The Theme of Appearance and Reality in Shakespeares Twelfth Night.

A reoccurring theme in William Shakespeare's plays is the idea that "things are not always what they seem." In the play, "Twelfth Night or What You Will", the use of disguise causes deception and misunderstanding which sometimes leads to love where it is not meant to be. Trickery also leads the characters into inescapable traps, which causes chaos with their emotion, and only physical attraction and not true love lead some characters into falsely believing they were in love. Some characters also are the complete opposite of what they appear to be, or who they think they are.
In the play, it is apparent that Viola is the center of confusion. It first begun when she physically disguised herself as a man to help achieve her goal of entering into the service of Duke Orsino. Because Viola "all is semblative a woman's part" (1.5.37), she gained the trust of Orsino, which commenced Viola to begin falling in love with him, and then Orsino decided to send Viola to woo Olivia for him, and that was when Olivia first fell in love with Cesario. Obviously, Olivia would not actually be able to be in love with Viola, and that caused more problems further along in the play. As Viola’s love for Orsino grew, she found herself wishing for reality but was so trapped in her lies that she could not turn back. She expressed her tension when she said, “O time, thou must untangle this, not I. / It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie.” (2.2.40-41)
Most of the characters were tricked into believing many false things. For one, Malvolio was tricked into believing that Olivia had written him a letter confessing her love to him, when in fact it was Maria who had forged the letter, hoping that Malvolio would fall for the prank (2.5). He also believed that he was superior to those around him, which lead to him abusing his power of authority.
Sir Andrew was tricked many times by Sir Toby; he was tricked into being Sir Toby's friend when Sir Toby only used him for his wealth and called him a...