Twelfth Night Essay

1055 words - 5 pages

Everyone has different views of reality and it is our nature to think the way we want. However, some people tend to distort the reality so that it fits their wants and needs. In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Shakespeare demonstrates through the characters how easily we are deluded, not simply because others put on false appearances but also because we let ourselves be blinded by our own wants and needs. Delusions caused by false outward appearances are not significant compared to delusions caused by one’s wants and needs as being fooled by false outward appearances is temporary and anyone can be easily fooled by cleverly deceptive outward appearances, demonstrated by Olivia in Twelfth Night. On the other hand, delusions caused by our wants and needs are caused by us psychologically, which is more serious as people distort the reality and believes that distorted reality. Thus, delusions caused by one’s wants and needs are much more significant compared to simply being fooled by cleverly deceptive outward appearances.

Shakespeare demonstrates that being deluded by others’ cleverly deceptive outward appearances is reasonable. Olivia didn’t even doubt that Cesario would be a disguised woman and therefore, fell in love with this passionate, young man. By looking at her quote, “fate, show thy force; ourselves we do not owe” (I.v.265) it shows that Olivia states that falling in love with Cesario is fate and because fate is determined, falling in love with Cesario was irresistible. Everyone thought that Cesario was a man even by looking at Malvolio’s speech, “Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy” (I.v.130). In this speech, Malvolio states that Cesario is neither old nor young man and from this, the audience can note that everyone surrounding Cesario were also deluded by Viola’s ingenious disguise. Everyone was shocked when they found out that Cesario had been a woman and therefore, this also clearly supports the claim that everyone tends to be fooled by cleverly deceptive outward appearances.
Although everyone can be deluded by cleverly deceptive outward appearances, Shakespeare reveals that this type of delusion is temporary. From the beginning, Viola did not intend to disguise herself as a man forever but only temporarily for her own safety. In the end, Olivia finds out that Cesario had been a woman and is surprised at this fact. However, she accepts the fact by looking at her response when she found out that there were ‘two’ Cesarios: “Most wonderful!” (V.i.209). Olivia accepts the fact that Cesario had been a woman and falls in love with Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian. Sooner or later, the fact that Cesario is a disguised woman would’ve been revealed as it is highly impossible to disguise her as a man forever as mentioned above. Consequently, delusions caused by deceptive outwards appearances are temporary and does not last long.

On the other hand, delusions caused by one’s wants and needs have absolutely different features...

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