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Reflection on She Is the Man Versus Twelfth Night: Opinion Essay

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Love. it is such an interesting thing to think about, and it is very complicated. But we have to remember that people see it differently to others, they may see it as a curse, or as fate, but in the same sense, it means similar things. To show you what I mean, there are two sources that I will be talking to you about today, Shes the man directed by andy Fickman, and Twelfth night, the play by William Shakespeare. And yes, many people may be wondering how in the world Shes the man; a modern-day iconic film is related to this old play that was created way, WAY back, but you will be surprised to know that it is actually a remake of twelfth night. I know; a way to suck the fun out of a good movie!

It is obvious that the theme I will be talking about to you today is love, as it is the base of both shes the man and twelfth night, so, let's explore and compare the idea of love in both of these stories. But before we do this, I have to tell you one thing… these stories are very confusing! Even I still don't understand it, and reading the Elizabethan language did not help at all! but I will do my best to explain it to you as well as possible. Let's start with Shakespeare's famous and most confusing play, twelfth night.

The way Shakespeare demonstrated love in this play was very clever. Although this play may not be funny to us modern humans, it is actually a romantic comedy and romantic love is the play’s main focus. Even though the play offers a happy ending, where lovers find one another and achieve wedded bliss, Shakespeare shows that love causes pain, and the majority of the characters view love as some kind of curse. Like a feeling that attacks its victims abruptly and disruptively. Many of these characters claim to suffer pain just from being in love, but maybe it is the pangs of unsaid love.

At one point, Duke Orsino depicts love as an appetite that he wants to satisfy but he can't find the way to do it. At another point, he names his desires “fell and cruel hounds” Olivia depicts love bluntly as the plague, from which she says she suffers terribly. All of these metaphors used contain elements of violence, therefore, explaining that love causes pain, and all the characters can agree. Even viola pictures love as a curse, as she says “my state is desperate for my masters to love” the desperation has the potential to cause violence as seen in act 5 scene 1 when Orsino threatens to kill Cesario because he thinks that Cesario is becoming Olivia’s lover, kind of like how Duke got angry at viola as Sebastion in shes the man for “kissing” Olivia, even though it was actually Sebastion. Wow, that was a lot, but basically, to sum it up, love is seen as a curse or an act of violence that takes over people’s lives and they can't seem to get out of it.

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The love story in the film “she’s the man” is actually really hard to follow because all of the characters are attracted to someone else, this is how it goes. Duke wants Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique so she hates Olivia who with the duke to make Sebastian jealous who is really viola whos crushing on Duke who thinks she’s a guy. Sound familiar? Well, it is basically the plot of the twelfth night. Except in Shakespeare’s play, Viola’s brother Sebastion is believed to have died at sea.

At the end of the film, everyone gets paired up with the person of their dreams and there is this sense of romantic closure in spite of all that chaos that they had to go through. Kind of like how Olivia is Twelfth night was obsessing over Cesario who was really viola, which then got Duke Orsino furious, which in turn made viola feel bad, ect ect. The film is a romantic comedy, just like Shakespeare in which the people end up with their soulmates after a very stressful period of conflict.

Now, some of you may still be wondering how these two completely different stories from completely different eras are the same, but i will go into a better-explained comparison for you. Duke Orsino of Illyria in twelfth night and Duke Orsino the soccer captain in shes the man. Duke is in love with Olivia in both. Olivia falls in love with the viola who was disguised as Cesario in twelfth night and Sebastion in she's the man, her twin brother in both movies. Also in both the movie and the play, Viola is in love with Duke who thinks she is a male in both. Another way the plots are alike is that Orsino enlists Viola whether she be disguised as Sebastion or Cesario, to help get Orsino to win Olivia’s heart, which is a mistake because Olivia ends up falling in love with Viola. Also in both, Duke Orsino ends up with Viola and Sebastian ends up with Olivia. They all get their happy ending.

Another way is that Olivia is grieving in both movies and that's why she does not want to date duke, but in she's the man, it's over her ex-boyfriend who had just dumped her because they were in a bad relationship. One last way that we can compare these two is when Olivia has a man trying to woo her in both. In shes the man, it's Malcome feste and in twelfth night, it sir Andrew. What did i tell you. Thye are both very similar, including the love triangle.

So here you go! I have now shown and compared love between these 2 stories! I hope that you enjoyed and learned something new, because, let’s be real, it is very confusing to understand. Hey on the plus side we got there in the end so thanks for listening.

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Reflection on She Is the Man Versus Twelfth Night: Opinion Essay. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Reflection on She Is the Man Versus Twelfth Night: Opinion Essay.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Reflection on She Is the Man Versus Twelfth Night: Opinion Essay. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Feb. 2024].
Reflection on She Is the Man Versus Twelfth Night: Opinion Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2024 Feb 29]. Available from:
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