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Disguise Theme in Three Plays : Il Volpone, the Second Shepherds Play and the Merchant of Venice

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  • May 2013
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Disguise Theme in three Plays : Il Volpone, The Second Shepherds Play and The Merchant Of Venice

It was the 16 century when the idea of disguise started to be used in many plays.. It is used as an escape from the characters personalities and sometimes for comic effect. The disguise becomes very comical as in the time it was written only men could act on stage. This could lead to much confusion and comedy in the roles of those in disguise. Disguise can give the freedom to a character to act how they like and a chance for them to show their views.. a Number of lays were written and with the disguise parts it became an increased sense of self consciousness and identity. This led to people creating an image for themselves. If one can create a self, they can create many different versions of themselves each showing a different aspect of that person.  One of the writers of this kinds of plays is Shakespeare.

Shakespeare uses similar comic elements to effect similar outcomes in this  works.  Many of his plays utilize trickery and disguise to accomplish similar  endings.   Trickery plays a major role in The Merchant of Venice and drives most of  the action, while mistaken identity, specifically Portia's disguise as the  "learned attorney's" representative, plays a major role in the resolution of  the play.  A comic talk between Portia ans Nerrisa about their going to the trial to Venice disguised like a man about how they are going to trick everyone.Portia mocks the male behavior and exagerated their flaws .She especially makes fun of the young men and their immatureness and tells how she will imitate that behaviour disguised like a man. Another example of play with disguised character is Ben Jonson`s Volpone. Volpone himself is perhaps the most corrupt character in the play, but  his almost mischievous outlook on life is depraved corruption. His vitality is obvious and  disturbingly attractive to the audience especially when he...