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How are the roles of the Duke and Dauphin alike and/or different from the other...

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hollie42 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted September 26, 2013 at 1:46 PM via web

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How are the roles of the Duke and Dauphin alike and/or different from the other characters in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 27, 2013 at 5:24 AM (Answer #1)

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Unfortunately, Twain seems to suggest that the characters of the Duke and the Dauphin are more similar with the rest of the characters in this novel than we would like to think. They are constant tricksters, always seeking to deceive others for their own personal benefit. However, when they do so in the first performance of the Royal Nonesuch, the crowd themselves, who have just been tricked, show that they are exactly the same, willfully deceiving the rest of their town so that they will not be exposed to laughter:

But we don't want to be the laughing stock of this whole town, I reckon, and never hear the last of this thing as long as we live. No. What we want is to go out of here quiet, and talk this show up, and sell the rest of the town! Then we'll be in the same boat.

Even though the men recognise they have just been tricked, they are easily persuaded to go and let others be tricked so they will not be made fun of. The similarities between the Duke and the Dauphin are again highlighted during the episode of Peter Wilks, where another pair of individuals impersonate the dead person and his brother in order to get the inheritance. Twain presents a very grim image of humans with us all being willing to deceive and trick for our own benefit. 

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