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Comparing Twelfth Night And Shes The Man English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 831 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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She’s the Man is a lovely and hilarious comedy filmed in the United States. It was directed in 2002 by Andy Fickman and is based on the play the twelfth night written and composed by William Shakespeare. In the DVD She’s the Man the main character, Viola Hastings, disguises herself as a man and takes her brother’s place in the boys’ soccer team. Her intentions are to prove that girls are capable of doing what boys do and in a way she succeeds to do just that. From Shakespeare (8) the book twelfth night is about Viola, later adopts the name Cesario, who find herself in an island shipwrecked and separated from her twin brother Sebastian. The ship captain then clothes her as a boy so that she would instead serve the Duke. The plot is that of a love triangle and many misconceptions.

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In the play, The Twelfth Night and the movie She’s the One the character of Viola and Cesario played by Imogen Stubbs and Amanda Bynes respectively are women acting as men. They both had their strengths and weaknesses throughout the movie and the play. They portrayed a man very effectively changing their appearances to look like men in order to fool other characters. Cesario used a fake moustache ad facial hair while Viola had sideburns. They had to deepen their voices to sound more of men although at some point they mistakenly resorted back to their normal voices.

In the scene in The Twelfth Night, where Cesario and Duke Orsino are pushing each other around, the former starts to squeal like a girl after losing control on the cliff. Although similar things happen in the movie on many occasions as well, one incident stands out. When the tarantula, Marvolio, Crawls into Viola’s room. They characters may be depicted to be similar in many way but they also have differences.

In the DVD She’s the Man, Bynes uses a kind of slang that is stereotypic and hardly in use nowadays and might have been easy to identify she was not a man. She plays in even less effectively when Duke shows up and the two of them are sharing a conversation. She forgets her masculine role and is overcome by her desires for him. In the novel by Shakespeare, it happens to the character Cesario many times but unlike Viola by Bynes, she is better at hiding it.

The movie She’s the Man shows much of the general idea of the original Shakespearean book, the twelfth night. It also, illustrates the change in feminine roles in the community and society at large, the main theme of the movie being feminism. In Shakespearean era and time, the important, recognizable and powerful positions in the society were taken by men and therefore Viola in the twelfth night disguises herself as a eunuch in order to get close to the Olivia, the countess and the Duke.

Viola in the twelfth night realizes that she has caused Olivia to fall in love with her unintentionally. She says she is the man as depicted by Shakespeare (12). She then observes that by wearing male attire she is a creature that is both male and female and that she is a poor creature. Similarly, Viola from the DVD She’s the Man overhears a conversation Olivia confessing that she has a crush on Sebastian, her male identity. She is shocked and on looking at herself on the mirror, she smiles absentmindedly touching her face and almost immediately comes to reality with a jerk and wonders, “Oh boy.” She experiences a moment of crisis just as Cesario does in the play.

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The movie, She’s the Man, sticks to the characterization of the play and generally follows the narrative structure and only modernizes the language and the setting of the play into a more familiar conceptual script. However it does not follow the tragic events that are depicted in the play. It emphasizes on comedy, overcoming the dark tones of Shakespeare’s book to focusing on a pleasant heterosexual union in the final scene. Although the girl power message is put across, the movie by Fickman presents ultimately a conservative reading of the play by Shakespeare by making Viola embrace the femininity traditionally at the end.

The movie borrows most names of both the characters and the settings from the original play. Although the names in the movie do not necessarily correspond to the characters in play, they are used in one way or another. . Some statements in the script are also borrowed from the play for example duke says; “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them”. (Shakespeare 37) This is a quotation in the letter Malvolio read in the play the twelfth night. The remake of the original Shakespeare’s play into a movie loses most of the tragic impact famous in his literature. His main themes of love and death are subsided and it is hardly noticeable that the movie was adopted from Shakespeare’s work. However the plot of the play has generally been conserved.


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