Use of Disguise in Twelfth Night Essay

Use of Disguise in Twelfth Night Essay

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Twelfth Night, "there's something in it that is deceivable". Disguise is very important as a theme in the Twelfth Night.  In fact, disguise is a crucial plot to the play.  It is the thread which runs through the play from start to end and holds it all together.  Yet, paradoxically along the way there are many problems, deceptions and illusions, providing a comment on human behavior and creating comedy.

Women's parts were played by boy actors in Shakespeare's day, so the audience would have found special sophistication in Viola's part:  a boy dressing up as a woman who, in the play disguises herself as a man.

The first example of disguise in the Twelve Night is viola's disguise as Cesario.  It is in fact central to the plot.  I think it is clearly evident that the fluctuation in attitude to the dual role and the situations and tribulations imposed upon the character Viola/Cesario, ends up creating a better understanding of both sexes and thus, allows Viola to have a better understanding of Orsino.  Viola learns that in role of Cesario, she had to be quick on her feet and defend the probing questi...


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...sguise feature in the play.  Emotions and intentions are disguised behind an outer appearance, a pretence or an attitude.  Disguise connects the story, the characters and the different scenes in the play.  Without it the Twelfth Night would not be what it is and I doubt whether it would delight audiences around the world time and time again as it does now.

"Nothing that is so, is so"

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Arden Edition of the Works of William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night. Ed. J. M. Lothian and T.W. Craik. UK: Methuen & Co., 1975.

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