The Themes of Deception and Self-Deceit in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

The Themes of Deception and Self-Deceit in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Length: 1067 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Themes of Deception and Self-Deceit in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
Works Cited Missing
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 a man.

The audience sees this as a harmless act of disguise, for the moment,
although deceiving shouldn't hurt people. We also see displays of
deception as well for when Viola walks into Illyria, and meets O...


... middle of paper ...


...ave
her brother in front of her and not recognise him.

"Sebastian was my father.

Such a Sebastian was my brother to." (Act 5 i line 228)

Sebastian shows deception because he makes everyone belive he is
Cesario and doesn't say anything to anyone.

"As I perceive she does, there's something in't, that is deceivable.
But here the lady come" (Act V i )

The effect of this is that everything is resolved and goes back to
normal and they all live happily. The audience see this as the final
closing point to all the stories come to a close, and is the end of
the play.

So to conclude, self-deceit and deception do take park in the play
Twelfth Night a lot, and become main themes. I don't think that the
play would be very good without these themes because they are what
make the play good and hold it together.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analyzing Themes in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- William Shakespeare, an English writer in the seventeenth century. He is considered to be the most influential writer in English literature. He wrote various genres, but the common types he wrote were: Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories. Among the many plays he wrote he wrote one his most famous play, “Twelfth Night”, which he wrote during the middle of his career. “Twelfth Night” is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies that he has written. In addition to it is also the only play that he wrote that has an alternate title which is called, “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”....   [tags: Twelfth Night]

Good Essays
1477 words (4.2 pages)

William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night Essay

- Introductory speeches in many Shakespeare plays can be a foreshadowing of what is to come. In William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth night,” we see a tremendous amount of monolog made by many different characters in many different acts. One monolog, in particular, gives the readers a hint or an impression of what goes on in the play itself. In the very first act in the play twelfth night, Duke Orsino’s introductory monolog uses diction, personification, and metaphor to show themes of desire and deception that are explored through the characters and the play in the larger play....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Love, Twelfth Night]

Good Essays
1499 words (4.3 pages)

Misperception and Deception in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- Misperception and Deception in Twelfth Night                  Twelfth Night is likely one of Shakespeare’s most entertaining and complete comedy. This romance explores a generous wealth of themes and issues. The most recurrent theme is the relationship between misperception and deception. As a result of their environment and immediate circumstances, men are forced into misperceptions. Paradoxically, they are completely trapped by these illusions. Between the bad fortune they encounter and the bad fortune they themselves generate, they become caught between a rock and a hard place; they are victims of deceit as well as their own folly....   [tags: Twelfth Night William Shakespeare]

Good Essays
2156 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

- Feste in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night, it is ironic how many times the fool is said to be dishonest, when, in fact, his role proves entirely opposite. Though sometimes the characters do not realize his hidden messages, the reader can instantly comprehend Feste's figurative language, which is evident in every scene in which the fool appears. Whether he is singing to Orsino, arguing with Malvolio, or playing around with Viola, Feste always manages to sneak in a few symbolic foretokens before his exit....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Essays]

Good Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Essay William Shakespeare 's Twelfth Night

- Twelfth Night is often portrayed with contrasting themes, however, it is arguable that Shakespeare emphasises concealment and flawed characteristics in many of the characters, as a reoccurring theme. In order to entertainingly explore the potentially controversial, oppressing and uncomfortable ideas, such as sexuality or secrecy, Shakespeare delivers them in a comedic approach or concealed manner. In particular, Shakespeare uses trickery to take countless forms in his plays which is often through the humorous accidental encounters of The Comedy of Errors....   [tags: Twelfth Night, Love, Comedy, The Comedy of Errors]

Good Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

How Shakespeare Explores the Theme of Deception and Self-Deception in Twelfth Night

- How Shakespeare Explores the Theme of Deception and Self-Deception in Twelfth Night Deception is the use of deceit that deceives everyone around you including yourself. It is the fact or state of being deceived. It can be a ruse or a trick in disguise, which deludes, giving a sense of indirection. It’s a misleading falsehood. One can deceive by running away from even their true self either physically or mentally. Self-deception on the other hand is the act of deluding oneself by creating illusionary ideas....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
2530 words (7.2 pages)

The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Essay

- 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....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
998 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Deception in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

- Deception in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In William Shakespeare's comedic play, Twelfth Night, a recurring theme is deception. The characters in the play used deception for a variety of purposes. Viola's use of deception involves her disguising herself as a man in order to obtain a job with the Duke of Illyria, Orsino. On the other hand, Maria, Olivia's servant, writes a letter to Malvolio in Olivia's handwriting to make Malvolio act foolishly because of his love for Olivia. While some use deception as a means of survival, others use deception to trick others and make them act foolishly....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Essays]

Good Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

The Use of Deception in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Essay

- The Use of Deception in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night            Deception is a key theme in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The characters must use deception to obtain good things, escape bad situations, or to play cruel hilarious ticks on other people. One example of deception is when Viola clothes herself in men's clothing in order to obtain a job under the Duke of Illyria, Orsino. During another scene Sir Andrew, Fabian, Maria, and Sir Toby Belch trick Malvolio into making a fool of himself....   [tags: William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Essays]

Good Essays
697 words (2 pages)

Essay on Themes of Deception in William Shakespeare's Othello

- Themes of Deception in William Shakespeare's Othello Deception is one of the main themes running through Othello, along with love, pride and society. Indeed, it is deception that provides the fuel for the plot and deception that is leads to the classic downfall of the 'hero' as is common in Shakespeare tragedies. We see Macbeth and Hamlet both succumb to downfall. perhaps the most obvious deception is Iago's deception. The principal method that Iago uses to convince Othello of Desdemona´s infidelity is by using one of Othello´s most treasured possessions and telling Othello that his wife, Desdemona, has given it away to her lover, Cassio....   [tags: Papers]

Good Essays
1755 words (5 pages)