Deception And Dishonesty In Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

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In his play, Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare has his characters participate in the practice of deception and dishonesty of others - after all, the foundation of Shakespeare’s play resides within a lie. One of the major deceptions in the play is executed by the Illyrian countess, Olivia, as she repeatedly claims to need solitude to mourn her brother’s death in order to avoid Duke Orsino and his obsession towards her. This deception contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole by adding the thematic message, deception and dishonesty is sometimes the better option when it comes to love.

From the beginning of the play, Olivia is introduced as the grieving countess that has recently lost a brother. On Act 1, scene 1, Olivia sends word
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