On The 12th Night She Is The Man

By: Tori Smith and Bailey Simmons - Period 1

Statement of Purpose

This Smore should inform you about the similarities in The Twelfth Night and She's The Man. We will include comparing and contrasting both the Shakespearean play and modern movie as well as listing elements of Shakespearean comedy and the comedy ladder. After reading the play The Twelfth Night and watching the modern movie She's The Man, Bailey and Tori use their English skills to provide a information.

Compare and Contrast

The main characters share the names of the characters in Twelfth Night, and are in a similar love triangle.
In the play, The Twelfth Night and the movie She’s the One the character of Viola and Cesario respectively are women acting as men. They portrayed a man very effectively changing their appearances to look like men in order to fool other characters.
The Duke of Illyria in Twelfth Night and the soccer captain in She’s The Man, is in love with Olivia in both. Olivia falls in love with Viola, who was disguised as Cesario in Twelfth Night, and Sebastian, her twin brother in both movies, in She’s The Man.

The plots of She's the Man and Twelfth Night run along similar lines, such as Olivia kissing Sebastian rather than the disguised Viola, or Duke enlisting "Sebastian" (the disguised Viola) to help him gain Olivia's attention (in the play, the Duke Orsino enlisted "Cesario" to help him win Olivia).
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.
Another thing that makes the plots similar is that when Olivia professes her love to the disguised Viola and kisses her, it’s really Sebastian, accidentally run into her in both.

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Elements of Shakespearean Comedy

Mistaken Identity

In the Twelfth Night Viola is mistaken as her brother because she dresses up in men's clothes.

In She's The Man Viola wants to prove everyone wrong so she gets some friends to give her a makeover to make her look like her brother Sebastian so that she can go to his school while he's gone and pretend to be him.

Complex Plot

In the Twelfth Night Duke likes Olivia, Olivia like Sebastian, Sebastian (Viola) likes Duke. Everybody thinks that Sebastian is Cesario because Sebastian was said to have died in a ship wreak.

In She's The Man Sebastian comes back to school earlier than he was supposed to, Olivia kisses the real Sebastian thinking he was the Sebastian she knew (Viola), Sebastian plays in Viola's soccer game. Sebastian has a crazy blonde girlfriend that causes a lot of trouble when Viola shows up pretending to be her brother, the blondes boyfriend, Sebastian. While Viola plays Sebastian at school a girl named Olivia ends up having a crush on him/her. Duke, a friend of Sebastian (Viola) falls in love with Olivia and makes Sebastian (Viola) convince Olivia to go out with Duke, all this happens while Viola playing Sebastian is falling for Duke.

Use of Puns

In the Twelfth Night "Better a witty fool than a foolish wit."

"Let her hang me, he that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours."

In She's The Man "Isn't it great to have a real man around, Eunice?" "Oh, yes."

"Good work Hastings."

Happy Ending

In the Twelfth Night Sebastian and Viola are reunited, Duke Orsino marries Viola, Lady Olivia marries Sebastian, Sir Toby marries Maria, Malvolio leaves and threatens revenge.

In She's The Man Viola and Duke love each other and Viola gets to prove everyone wrong.

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The Comedy Ladder


In the Twelfth Night, Malvolio dresses in yellow cross-gartered stockings to impress Olivia. "Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and wish to see thee ever cross-gartered" (2, 5, 144) People would of considered this funny because people with too much yellow bile were thought to have personalities like Malvolio's.

In the She's The Man The scene with Malvolio, the spider, in Duke and Viola's room where they are jumping around, screaming, is an example of low comedy, it would make anyone laugh.


In She's The Man the main characters (Viola) dress up as males to achieve goals for themselves. This is more commonly known as mistaken identity.

In Twelfth Night is the scene where Sir Andrew and Sir Toby mistake Sebastian for Cesario/Viola, and try to beat him up. "Now sir, have I met you again? There's for you!" (4, 1, 24). It makes us laugh because even though characters are beating each other up, we are laughing because we know that it is Sebastian who is getting hit, and he has no idea what is happening.


In She's The Man is the scene where Sebastian and Viola flash the entire school at he soccer game, in order to prove their genders. Showing absolutely no manners and shocking the whole school and putting the principal and students accusing Sebastian to shame.

In the Twelfth Night "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage."

This is the clowns witty reply to Maria's threat to hang him or banish him from the house. He replies with a witty comical response that embodies the group and relationship they have together.


In She's The Man "Speaking as a completely objective third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter..." This example plays on Viola's clever wit and the manner in which she plays off being a guy.

In the Twelfth Night "O, had I but followed the arts"

This comment is referring to Sir Andrew's lack of education and focus on the arts (dancing) instead. This comment mocks Sir Andrew.
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