This dissertation is concerned with the paradox of revelatory deception a form of 'lying' which reveals truth instead of concealing it in four Shakespearean plays: Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Hamlet, and King Lear. Through close analysis, I show that revelatory deceptions in these plays are metatheatrical, and read them as responding to contemporary writers who attacked the theatre for being inherently deceitful. This reading leads to the identification of parallels in the description of theatre in antitheatrical texts and the descriptions of revelatory deceptions in the plays. I suggest that correlations in phrasing and imagery might undermine antitheatrical rhetoric: for example, the plays portray certain theatrical, revelatory deceptions as traps which free their victims instead of killing them. Such 'lies' are differentiated from actual deceits by their potentially relational characteristics: deceptions which reveal the truth require audiences to put aside their self-interest and certainty to consider alternative realities which might reflect, reconfigure, and expand their understanding of the world and of themselves. The resulting truths lead either to the creation or renewal of relationships, as in Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It, or offer glimpses at the possibility of renewal, which is ultimately denied, as in Hamlet and King Lear. In both cases the imperatives for truth and right action are underscored not obscured, as antitheatricalists would have argued through the audience's vicarious experience of either the gains or losses of characters within the plays.