Soccer in Shakespeare?

In the original play Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s main characters is a women named Viola. She has to go undercover and cross dress as a man to fit into society. In the modernized version, She’s The Man, Viola is a soccer player who has to cross-dress as her brother Sebastian in order to beat her boys soccer team. The basic plot is very similar in some cases, for example; a lot of the character names are the same. The main difference is instead of Viola cross dressing as Cesario, she dresses as her brother Sebastian.

Some wonder how the modernized version of Twelfth Night correlates to the play, despite that the plays were created in different eras. For example, the soccer team captain name is Duke Orsino, he is in love with a beautiful girl named Olivia, much like how the Duke of Illyria was. In the movie, Duke says the famous Shakespearean quote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them!” (II.v. 129-130.) This is a very popular saying from Twelfth Night. In both the play and the modernized version, Olivia falls in love with Viola which creates the conflict between Voila and Duke. Also, in She’s The Man and Twelfth Night, Duke Orsino and Viola end up together and Oliva and Sebastian end up together. Creating a happy ending for all.

Even though the play and the movie have similar aspects, they have differences as well. In the play, Olivia is distraught over the fatal deaths of her brother and her father. The result of this is she does not want to be courted or wed any time soon. In the modernized version, Olivia will not go on a date with Duke because she is upset over a recent break up. Also, in the modernized version, weddings are far in the future because they are all seniors in high school. This is another way to show how different the time periods were.


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