How does Shakespeare view appearances vs. reality in Twelfth Night?

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Twelfth Night is a play that is centered around confusion. It is a play filled with dramatic irony (by which the audience is aware of factors of which its characters are unaware), with much of its action shaped by deception. In some cases, the deception is carried out without ill intentions (Viola's cross-dressing, for example, is an act of self-protection, stranded as she is an unfamiliar place), while in other cases, the intent is to mock and belittle (see the sub-plot surrounding Malvolio, and the cruel jest at his expense). In many cases, there is a sense of events spiraling out of control: Viola, for example, stranded in Illyria, takes up a false identity, only for her twin brother, Sebastian, to eventually arrive in Illyria as well, thus further intensifying the confusion of mistaken identities.

Across the course of this play, one frequently gets the sense that things are not really what they seem. For example, Orsino madly pursues Olivia , who continually rejects him, claiming to be too...

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