Extreme Court Makeover

debutant blog

Viola at Olivia’s court (more fancy)

In The Twelfth Night there are two distinctly different houses or courts that carry over into the modern day movie, She’s the Man. Yet in the movie the role that the houses play is reversed to make Duke Orsino’s group to be the less fancy and Olivia’s group to be the more posh of the two. This is opposite of the original, yet it is a necessary change to represent the difference of gender roles. This change from the original play is emphasized by the placement of Sir Andrew and Sir Toby on Duke Orsino’s side. These changes that contrast the movie from the play are extenuated by the events that take place during the debutant coming out party rehearsal. Viola in these circumstances is acting relatively unsophisticated, and Olivia and her friends are acting very posh. These distinctions between the two groups in She’s the Man are just as important as they are in the play. The idea of opposite courts are so relevant in Shakespeare’s plays due to the philosophical principle that everything is defined by its opposite. This idea heightens the contrast and character values of two opposing courts, which resonates even with the catholic and Protestant influences in Shakespeare’s life.

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