Twelfth Night Masks Essay

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Twelfth Night Masks, whether physically or figuratively, are being used everywhere in your very own everyday life. You may not realize this, but sometimes you just need to take a closer look. The sense of hiding behind a mask is shown in William Shakespeare's play twelfth night throughout various scenes and characters. Viola, in attempt to work for the Duke Orsino, uses a disguise to deceive everyone and make them believe that she is in fact a he. Olivia wears a veil to cover her face when Cesario wishes to speak with her, delivering a message of love from the Duke himself. Feste the fool is also hiding behind mask. Although he plays a fool, he is actually very smart and wise, unlike some other characters in the play. He uses a mask to hide…show more content…
She does this because women are not allowed to work for the Duke and Viola needed a job after a shipwreck separated her from her identical twin brother, Sebastian. Viola needs an easy way to get into Illyria, as a result, she asks the captain of the shipwreck to help her take part in dressing as a man. “Conceal me what I am, and be my aid for such a disguise as haply shall become the form of my intent, I’ll serve this duke.” (1.2.57-58) This act of hiding one's true identity and wearing a mask is the main plot in this play. It causes problems and confusion between the characters, mainly Olivia and Duke Orsino. In this case, the mask is being used to deceive others and protect oneself. Viola is deceiving everyone in Illyria to believe that she has a completely different identity, rather than her true self. Also, the main reason why Viola has chosen to put on a disguise, is to protect herself. To be safe inside Illyria with the Duke and start a new life separate from her past. Therefore, Viola’s part as Cesario demonstrates how masks and hidden identity play an important role and is a common theme that carries throughout the entire

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