Theme Of Illusion And Reality In Twelfth Night

1143 Words 5 Pages
Register to read the introduction… It’s soon revealed in the play that he only plays the fool so that he can seem all the better when he redeems himself, though Feste’s character in Twelfth Night seems content to let the others continue to believe him a fool, with the exception of Viola who sees through his illusion: “[Feste] is wise enough to play the fool, and to do that well craves a kind of wit” (3.1.59). Viola and Feste’s confrontation magnifies the theme of illusion versus reality that appears in both Hamlet and Henry IV- neither are quite what they show to others, but ironically through their mutual deceptions, they recognize the other’s lies and see through the …show more content…
What begins as just a prank to teach Malvolio a lesson in humility (2.3.168) grows into a cruel scheme to fool him into madness, (3.4.135)- a sadistic goal that is much more demonstrative of a punishment than a joke. The prank is revealed to Malvolio at the end of the play with Feste taunting him about his foolish pride (5.1.369-376). Malvolio storms off-stage in a fury lesson seemingly unlearned and much more focused on the base cruelty of the prank and promises revenge …show more content…
The final scene of the play leaves the reader with the assumption that Olivia and Sebastian’s marriage stands as is, this in spite of the revelation that Sebastian isn’t Cesario. Shakespeare writes nothing of her feelings on the new revelations and whether or not she still remains in love with Cesario is left up in the air. This seems to imply interchangeability between the twins, as referenced by Antonio’s comparison to the apple halves (5.1.223) in direct contrast to the tones of the characters when interacting with Olivia.

Even though Viola channeled her brother for a successful portrayal of Cesario as a man, her wit and caring won Olivia over; Sebastian’s interactions with Olivia on the other hand are plain and based on an even bigger lie- letting Olivia marry him even knowing he’s not the man she speaks of. Sebastian at Olivia’s proposal declares “Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep; if it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!” (4.1.59-31), a selfish proposal, then goes on with “And having sworn truth, ever will be true” (4.3.33), his lies the only claim to marriage with

Related Documents