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

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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. It is a misconception that is favourable
to the person who holds it. On the whole, self-deception basically is
when a character is lying to his or herself. William Shakespeare shows
us these two different types of deception in Twelfth Night. In the
play not only does deception act as a quality shown in the play. It is
also one of the themes in Twelfth Night that the play revolves around
as Shakespeare makes it out to be by presenting the character of
‘Caesario’.

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare presents the obvious deception of the
play that is Viola. Viola’s role in the play is purely based on the
ideas of disguise and deception. She initially deceives everyone by
disguising herself as a man, ‘Cesario’, in order to serve Orsino. We
can see this from the quote, “For such disguise as haply shall become:
The form of my intent”. From this quote, we can see that Viola becomes
the form of her intent which is a man, in order to work for Orsino and
in doing so she deceives her ownself. She also deceives everyone else
in the play, with the exception of Feste, and as a result causes
confusion among and between the characters and mayhem in the...


... middle of paper ...


...e play. Instead Feste takes
part of the humor only with revenge on his mind and not to provide
humor, and relies only on quick plays on words to supply humor. This
could be Feste disguising that he is not comfortable with his role in
life as playing the role of the fool. This disguise can be taken as a
self-deception on Feste’s part.

Shakespeare explores the theme of deception and self-deception in
Twelfth Night by creating its characters to use deception in disguise
to create comedy in the play, which is one of the major themes of the
play, Twelfth Night. The characters go to the extremes of deception by
deceiving everyone and even deceiving their own selves just to get
what they want which is the love that they desire. From this we can
even sometimes associate deception with their madness to get what they
want.

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