Twelth Night and Shes the Man

Jack Blaisdell

Comedy of Ideas

Comedy of ideas shows up when Olivia's dead brother is said to be preserved by the brine of her tears inferring that her brother is pickled.

"So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years' heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view,
But like a cloistress she will veilèd walk,
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine—all this to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance."

This also applies when Viola and Sebastian are switched at the soccer game in She's the Man.

Comedy of Manners

This comedy shines in the Twelth Night when Olivia tries confessing her love for Viola.

"Give me leave, beseech you. I did send,
After the last enchantment you did here,
A ring in chase of you: so did I abuse
Myself, my servant and, I fear me, you:
Under your hard construction must I sit,
To force that on you, in a shameful cunning,
Which you knew none of yours: what might you think?
Have you not set mine honour at the stake
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts
That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
Enough is shown: a cypress, not a bosom,
Hideth my heart. So, let me hear you speak."

In She's the Man this happens when Olvia begins crushing on Viola and tries to get her to date her because she is unaware of Viola being a girl.


A good example of a farce in the Twelth Night is when Malvolio thinks that Olivia is in love with him and it ends up that he was pranked and it's all a huge misunderstanding.

"To bed! ay, sweet-heart, and I'll come to thee."

This sort of comedy happens in She's the Man when Duke gets confused because of Viola switching with Sebastian and him not understanding who kissed Olivia.

Low Comedy

A good example of low comedy in the Twelth Night is when Sir Toby Belch is acting like an idiot while he is drunk.

Confine! I'll confine myself no finer than I am:
these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be
these boots too: an they be not, let them hang
themselves in their own straps.

This sort of low comedy happens when Viola shoves tampons up her nose to convince everyone shes really a guy even though she is not.