Theme of Deception

Deception: a misleading falsehood

Self Deception: The action or practice of allowing oneself to believe that a false or invalidated feeling, idea, or situation is true.


A rich countess of Illyria

Clear sighted

  • grieving over brother and father's death; does not want to marry
  • true to character/social class
  • Motives: heart and mind is set on Cesario (gives locket with her picture)

                        -chooses Cesario over Orsino even though Cesario is a servant


Duke of Illyria


  • Qualities: true to his character and social class
  • Motives: only wanted Olivia despite Viola confessing her love

                        -No woman could love Duke as much as he loves Olivia

                        -Gave Olivia jewel to try to win her love

Self Deception

  • Orsino is so set on winning Olivia's love that he deceives his true feelings (You want what you cannot have)


A shipwrecked lady later disguised as her twin brother.

Deceptive Appearance

  • Manipulates appearance to look like twin brother Sebastian; deceives all characters, especially Orsino and Olivia

                        -able to woo Olivia with her words due to her being a woman; Olivia falls in                            love with Viola (instead of Orsino), but thinks she is Cesario

  • Motives: safer as man; can't prove she is a woman of higher class

                         -wants to get closer to Orsino

                         -Orsino is deceived because he asks Cesario to help with Olivia not realizing                           that Cesario is really Viola who is in love with Orsino

  • Viola does not mean to deceive the characters and feels bad for the consequences she caused. Only time can fix the trouble she created.

Once Viola reveals her true identity at the end of the play, it is still difficult for the other characters to believe her because of the deception she caused.

              -would not marry her until she looked like a woman again


Steward of Olivia's household


  • Believes letter he receives is truly from Olivia
  • Changes his character/appearance to someone whom Olivia would like (yellow socks, cross-guards, always smiling)
  • Thinks he is better than the others because thinks he is going to marry Olivia (Motive)
  • Thinks things are coming together for him and Olivia even though Olivia thinks he is crazy (Malvolio really thinks Olivia is confessing her love)
  • Hard for him to believe at the end that Maria wrote the letter

Sir Toby belch

Olivia's uncle

Deceptive Words/Language

  • Drunk
  • Tells Sir Andrew to go for Olivia for his own amusement
  • Tells Viola about duel instead of giving her the letter

Maria & Sir Andrew

Maria: Gentlewoman in Olivia's household

Sir Andrew Aguecheek: Companion of Sir Toby

  • Work with Sir Toby to trick Malvolio
  • Maria uses deceptive appearance/language when writing the letter
  • Locks in closet
  • Motive: Revenge for Malvolio mistreating them


A clown, also called Fool; Olivia's jester.

Deceptive Appearance/Language

  • Comic relief
  • Says what most people cannot/able to pick up on things others cannot
  • Uses image of clown to deceive his true wisdom
  • Uses play on words (syllogism-reasoning question and answering question with reason)
  • Sir Topas (plays along with Malvolio joke)

The End

Works Cited

"Deception." N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2015.

"Self-deception." Your Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2015.

Comment Stream