The masking of an identity is a common solution that many people of today’s society turn towards. Whether it is to hide something from someone or to use it as a form of protection. William Shakespeare’s popular play Much Ado About Nothing is an excellent example of masking that is achieved by some of the characters. The story reflects events of people masking themselves intentionally, unintentionally or having the ability to see through other’s masks. It demonstrates that masking can end in deception, although not constantly.
In studying William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will, it becomes clear that the theme of “Inside/Outside” is visible at many different levels. One of the comedic methods applied is the mistaken identity of Viola and Sebastian. Another case is Malvolio’s sudden change of character and clothes. Furthermore, Feste, who acts as a professional fool in the play, turns out to be a bright and wise character, against the expectations of the readers. Without these important elements where the characters show to be entirely different on the outside than on the inside, the play would be less intriguing, and moreover, they are essential to develop major scenes.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a selfish Scottish thane becomes over-ambitious and commits several murders in order to gain and stay in power. After the murders, Macbeth evades suspicion by hiding his guilt and intentions, therefore deceiving others into thinking that he is innocent. Other characters including Lady Macbeth, the witches and the Scottish thanes also use their appearances to hide the truth and deceive others. With these examples, Shakespeare shows that appearances can be deceiving.
All is not as it seems in The Comedy of Errors. Some have the notion that The Comedy of Errors is a classical and relatively un-Shakespearean play. The plot is, in fact, based largely on Plautus's Menaechmi, a light-hearted comedy in which twins are mistaken for each other. Shakespeare's addition of twin servants is borrowed from Amphitruo, another play by Plautus. Like its classical predecessors, The Comedy of Errors mixes farce and satire and (to a degree) presents us with stock characters.
When you think of the words “famous playwright,” who is the first one to come to mind? Most people would say William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is one of the most recognized playwrights of all time, with many of his works being archetypes for many stories told today. An example of this would be Twelfth Night, a comedy about a woman who disguises herself as a man to fit in and finds herself in the middle of riotous hijinks and disorder. However, Twelfth Night is set in a time period that is found to be uninteresting to some. That is when someone bold steps up and offers an adaptation in the 21st century. This person was Andy Fickman, who helmed the 2006 film She’s the Man, a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. As with any adaptation,
Throughout history there has been a general understanding that appearances can be deceiving. A person may go through life without anyone understanding the true reality of their character. William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers of all time, understood the relationship between appearance and reality and often gave characters two sides to their personality.
Deception and disguise are two key themes in Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'. As in most comedies, Twelfth Night celebrates different forms of disguise and deception in order to make the play more entertaining. It also develops a strong connection between the main plot (with Viola, Orsino, Olivia, and the others) and the sub-plot (involving Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, Malvolio, and Maria). Disguise and deception appear in many different ways throughout the story.
Shakespeare uses the literary device, motif with the image of the masked characters and with the masked language of Benedick and Beatrice. In each instance that a masked character or masked language is used, deception intensifies. In Act I, Scene 1, Claudio says about Hero, “That I love her, I feel” (Shakespeare 1.1.205). Bear in mind, Claudio just arrived in Messina and laid eyes on Hero for the first time. Thus, his declaration of love seems impulsive and uncertain. Claudio knows little about Hero, so his desire to have her must rest on her appearance alone. Still, Don Pedro offers to help unite Claudio with Hero. He initiates a matchmaking scheme. He says, “I will assume thy part in some disguise / And tell fair Hero I am
“King Lear” is known as one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. “King Lear” is a play which tears off the outer coverings of human character. Two prominent themes that can be found in “King Lear” are disguise and deception. Disguise and deception are connected to each other because if you put on a disguise, you are masking yourself. If you are masking yourself, you are misrepresenting the truth, which is also known as deception. The characters constantly deceive each other throughout the play by either changing their physical appearance or changing their personality to mask their true identities and motives. Shakespeare’s exposure of the connection between disguise and deception reflects today’s culture and is still relevant today.
Shakespeare uses the idea of disguise in many of his plays. It is used as an escape from the characters’ personalities and sometimes for comic effect. In As You Like it, the disguise becomes very comical as in the time it was written only men could act on stage. This could lead to much confusion and comedy in the roles of those in disguise. Disguise can give the freedom to a character to act how they like and a chance for them to show their views. It was in the 16th Century that there became an increased sense of self consciousness and identity. This led to people creating an image for themselves. If one can create a self, they can create many different versions of themselves each showing a different aspect of that person. This links in
Gender identity and its roles in 17th and 19th century England were regarded as rigid fact — definite and unyielding. The adherence to these social protocols was of utmost importance. Masculinity was viewed as being dominant, assertive, and bold, whereas femininity involved beauty, obedience, and chastity. The theatre became a method of challenging this rigid social concept. Both William Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest explore these public values through their characters. Wilde and Shakespeare’s use of gender reversals satirize the traditions of social order, marriage, and gender responsibilities at the time, thereby revealing that gender is not absolute.
William Shakespeare, in his well-known comedy Twelfth Night, creates a plot that revolves around mistaken identity and deception. Mistaken identity, along with disguises, rules the play and affects the lives of several of the characters. Shakespeare's techniques involve mistaken identity to bring humor, mystery, and complication to the play. Many characters in Twelfth Night assume disguises, beginning with Viola who is disguised as a eunuch, Maria who writes a letter to Malvolio as Olivia, and then the mix-up between Sebastian and Viola are revealed.
The Theme of Appearance vs. Reality in William Shakespeare's Works Characters within one of William Shakespeare's greatest tragic plays,
Disguise in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has many purposes. Even though disguising one's gender is a common theme in Shakespeare, some say it is instates bonding and allows a way for it to happen. It is known that it is used as a necessity for survival. In Twelfth Night, Disguise and Identity is shown in feelings, appearances and decisions. Disguise is an occasionally seen force which drives one’s mind into believing in something unrealistic. Disguise and Identity get mixed up which causes confusion. Both factors are compared in the meaning of Truth.
The concept of disguise has been known and used since the beginnings of drama, but this concept was most famously known for being used in plays written by the biggest playwrights of the Elizabethan era— especially for being used in William Shakespeare’s plays. What do we mean by disguise? In broad terms, it would mean pretending to be something that one is not. The concept of disguise can mean changing behavior, or hiding intentions, the most frequent form of disguise is the change of ones personal appearance, usually through the changing of clothes, to mask ones true self. Shakespeare used disguises in various ways in his plays; As You Like It, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night were all plays in which Shakespeare used the concept of disguise as a device to further the plot, it was sometimes even used for comic relief. Disguises can be used both maliciously and/ or morally, depending on its use and its influence on the characters. In both Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure, both Portia and Duke Vincentio donned a disguise to pursue justice how they saw morally fit, but ultimately their deception was only for selfish gain; Portia disguises herself to save a friend, and Vincentio disguises himself to know the true feelings of his subjects, both manipulate the law in the name of justice while in their disguises.