The Twelfth Night Essay Research Paper THE

The Twelfth Night Essay, Research Paper


Being deceitful is just another way to say that someone is being dishonest. I think it is safe to say that dishonesty is a common trait of everyone in the world. Everyone has been dishonest in their life to benefit himself or herself in one way or another. I myself have been dishonest with people such as my parents whether it was to stay out later or to go to a party. Dishonesty plays a large role in Twelfth Night where the characters seem to be constantly deceiving each other.

The first and most obvious account of dishonesty in Twelfth Night is Viola s sex. In the beginning of the play during the shipwreck Viola is her true self, a female. When she finds herself in Illyria looking for a job, she decides she wants to changer her sex to a male so she disguises herself as one and takes on the new name of Cesario. As a male, Cesario is dishonest to her new boss, Orsino because he believes her to be a male and she works for him as his page. Orsino is very fond of Cesario, but he is still attempting to court Olivia. When Cesario goes to Olivia to deliver Orsino s love message to her, Olivia ends up falling for Cesario. Again, Cesario s dishonesty has led to more problems because of her cross-dressing. Throughout all of this, the person Cesario or Viola is being dishonest to the most is herself. She is not the only character who demonstrates dishonesty in this play.

Olivia s dishonesty plays a small part, but she is still dishonest. Olivia is dishonest for the most part with Orsino. Orsino is head over heels for Olivia, but Olivia wants nothing to do with him. The excuse Olivia gives for her not wanting any part of Orsino or any other man for that matter is that she is still mourning the death of her brother who died seven years ago. Olivia is proven to be a liar when Cesario is delivering Orsino s message to her. Olivia seems to fall head over heels for Cesario, only because she doesn t know that he is a she. In any case though, Olivia was obviously dishonest about holding out on a relationship because she was in mourning, she just didn t want anything to do with Orsino.

A third character who happens to be dishonest is Olivia s servant, Maria. Maria is dishonest with the only character in the play who appears to be truly honest, Malvolio. Malvolio is a character who always seems to be getting in the way ruining others fun. In reality it appears that Malvolio is the only one who is actually down to earth and he is just thinking reasonably, he isn t actually trying to ruin others fun, he is just trying to prevent problems. Maria has taken as much of Malvolio as she can stand so she decides to be dishonest with him. Maria did two things to Malvolio. First she convinced Malvolio that Olivia was in love with him and he believed it. In addition to that, she tricked Malvolio into acting so weird that Olivia thinks he has gone insane so she has him locked in a small dark room until he gets better. Malvolio remains in this dark room until he is let out at the end of the play after all the important events have taken place.

In the end, the dishonesty the characters in this play demonstrated seemed to have no effect on the outcome. Orsino ended up marrying Viola and he didn t even seem to mind that she lied about being a male, Olivia ended up marrying Sebastian just because she thought he was Cesario, Maria ends up marrying Sir Toby, and Malvolio is released from his treatment room. In real life, I think that there wouldn t be this happy ending to things. I thing dishonesty is very serious and instead of everyone ending up happy, I think they would have ended up more miserable than when they started.


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