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12th Night

            In William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Or What You Will many relationships are forged or sabotaged for and by the protagonists, and as a result these relationships are made comical. The use of disguise causes deception and misunderstanding which leads to love where it is not meant to be. Foolery leads the characters into inescapable traps, which causes chaos with their emotions, and finally pure physical attraction and not true love lead some characters into falsely believing that they were in love. Therefore relationships were twisted and contorted so often that comedy was bound to result. Throughout Twelfth Night deception caused confusion between many characters, but the one character who remain in the center of this confusion was Viola. The deception was caused because of her outward appearance. She was disguised as a man in order to get closer to Orsino. The confusion begins when Viola is sent to woo Orsino's love Olivia. She in turn falls in love with Viola's counterpart Cesario. Olivia's love is revealed when she sends her servant Malvolio to return a ring which Viola never gave to her. She says, "Run after that same peevish messenger, The County's man. He left this ring behind him I do I know not what, and fear to find Mine eye to great a flatterer for my mind. Fate show thy force." (actI,sc.v,310-315) This shows her love for Cesario and how she secretly lets her know. When Viola realizes what has happened she immediately realizes the love triangle which has occurred. This is apparent when she says "Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her! What thriftless sighs poor Olivia breathe! O time, thou must untangle this, not I. It is to hard a not for me t" untie." (act II, sc.iii, 20-40) Another instance when viola's disguise is believed and therefore causes a confusion is when she is mistaken for her brother Sebastian. Antonio who is looking after Sebastian, and when Viola got into a fight with Andrew and Toby, Antonio came to the rescue.

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