"Twelfth Night" vs "She's the Man"

New vs Old (by Francisco Villasana)


  • In She's the Man Viola Hastings disguises herself as her brother and takes his place in the boys' soccer team. She intends to prove herself and prove that girls are just as capable of doing what boys do and, in a way, she succeeds in doing that.

  • In Twelfth Night Viola instead calls herself Cesario, who washes up on an island (Illyria) shipwrecked and separated from her twin brother Sebastian. She then disguises herself as a man because the country she is from and Illyria are at war. She then serves the Duke (Orsino). The plot is about a love triangle and many misconceptions.

Comedy Ladder

Low Comedy

Twelfth Night: The part where Malvolio dresses in yellow stockings and wierd clothes to impress Olivia, "Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and wish to see thee ever cross-gartered" (2, 5, 144).

She's the Man: The part with the spider (Malvolio), Duke and Viola is an example of this, hey are jumping around, screaming, and it would make anyone laugh.


Twelfth Night: Whenever Sebastian and Viola are reunited for the first time after the ship wreck, "of Messaline. Sebastian was my father; such a Sebastian was my brother too: so went he to his watery tomb. If spirits can assume both form and suit you come to fright us" (5.1.26).

She's the Man:The fact that everybody at the school believes that Viola is actually boy is a farce. There are many things that can not easily be hidden, one of them being gender.

Comedy of Manners

Twelfth Night: When Malvolio dresses in yellow stockings to impress Olivia.

She's the Man: The scene where Sebastian and Viola flash the entire school at he soccer game to prove their genders: Sebastian: Folks, I'm a boy. I promise.

Malcolm: Prove it.

Sebastian: Okay.

[pulls down his soccer shorts, everyone sees his privates]

Comedy of Ideas

Twelfth Night: The part 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).

She's the Man: The love triangle between Duke, Viola and Olivia "Viola: Speaking as a completely objective third party observer with absolutely no personal interest in the matter..".