Comparative Essay

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Shakespeare’s wit in “Twelfth Night” gets lost in translation with “She’s The Man’s” broad slapstick, predictable jokes, youth-culture, stereotypes and unconvincing plotline.

In a sense, it may seem the wit of Shakespeare in “Twelfth Night” is lost in translation but the movie “She’s The Man” is adapted to suit the youth of the present day and the wit is rather transformed into humour mostly used by people of the present day. Wit, meaning “The talent or quality of using unexpected associations between contrasting or disparate words or ideas to make a clever humorous effect.” is only understood well when explained to us or when a person can translate the literature for themselves. I do not agree with this topic as these works were written in different eras, the writing styles are different and the topics are written to appeal to the people of the era. Shakespeare wrote “Twelfth Night” as a comedy to be performed at his Globe Theatre whereas “She’s The Man” is a vague adaptation of “Twelfth Night” that has been modernised and changed to represent today’s youth. These two topics are incomparable even though the one is based on the other.

Shakespeare’s wit is very amusing when understood by the reader. When reading the play, I found it particularly difficult to understand some of the humour and only after detailed translation did I acknowledge his humorous technique. Shakespeare created a very ironic and ‘punny’ situation in “Twelfth Night” using the mistaken identity, Dramatic Irony and idiocy of the characters. Some examples for this are Sebastian being mistaken for Cesario (Who is actually Viola dressed as a Youth working in the house of Count Orsino); Olivia (Who has fallen in love with Cesario) mistakes Sebastian for Cesario. This is also Dramatic Irony as the audience knows this and Olivia and Sebastian don’t. Another example of Dramatic Irony is when Malvolio is reading the letter supposedly written to him by Olivia, the audience knows this is a hoax...
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