Analyzing Viola

By: Demi Sassine

Twelfth night

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Viola's Identity

Viola thinks of herself as hardworking and determined to do what ever it takes in order to survive. Viola would also think of herself as strong and possibly independent. She would think of herself as strong by helping the one she loves, be with someone he loves. She was willing to help Orsino get with Olivia even when she knew she was in love with Orsino. This also makes Viola think of herself as selfless. She is not only worried about herself and what she feels but about what others feel as well. "Say that some lady, as perhaps there is, Hath for your love a great pang of heart As you have for Olivia. You cannot love her. You tell her so. Must she not them be answered?" (II.iv.87-90). Viola explained herself to Orsino but without saying it was about her. She was understanding in his love for Olivia and did not want to get in the way.

Viola's Gender

Viola is forced to act like a boy in order to work for Orsino. Women in that time were not allowed to work or do hard labor. They were known for staying in the house and cooking or cleaning. Viola had to disguise herself as "Cesario" in order to make money after losing all her belongings in the shipwreck. She came across some difficulties when falling for Duke Orsino. She started falling in love with him but could not tell him because she was still disguised as Cesario. Also, Olivia started to fall in love with Cesario but there was no way Viola could have feelings for Olivia because she is a girl. She could not tell Olivia this though because it would blow her cover. "I'll do my best To woo your lady--(aside) Yet, a barful strife-- Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife" (I.iv.39-41). This was a difficult task for Viola because she was asked to set up Orsino with Olivia and could not do anything about it without blowing her cover as Cesario.
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Viola's perception

Orsino sees Viola as one of few people he can trust. "He hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger" (I.iv.2-3). Orsino began getting closer with Cesario very quickly and it was not hard for him to trust him. Orsino and Valentine would also see Viola as hardworking. Olivia sees Cesario as attractive and sweet. She purposely sent out a servant to "return" a ring to Cesario that was not his. She did this in order for him to have a reason to come back to see her. Other people seen Viola similarly to the way she sees herself. She and the others see her as selfless, respectful, attractive and kind-hearted.

Similarities/Differences

Viola and I are similar because we both think of ourselves as hardworking and determined. Also Viola would think of herself as independent and strong. I relate to this by liking to do things on my own and working on my own in such a way that is similar to Viola. Viola wanted to work for her money in order to make a living. We are also similar by being more caring about others more than ourselves.


Viola and I are different by her giving up so easily when thinking her brother is dead. I would not give up as easily as she did. I would continue looking for him whether or not I was sure he was dead or not. I do not give up as easily as she does.

She's the Man

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Viola's Identity

Viola thinks of herself as determined. She is willing to do what ever it takes to play on the boys team. In the movie, She's the Man, Viola is determined to show the coach from her school that she is good enough to play on or tryout for the boys team. Viola thinks of herself as equal to the boys when it comes to playing on the soccer field. Viola would also think of herself as attractive and kind-hearted. Viola is also incredibly competitive when playing soccer.

Viola's Gender

In the movie, She's the Man, Viola is determined to play on the boys team when the girl's team gets cut. The coach at her school would not allow her to try out for the boys team so she decided to play on the boys team Illyria disguised as her brother Sebastian. Viola made it seem easy when changing between gender roles but difficult when situations with Duke Orsino and Olivia started happening. It was difficult for her to confess her love for Duke, while being Sebastian and it was difficult for her to explain to Olivia why she cannot love her because of her real gender. Viola is forced to act like a boy by making sure her voice becomes deeper and talk about subjects in the way that boys would talk about them.
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Viola's Perception

In the movie, people see Viola as Sebastian for the most part. Duke Orsino, Andrew, and Toby seen Viola (Sebastian) as different because of the way she talked about things with them. They seen her as girly and sensitive. They also seen her as "the man" when it came to girls because a lot of girls were interested in "Sebastian". The girls Viola talked to, such as Olivia, seen her as sweet and different from the other guys. Olivia saw her as understanding and very attractive. When Viola acted as herself in the movie, Duke Orsino found her also attractive and nice. He also seen her as determined which is why he told his coach to allow her to play for the rest of the game. Overall they seen Viola as a good person. Viola thinks of herself very similarly to the way the others see her such as being attractive and a good person.

Similarities and Differences

Viola and I are similar because we are both determined. We are not determined in the same way or subject but she is determined in soccer and I am determined in school. I am determined to get good grades and graduate high school to be able to go on to college. We are also similar by being a nice/good person for the most part.


Viola and I are different by her loving sports, especially soccer when I am not a big fan of sports. She is also very competitive and I am not so much. Viola also believes that girls are equal to boys and I agree but I also think that boys are definitely stronger and have the ability to do things that most girls are not able to do.