Concealment and Disguise in Twelfth Night

Length: 6 Pages 1596 Words

English Coursework - Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ Concealment and disguise are the driving forces behind the dark comedy that is ‘Twelfth Night’. The character Viola decides to adopt the disguise of a man, which has serious consequences for herself and others around her. The play was written during the Elizabethan period, a time when male actors played female parts in plays. When ‘Twelfth Night’ would have originally been presented, a male actor would have played the part of Viola and Cesario. This would have added an interesting and somewhat confusing layer to the play, but allowed comic situations to develop. The main comic parts of the play are the direct or indirect consequences of Viola disguising herself as a man by the name of Cesario after she is shipwrecked and fears her brother Sebastian for dead. The immediate consequence for Viola is that she can work for Orsino, but she is later confronted by a problem she did not foresee - her falling in love with Orsino but being unable to openly express this due to her disguise. She unwittingly puts up a barrier between herself and the person she will come to desire most. She says in the play ‘myself would be his wife’, referring to Orsino, showing that Continue...


More sample essays on Concealment and Disguise in Twelfth Night

    paedophilia in the church
    .... Disguise Trust ties in with disguise. Sinful people tend to gravitate toward piety for the disguise, concealment and trust it can offer them. .... (4655 19 )

    lynching
    .... and disguise and night-time raides were no longer used. Klan hoods and robes of the early 1870s were abandoned for there was no longer a need for concealment. .... (2597 10 )

    Scarlet Letter
    .... The shadows and obscurity symbolize concealment and secrets of Hester and Dimmesdale .... this stereotype and creates a novel in which light is a disguise is utterly .... (1253 5 )

    Poe, Lacan and Psychoanalysis
    .... and also as he has copied the Queen"tms method of concealment by leaving the .... to the act of concealing." It is also significant that the disguise the Minister .... (2531 10 )

    Taming of the Shrew
    .... Bianca"tms concealment of her 'underlying bitchiness"tm confirms that "Âappearances can .... Baptista is easily fooled by Tranio"tms disguise and expresses that he .... (1166 5 )

    lady audley
    .... This disguise leads Robert on to unravel the mystery of his missing friend (Reed .... an actress Lady Audley has become due to her fatal necessities for concealment. .... (2474 10 )

When speaking about the "woman who was silently in love"tm, Orsino asks what kind of woman she was, to which Viola answers "of your complexion"tm. These situations lead to both physical and emotional problems for the character ViolaCesario, as well problems mainly emotional for Orsino and Olivia. This implies that women are too weak to love to the extant that men do. This causes increased anguish for Viola, because she believes that her love for Orsino is just as powerful as his love for Olivia, but she is not in a position to prove him wrong. Viola hints at her disguise, and says or does many things that could lead to her secret being discovered. Orsino is oblivious to the fact that she is talking about herself and her love for him. Another comic aspect, and problem for the characters, is Olivia falling in love with Cesario, unaware of "his"tm disguise. He does not immediately recognise Cesario as his sister, so Viola reveals her true identity much to the shock and disbelief of Orsino and Olivia. In Act 3 Scene 1 Cesario pays a visit to Olivia during which "he"tm is put in an extremely awkward position and is not sure how to behave. He fails to notice that Viola is admiring him and trying to make him see that he is loved, because he is focused on what he feels for Olivia. Because the audience understand what is really meant, and know that these feelings are Viola"tms for Orsino, frustration and tension mounts as the audience wonder if he will realise. Overall, "Twelfth Night"tm is fuelled by disguise, and looks at what it means to be female or male, as well as different aspects of being in love, whilst keeping a slightly humorous look on the situation. If only Viola could remove her disguise, these predicaments could be resolved, but she is unable to do so and the frustration mounts. In Act 2 Scene 4 Viola (as Cesario) discusses the matter of love with her master Orsino. The audience"tms knowledge of this makes it a very tense, yet still humorous situation.

PROFESSIONAL ESSAYS:

The Shipping News (E. Annie Proulx)
Indeed, concealment and disguise themselves mark even her most satisfying life experience, for example in her flushing and then urinating over Guy's ashes in (3666 15 )

Deveopment of the Artistic Self THE DEVELOPMENT OF T
revelation is for this reason also a device of identity concealment, at least Further to this point, one may reasonably ask whether the disguise of character (10669 43 )

Theme of Appearance vs Reality
a necessity to protect herself in a strange land, and yet that disguise creates more never told her love, But let concealment like a worm i' the' bud Feed on (2171 9 )

Fashion and Body Image
is, as we have seen, that to do these things may also be to disguise ourselves most it can do is erect defenses, and clothing, as an agent of concealment on one (7601 30 )

Homosexuality & Artistic Design
is only because the necessities of public performance oblige him to disguise his thought and self-revelation is also a device of identity concealment; one has (7719 31 )