A couple months ago, I believe, I was watching a movie called She’s the Man. It was about a girl who pretended to be her brother because he was going off to Europe for a few weeks and she wanted to prove to everyone that girls could play soccer just as well as boys. Her name is Viola, her brother’s is Sebastian, the guy she’s crushing on is named Duke, and the girl who’s crushing on the guy version of her is called Olivia. And you might say, okay, I don’t care, get to the point.
Well, the point is that a couple weeks ago I was reading a play by Shakespeare called Twelfth Night. In that, the main characters are also named Viola, Sebastian, Duke, and Olivia. It is also about how a girl dresses up as her brother. And still, I didn’t connect the two of them till days later, because I didn’t have any inclination to associate them together. And because I must be incredibly slow.
Though the modern movie version and the original have some differences (for example, Viola pretending to be her brother at a school for soccer versus Viola pretending to be a version of her brother named Cesario at court for survival), I’m glad that some producer out there thought that Shakespeare stories are still relevant today, and decided to show the world just how much.
Go out and watch the movie, then read the play, and compare as I did.