Analyzing Viola

Comparing Twelfth Night & She's the Man

Twelfth Night

How Viola views herself

When Viola first arrives to Illyria and decides to disguise herself as a boy, she then feels tramped because she soon starts to grow feelings for Duke Orsino. Being disguised as a boy she knew she could cannot say anything about being a girl, because it would ruin her relationship with Orsino. This as well makes herself think that she is misleading everyone because Olivia has fallen for the boy version of who she is disguising as. In a scene where Viola is talking to herself she says, "...As I am man, My state is desperate for my master's love. As I am woman, alas the day, What thriftless sigh shall poor Olivia breathe!" (II.ii.35-37). This quote shows Viola talking to herself about how she is pretending to be a boy and that the love she feels for Orsino is hopeless and the love Olivia feels for her is hopeless as well because she is really a woman.
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Viola's gender limits and benefits

Viola being Cesario experiences that being a boy has its benefits, like getting to work for Duke Orsino because being male meant one could get work faster. As well as benefits there were limits like not being able to expose who she really was. This meant pushing her feelings for the Duke aside because he knows her as a boy and not a woman. Also Viola being Cesario experienced how a man named Antonio mixed her up with her brother Sebastian. This confusion that Antonio has makes Viola realize her brother Sebastian could still be alive and when Antonio says in Act 3, " Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame" (III.iv.33). This quote shows how Antonio confuses Cesario (Viola) and how she is exposed to the truth about her brother being alive. If she were still a girl she wouldn't know that her brother could possibly still be alive and could still be grieving over him.
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Perception of Viola

Viola in Twelfth Night is viewed as a girl who is grieving over the mysterious loss of her twin brother Sebastian. She just wants a fresh start to move on. When she had the opportunity to disguise herself, she did and decided to be a boy. In the beginning of Act I In Twelfth Night after she had been in a ship wreck, she finds herself in Illyria lost and meets a captain who is kind to her and that is when she says, " ...might not be delivered to the world, Till I had made wine own occasion mellow, What my estate is" (I.ii. 38-40). This quote shows how Viola decided she wanted to hide away to start fresh until she was ready and accept the loss of her brother.
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Similarities and Differences with Viola

Viola hides her identity and becomes a boy to buy time because she her brother and is trying to grief. I can't say I would want to hide my identity and become a boy but I can say one similarity I have with Viola I would too need time to grief if my brother past away.

Though I have one similarity with Viola that doesn't mean I don't have differences. For example Viola being a dressed as a boy and had to deal with Olivia having feelings towards her, If it were me I wouldn't have a problem coming out clean telling Olivia that we couldn't be because I am really a girl. Also another difference, if I had felt what Viola felt for the Duke I would tell him as well I was a girl. The big difference I have with Viola is I wouldn't go through all the trouble trying to keep up with a lie and would simply just try to grief over my dead brother being the gender I am, a girl.

She's the Man

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How Viola Views herself

Viola has a passion for soccer which makes her dedicated even when they cut her team at her school, but it did not stop her. As well being dedicated, she was also clever because when her twin brother Sebastian went away to England. She covered for him by being him and trying out for the boy's soccer team at Illyria High School. In the film "She's the Man", Viola goes to her friend Paul and says help me look like Sebastian, so I can tryout for the team at Illryia and beat Cornwall boys team (She's the Man). In this part of the film is where Paul decides to help her and she starts to act and dress like a guy and also explains her plan on how she will continue to play soccer.

Viola's Limits and Benefits

Viola being her brother Sebastian at Illyria had to of course had to act like a guy. This brought her limits like not being able to use the shower until it was late at night, or having to pretend like she didn't like Duke her roommate who had feelings for Olivia. Although there were limits being a guy brought her a huge benefit like getting close with Duke. She was finding that he had a soft side to himself (She's the Man). Also getting better with soccer sense it was her main reason why she decided to impersonate Sebastian. She experiences that being a guy doesn't mean always talk about girls in sexual terms. Duke becomes annoyed with how she (Sebastian) is talking about Viola and Olivia and him having to choose which one he wants.
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How Others Perceive Viola

A couple of characters in the film like Duke and Olivia view Viola differently. For Duke Sebastian becomes his close friend, he feels Sebastian is kind and trustworthy for helping him get to Olivia. But in the end of the film the way Duke perceives her is that she betrayed him when she tells him he's actually a girl during the game against Cornwall (Shes the Man). For Olivia she sees Sebastian as a nice guy who thinks like a girl and she grows to like and develop serious feelings for his honesty. When she finds out Sebastian's truth, the way she perceived Sebastian (Viola) doesn't change.
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Similarities and Differences

Viola in the film also disguises herself as a guy which is something I would never do which would be one of the differences between me and her. Another difference is lying, to lie to the people who are growing to trust me as I develop a relationship with them, I would just come out with the truth.

I also can't say I am not similar to her because I am in some ways. In the way Viola was dedicated to do anything just to get her way sounds a lot like myself. As well as when she took the fall for her brother, I would also do the same for mine. Another similarity would be fearing what others would think if I deceived them as well.