Twelfth Night Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How are both the 3 letters and 3 jewels in Twelfth Night a theme in the play?

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The letters and jewels in the play represent the nature of the deceptions taking place, as well as the nature of love in the play.

Each jewel exchanged by a character in the play is done so out of love that only relies on external factors. Duke Orsino doesn't know much about Olivia but still has a jewel delivered to her as a token of his love. Olivia doesn't know that Cesario is actually Viola but still gives "him" a jewel to represent her love for "him". When Malvolio thinks of the future, one of the images he conjures is that of him playing with a jewel which is a trapping of his life with Olivia, who he seems to love only for her wealth.

The letters, on the other hand, are vehicles of deception. The fake letter from Olivia to Malvolio was written by Maria to make a fool of him. She finds it amusing to do so and the result is that Olivia has Malvolio—who is acting strangely per the requests of the letter—to be locked away in the dark.

The next letter that deals in deception is that of...

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