The Mistaken Identity Technique in “Twelfth Night”

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Essay #: 070380
Total text length is 2,740 characters (approximately 1.9 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
The Mistaken Identity Technique in "Twelfth Night"
One of the dramatic pleasures that comes with the mistaken identity technique is seeing a woman have more freedom to speak to men and a man. How men talk to each other has its own kind of intimacy. In this way, the audience is allowed to overhear as Viola overhears in Twelfth Night, becoming privy to man talk as the audience joins her in this taboo activity. The result is delicious. “
Vio
. “Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?” Duke. “O, then unfold the passion of my love, Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith”(1.4.23-25).
A duke would rarely reveal his feelings to anyone, let alone a woman, except that his boyish crush made him open to speaking to Viola as
Cesario
. The...
The end:
.....cept men will trust one another in a way they would not with women. This trust enjoyed by men is tested even further when Portia says something ridiculous. “Por. “Do you confess the bond?” Ant. “I do.” Por. Then must the Jew be merciful”(5.1.241-244).
This makes no sense. However, the Duke and both men on trial have implicit faith in Balthazar, who, moments before discovering the drop-of-Christian-blood clause, says “
Thee
is no power in Venice Can alter a decree established”(5.1.285-286). In essence, Portia is scrambling to save Antonio and it sounds obvious. The legal scholar Balthazar is an obvious fraud. Portia, disguised as a man, enjoys acceptable obvious fraudulence while dressed as a man, which would have been withheld from a woman.