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The Themes of Deception and Self-Deceit in William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Works Cited Missing The amusing drama, Twelfth night, which was written by Shakespeare, is a classic example of seventeenth century humour, humor, deception and self-deceit. In the play we see twin Viola and Sebastian are separated, and they both believe one another is dead; "My brother, he is in Elysium" (Act I line 1) however are shrouded in disguise, in a land of madness and delirium, called Illyria. This essay will be covering the themes of deception and self-deceit. Self-deceit means when a character is lying to his or herself, and deception means something that's intended to deceive someone into believing something which isn't true. Two examples of these are, when Viola dresses up as a guy and starts to feel that she really is a guy, and if Maria makes everyone feel that Malvolio is so mad and can be possessed by the devil. In this act we see a lot of self-deceit, for example, as Viola arrives onshore, she dresses as a man, making herself believe that she is a guy. This is the first instance of self-deceit we view in the drama. She dresses as a man to get close to Orsino since he doesn't want to find any girls, "I've heard my father name him. He was a mentor" (Act 1 ii line28-29) but she begins to belive that she really is a man. The viewer sees that as a benign act of disguise, for the moment, although deceiving should not hurt people. We also see displays of deception as well for if Viola walks into Illyria, and matches O.. .