Disguise Theme in three Plays : Il Volpone, The Second Shepherds Play and The Merchant Of Venice It was the 16 century when the idea of disguise started to be used in many plays.. It is used as an escape from the characters personalities and sometimes for comic effect. The disguise becomes very comical as in the time it was written only men could act on stage. This could lead to much confusion and comedy in the roles of those in disguise. Disguise can give the freedom to a character to act how they like and a chance for them to show their views.. Number of lays were written and with the disguise parts it became an increased sense of self consciousness and identity. This led to people creating an image for themselves. If one can create a self, they can create many different versions of themselves each showing a different aspect of that person. One of the writers of this kinds of plays is Shakespeare. Shakespeare uses similar comic elements to effect similar outcomes in this works. Many of his plays utilize trickery and disguise to accomplish similar endings.
Trickery plays a major role in The Merchant of Venice and drives most of the action, while mistaken identity, specifically Portia’s disguise as the “learned attorney’s” representative, plays a major role in the resolution of the play. A comic talk between Portia ans Nerrisa about their going to the trial to Venice disguised like a man about how they are going to trick everyone. Portia mocks the male behavior and exagerated their flaws . She especially makes fun of the young men and their immatureness and tells how she will imitate that behaviour disguised like a man.
Another example of play with disguised character is Ben Jonson`s Volpone. Volpone himself is perhaps the most corrupt character in the play, but his almost mischievous outlook on life is depraved corruption. His vitality is obvious and disturbingly attractive to the audience especially when he disguise himself as a mountbank. When he enters in the guise of Scoto of Mantua a well-known mountebank. He clears the name of Scoto and advertises his oil as an elixir. After pretending to offer his elixir at a discount he asks for a hankerchief as a favour from a member of the audience.
The loving Celia watching from above, tosses her hankerchief and her husband misinterpretes this. Volpones atempth to trick everyone through his demandings gives us a picture of a man. who doesn`t know where his villany is going to lead him. Earlier than the 16 century shows up a play by a misterious writer which called up a big number of audiences. Play that originated in the heart of Bithleem called The Second Shepherds play . This play is accepted as The satanic’ comedy of discord of the Cycle centered on a devil-substitute, MAK.
MAK ‘disguises’ himself as a stranger. This action, like his language is histrionically crudely duplicitous, not attempting plausible motive or likelihood. It is there to remind us of Satan’s. ‘guilefulness’ and why Christ has to be born. So he ‘casts a spell’ with a parody of Christ’s words on the Cross . His ‘villainy’ is extremely naive and elementary because it does not have to convince, or to plausibly ‘advance the plot’- only, as an emblem, to ‘stand in for’ the diabolic presence.
These Three plays provide enormous number of audience which contemplates that Throughout the centuries and up They have the same elements, a lord disguised as a poor man, a girl disguised as a boy, there are comedy routines, including a comic sword fight, drinking, merrymaking and misbehavior, the pompous are satirized, the plot turns on identity confusion (Who is ANtonio? Gill ? Portia? Which lady is Mak wooing? Who was kissing Celia)…… and on untill there is a turning point and and elaborate end which will make the audience worship them all..