, Fabian and Sir Toby while Sir Andrew is silenced at every comment he makes this builds up the personalities and helps with the powerfulness of the scene. This scene is dramatically powerful for many reasons, one of them is comedy, which is very clear in this scene, as when Malvolio is talking to himself, this is funny to the audience not only as he is talking to himself but the role-play he does and the status he gives himself married to Olivia "having been three months married to her, sitting in my state..." and as the hero he talks about " Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet gown, having come from a day-bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping...". When he is reading the letter from (he thinks) Olivia. This shows Malvolio as a daft and ridiculous character both for the fact that he fell for the letter and the way he reacts.
How does Shakespeare use deception to present the character of Malvolio and to create humour in Twelfth Night? In Twelfth Night William Shakespeare uses many forms of deception on Malvolio and the other characters for humour purposes. The deception devices used are mistaken identity, cross dressing, disguise, forged handwriting, self deception, word play and dramatic irony. Malvolio's character is deceived by forged handwriting, disguise, word play and self deception. The devices used to create humour in this play are word play which is used to confuse characters is, mistaken identity (this uses dramatic irony to also entertain the audience as they know that for example Viola is a girl yet Olivia thinks otherwise). Cross dressing is humorous also as it seems unnatural to see a girl dressed and trying to speak more like a man, however in Shakespeare's era there were only males actors. . Forged handwriting is also humorous because it's tricking the recipient into thinking that it is true, yet as the audience very well know it is not, this is also dramatic irony much like the mistaken identity is. Self deception to some is funny as it plays on the dramatic irony idea, as the character self deceiving themself is not aware they are doing so unlike the audience who do know about it. Malvolio is a character that tends to be picked on by Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Feste and Maria. Sir