Mistaken Identity in She’s the Man

twins bynesThe mistaken identity element in the movie largely resembles that in Twelfth Night, both consisting of twin brother and sister confounding others. Mistaken identity is a classic element that contributes to various comedies. In Twelfth Night, it was Viola’s disguise and Sebastian’s sudden appearance that largely confound the public, even confounding each other. The movie She’s the Man follows a very similar plotline, which involves Viola’s constant attempts of trying to impersonate Sebastian as authentically as possible, but then the real Sebastian suddenly appears, making the confounded crowd wonder the real identity of Viola and Sebastian. The reason mistaken identity element can make comedies is that it creates conflicts and climax, which are the key elements for stories in general, but it is the absurdity of conflicts that the mistaken identity element creates that sets a comedy apart from a general story. The reason that the mistaken identity creates absurdity in a comedy is that it is improbable to really happen in real life, because there are not two people looking exactly alike, and most people would be able to tell someone apart from the other if one is merely wearing a wig, needless to say how easy it should be to tell apart twins of different genders. It should be rather easy to distinguish Sebastian from Viola, but the key thing about a comedy is not to take it too seriously and accept the ridiculous situation; otherwise it would not be called a comedy for it would lack the absurdity.

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