QUESTION: Does She’s the Man successfully appropriate Twelfth Night? Discuss.
She’s the Man is an effective modernisation of Twelfth Night for a number of reasons. She’s the Man is a modern text set in an American High School whereas Twelfth Night is a play written by Shakespeare first performed in 1601 set in a court in Illyria. This essay will contemplate cross gender, morals and the similar aspects of the love triangle incorporated within the two texts.
Firstly, She’s the Man and Twelfth Night both successfully explore similar ideas of cross gender between characters. This is represented by females who disguise themselves as males in order to avoid the danger and troubles they would otherwise face as a women. For instance in Twelfth Night Viola transforms herself into her brother to avoid the risks she would undergo as a woman all alone, without a man’s escort, “Oh, that I served that lady, And might not be delivered to the world, Till I had made mine own occasion mellow”. This shows Viola’s willingness to hide herself from the world in order to overcome hardships. Similarly, in She’s the Man Viola also undertakes the role of her brother in order to play in the male soccer team. She disguises herself to hide from the rejection and discrimination she would otherwise experience as a result of stereotypical gender judgements. She’s the Man furthers the idea of male and female equality by not only looking at the emotional similarities but by also suggesting their equal physical abilities.
In addition, the same morals are explored in Twelfth Night and are appropriated in Shes the Man, albeit in slightly different ways. Both texts incorporate similar personalities, but utilise different contexts to make a moral point. This helps develop common messages within the two texts. To illustrate, in Twelfth Night Viola felt depressed as a result of the loss of her brother, however she was still willing to have a positive attitude to life. This is evident in the...
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