Deception in “Twelfth Night”

In William Shakespeare’s comedic drama. “Twelfth Night” . a repeating subject is misrepresentation. The characters in the drama used misrepresentation for a assortment of intents. Viola’s usage of misrepresentation involves her masking herself as a adult male in order to obtain a occupation with the Duke of Illyria. Orsino. On the other manus. Maria. Olivia’s retainer. writes a missive to Malvolio in Olivia’s handwriting to do Malvolio move unwisely because of his love for Olivia. While some use misrepresentation as a agency of endurance. others use misrepresentation to flim-flam others and do them move unwisely.

The first illustration of misrepresentation in this drama was when Viola decides to mask herself as a adult male. Viola hardly escapes a shipwreck along with her twin brother Sebastian. Separated in this awful catastrophe each twin believes the other has died in the wreck. The captain of the shipwrecked vas advises Viola to travel and happen a occupation with the Duke Orsino since she has no household or manner to back up herself. Viola must mask herself as a adult male in order to acquire a occupation and survive. “For such camouflage as haply shall go / The signifier of my purpose. I’ll serve this duke. / Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him. / It may be deserving thy strivings. for I can sing. / And speak to him in many kinds of music / That will let me really worth his service” ( 1. 2 lines 50-55 ) . Viola. under the name Cesario. receives the occupation with Orsino at his house.

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Viola as Cesario becomes a courier for Orsino. Viola carries love letters to Orsino’s love Olivia who wouldn’t accept the letters until Viola brought them to her. Viola subsequently realizes that Olivia is in love with her as Cesario and besides that she herself is in love with Orsino and that Orsino is still in love with Olivia. At a loss within the state of affairs. Viola doesn’t know what to make about the muss she has created. She feels commiseration for Olivia and herself with the statement “Poor lady. she were better love a dream” ( 2. 2. 25 ) ! Viola’s usage of misrepresentation causes a cross gender love trigon with which she can non cover.

Another illustration of misrepresentation is when Maria. Olivia’s servant writes a missive to Malvolio. Olivia’s caput retainer and Maria’s coworker. Maria deceives Malvolio by composing in Olivia’s script. In the missive she says that Olivia loves work forces in xanthous stockings. “Remember who commended thy xanthous stockings. and wished to see thee of all time cross-gartered” ( 2. 5. 143-145 ) . Maria knows that Malvolio will follow this pathetic title because of this love for his lady Olivia. Sir Toby Belch says. “He shall believe by the letters that thou wilt bead that they come from my niece. and that she’s in love with him” ( 2. 3. 154-156 ) . Maria places the missive in her garden where Malvolio will decidedly happen it. Thinking Olivia will fall in love with him because of his vesture. Malvolio frock up in xanthous stockings and goes to see Olivia. When Olivia sees Malvolio and the manner he is moving. she isolates him for fright that he is insane.

Shakespeare’s usage of cross dressing and craftiness extends beyond the existent Hagiographas in the dramas and goes onto the phase. Womans were non allowed to execute on phase in Shakespeare’s clip. “…all the great women’s functions in Elizabethan and Jacobean dramas. from Juliet and Lady Macbeth to the duchess of Malfi. were written to be performed by trained stripling boys” ( Norton 1043 ) . These adolescent male childs were really convincing adult females on phase. perchance because of their smaller physique and higher-pitched tone of voice.

The function of Viola in Twelfth Night was peculiarly hard. “The comedy depends upon an actor’s ability to transform himself. through costume. voice and gesture. into a immature Lady. Viola. who transforms herself. through costume. voice and gesture. into a immature adult male. Cesario” ( Norton 1043 ) . Shakespeare used misrepresentation throughout this authorship and some others but besides in world through the public presentations of the dramas. Even from the beginning of clip with Adam. Eve and the snake. misrepresentation has been used. Everyone has tried to lead on person in their life-time whether it be through a Halloween costume or to do yourself look better. Misrepresentation is used for a assortment of grounds today merely every bit in the drama. Some people are forced to utilize misrepresentation as a necessity while others find wit and amusement in it. Whatever the motivation. misrepresentation will go on to be a repeating them in all world ; one with which we can all place.

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Deception in “Twelfth Night”. (2016, Nov 15). Retrieved from