Analyzing Viola

By: Tyler T.

Viola's Identity

In The Twelfth Night, Viola has her shipwrecked and is saved a by a ship passing by. The captain takes her to Illyria where she asks the captain to help her pretend to be a man(Cesario) so she can work for Duke Orsino who is the ruler. This makes Viola a strong women because not many women during this time would want to do this to make money. "Conceal me what I am, and be my aid, for such disguise as haply shall become the form of my intent. I'll serve this Duke. Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him." (I.II.10).

Viola's Gender

Since Viola is pretending to be Cesario, she has to experience talking to a girl from a male standpoint for Orsino. While Orsino is convincing Viola to go talk with Olivia, Viola is worried that Olivia won't let her in because she is still mourning about her brothers death. "Sure my noble lord, if she be so abandoned to her sorrow as it is spoke, she never will admit me." (I.IV.28). Viola does not want to be put in this situation because she needs to find someone to be with as well but she cannot tell Orsino that. "I'll do my best To woo you lady--(aside) Yet, a barful strife--Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife." (I.IV.28).

Perceptions of Viola

In Act 1 scene 5, Malvolio is talking with Olivia about how Viola(Cesario) is outside waiting to talk with Olivia about Cesario. Malvolio believes that Viola is very rude and persistent when wanting to speak with Olivia. Viola is also saying that she will not leave until she gets to speak with Olivia. "Of very ill manner. He'll speak with you, will you or no." (I.V.44). This is proving that Malvolio is saying that Viola is very rude and will not leave until she gets to talk with Olivia whether Olivia wants to talk or not.

Similarities and Differences Between Viola and Me

Viola and I are similar in many ways, we both are very persistent. Meaning, we both will keep doing something until we get the right result or what we want. We also can be rude sometimes if we do not even mean to be. Lastly, we both will do anything to succeed.


We do have some differences as well, like I would never insult someone that is important like Viola did to Olivia. Secondly, I would never disguise myself as the opposite gender for any reason. I would not even act like the opposite gender. Lastly, I would never be a servant to anyone even if I had to.

She's The Man Viola

Viola's Identity

Viola thinks of herself as a good soccer player. She believes that she can play soccer on the boys team. To prove this she disguises herself as her brother and goes to a different school to play on the boys team there. In She's the Man, Viola and her team find out that their season has been cancelled so they go and ask the head coach for the boys if they can tryout. The coach tells them no and then she becomes Sebastian. (She's the Man).

Viola's Gender

Since Viola pretends to be her brother Sebastian, she has to act, sound, and think like a boy. This is pretty hard at first because she is not used to acting this way. So she has a couple of friends to help her out. Pretending to be her brother is very beneficial because now she can play soccer on the boys team. It is not beneficial because she cannot take a shower in front of everyone. In She's the man, Viola waits till everyone is asleep to take a shower. (She's the Man). This is not good because if she can never take a shower, she will have bad odor.

Perceptions of Viola

Duke and all the other teammates, think that Sebastian is a kind of weird dude. They one second Sebastian is all nice and talks sweet like a girl and then all of a sudden goes to acting like a completely different person. Viola is trying to be a boy, but she is trying to hard. In She's the Man, Duke and Viola(Sebastian) are talking in the dorm room. Duke is talking with her about how he does not know how to talk to Olivia. Viola then talks with Duke in the way a girl would and Duke becomes very confused and asks why Sebastian does that (She's the Man).

Similarities and Differences Between Viola and Me

Viola and I have many similarities, one thing is that we are both very athletic. We both love to play our sport as much as possible. Also, when she is pretending to be Sebastian, she goes from talking like a normal girl, to a very harsh guy. Now I do not ever talk like either of those ways, but I do have different personalities and point of views like that.


One difference me and Viola have is that I would never pretend to be the opposite gender for a sport, I would just try to work a lot harder and hope for the best. I would also just play as myself and prove it that way and not in secret. Another thing is that I do not think that I could go through all of that trouble like she did. I would definitely fight for a spot on the team, but I would not go the way she did.