She's the Man Vs. Twelfth Night

The similarities between a movie and the Shakespeare play

"Be not afraid of greatness, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. I think our best chance to be great here today, is to have you play" (She's the Man 2006)
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Cast of Characters in both the play and the movie

In both the movie and the play, these characters show up.
  • Viola
  • Duke
  • Sebastian
  • Olivia
  • Andrew
  • Tony
  • Malvolio

What's She's the Man about?

She's the Man is about Viola Hastings, a girl who's passion is Soccer. She then finds out that the Girl's Soccer Program gets canceled at her school. She then tries out for the guy's team, but they tell her that girls aren't good enough. So when Viola finds out that her fraternal twin brother, Sebastian is sneaking off to London for a music tour, instead of going to Illyria School, Viola decides that she can take his place, and pretend to be him, to be able to try out for their Soccer program. After a makeover and help from her friends, she gets to Illyria, but then finds that she likes her room mate, Duke. Things get messy when a girl who Duke likes falls for Sebastian, who is Viola in disguise. Everything falls apart when Sebastian goes home from London early, and things start to fall to pieces.

What's Twelfth Night about?

  • Orsino (Duke in She's the Man) is in love with his neighbour, the Countess Olivia( Olivia is She's the Man). She has sworn to avoid men’s company for seven years while she mourns the death of her brother, so rejects him.
  • Nearby a group of sailors arrive on shore with a young woman, Viola, who has survived a shipwreck in a storm at sea. Viola mourns the loss of her twin brother but decides to dress as a boy to get work as a page to Duke Orsino. Orsino then sends his new page Cesario (Viola in disguise) to woo Olivia on his behalf. Viola goes unwillingly as she has already fallen in love at first sight with the duke.
  • Olivia then finds herself attracted by the ‘boy’ and she sends her pompous steward, Malvolio, after him with a ring.
  • Eventually, Viola’s twin brother, Sebastian, who has also survived the shipwreck, comes to Illyria. His sea-captain friend, Antonio, is a wanted man for piracy against Orsino. The resemblance between Cesario and Sebastian leads the jealous Sir Andrew to challenge Cesario to a duel. Antonio intervenes to defend Cesario whom he thinks is his friend Sebastian, and is arrested. Olivia has in the meantime met and become betrothed to Sebastian.
  • Cesario is accused of deserting both Antonio and Olivia when the real Sebastianarrives to apologise for fighting Sir Toby. Seeing both twins together, all is revealed to Olivia. Orsino’s fool, Feste, brings a letter from Malvolio and on his release the conspirators confess to having written the false letter. Malvolio departs promising revenge. Maria and Sir Toby have married in celebration of the success of their device against the steward.
  • The play ends as Orsino welcomes Olivia and Sebastian and, realising his own attraction to Cesario, he promises that once she is dressed as a woman again they, too, will be married.

The Comedy Ladder - Comedy of Ideas

In the Movie:

Malcolm: I am convinced he's hiding something.

Principal Gold: Oh, nonsense, Malcolm. He may be a little lost and confused, but deep down he's an all-american, red-blooded male, just like yourself.

Viola: [walking by, dressed as Sebastian, while on the phone] Mom, I will pick out my own dress. And no, I will not wear high heels. Because heels are a male invention designed to make women's butts look smaller... and to make it harder for them to runaway.

Principal Gold: Malcolm, have you ever tried to run away in high heels?

Malcolm: No, sir, I...

Principal Gold: Not that easy. Not that easy...

Thought Sebastian/Olivia was gay or a cross dresser.

In the Play:

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,

And to do that well craves a kind of wit.

He must observe their mood on whom he jests,

The quality of persons, and the time,

And, like the haggard, check at every feather

That comes before his eye. This is a practise

As full of labor as a wise man’s art,

For folly that he wisely shows is fit.

Those that play the fool are not always foolish: mocking those who think others are stupid.

The Comedy Ladder- Comedy of Manners

In the Movie:


Duke: What're you gonna do, drown me in your tears?

Justin: I did not cry during that game. I had something in my eye.

Put down.


In the Play:

“Thou art like a toad; ugly and venomous.”

Put down.

The Comedy Ladder- Farce

In the Movie:

Monique: Sebastian!

[Monique mistakes Viola for Sebastian]

Viola: Ow!

Monique: Eww... It's you. God you and your brother look scarily alike from the back. I think it's your total lack of curves.

Viola: Hey Monique, it's so good to see you too!

Monique: Hmm. I'm looking for Sebastian. Where is he?

Viola: I don't know.

Monique: Just remind your brother how lucky he is to be in my life. And tell him to give me a all if he wants to stay in it, okay?

Viola: Okay. Does he have your number? 1-800-BEE-OTCH?

[laughs to herself]

Monique: [mimicks Viola] Nyenyenyenyenyeh?

Viola: She will do great things.

Mistaken identity.

In the Play:

Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Situation where she would rather be his wife than woo another for him.

The Comedy Ladder- Low Comedy

In the Movie:


Sebastian: Folks, I'm a boy. I promise.

Malcolm: Prove it.

Sebastian: Okay.

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

Roger: [His Dad in the audience] That's my boy.

Eunice: Soccer is the world's favorite sport.

Shows nudity.

In the Play:

"Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff;..."

Sir Toby is making fun of Sir Andrews hair.