All posts by ashleyanderson

She’s the Man versus Twelfth Night

Why don’t we rewind a little and go back to Twelfth Night. As many of you already know, She’s the Man is based on Twelfth Night. I’ll be honest; it took me until the second act to figure it out. When I finally did, I just sat stunned and amazed. I should probably let you know that I have seen She’s the Man more than I really care to admit. I used to love Amanda Bynes (pre-head shave). Any ways, I wanted to share with you the similarities and differences I noticed with this adaptation.

The most prominent difference is that in She’s the Man Viola intentionally disguises herself as her brother (there is no mere coincidence that her and Sebastian look the same). However, Viola in the play and movie decide “such disguise” “become[s] the form of [their] intent.” (1.2.55-6).

Only the main characters are the same in both. Viola and Sebastian are twins in both as well. There is no Andrew-Toby-Maria subplot in the movie because it is centered on Viola, Duke, Olivia and Sebastian. Viola by far is the main character though. Orsino (the Duke) in the play is represented by a gentleman named Duke Orsino- as in Duke is his first name. Genius right? Sebastian, Olivia and Viola are all represented by characters of the same name. Malvolio is represented by a character named Malcolm. Similarly to Malvolio in the play, Malcolm has a creepy infatuation with Olivia although she shows no interest. Malcolm is also similar to Sir Andrew in his repeated attempts to court Olivia and his contempt for Viola as Sebastian. Ironically (well not so ironically actually), Malcolm has a tarantula named Malvolio!

In the movie Viola disguises herself as Sebastian (who is in London playing music) to prove that girls can play soccer as well as guys. This attempt to prove that as a woman she can play soccer as well as the guys allows for several gender references in the movie. Examples such as extensive negative emphasis on Viola’s similarities to Sebastian, a soccer coach saying “girls can’t play soccer” and Viola’s mother encouraging her to become a debutante (class reference!) exemplify perceived roles of women in She’s the Man. Both Violas use their disguise to “allow [them] very worth” (1.2.60) the things women are denied.

The basic Viola-Orsino-Olivia love triangle from the play remains in the movie. Duke is interested in Olivia (whom is pretty and popular) but she expresses her interest in Viola as Sebastian and Viola/Sebastian falls in love with Duke. As in Twelfth Night, Duke requires Viola’s assistance with courting Olivia. The setting of Illyria is similar as well. The school that Sebastian (or Viola as Sebastian) goes to is called Illyria. Lines in the movie are even the same as in the play. The lines “be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve/ greatness and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.” (2.5.129-31) are spoken in both.  Near the end of the movie, Duke delivers the lines to the soccer team and Viola and Malvolio reads them aloud from the letter in the play. She’s the Man and Twelfth Night both end with the formation of relationships. In the play everybody gets married and in the movie there is a debutante ball to which everybody has an escort.

As I read Twelfth Night, I struggled with thinking about and comparing it to She’s the Man. Perhaps, after reading this, you will too (if not you should at least watch the movie). If you live under a rock and have no clue what She’s the Man is, you can watch the trailer here: I also thought I would let you know that the Roger Ebert movie even compares She’s the Man to Twelfth night (or at least makes references)! You can read that here: Lastly, I came across this comparison of She’s the Man and Twelfth night I thought might be interesting: Enjoy!

Ashley Anderson



  • Ebert, R. “She’s the Man.” com. Ebert Digital LLC, 16 Mar. 2006. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
  • Gounder, V. “Comparison of Twelfth Night and She’s the Man”. Prezi. Prezi Inc, 4 Dec. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
  • Paramount Movies. “She’s The Man Trailer.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2015.
  • Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night. Ed. David Carnegie and Mark Houlahan. Peterborough: Broadview Press/ Internet Shakespeare Editions, 2014. Print.
  • She’s the Man. Dir. Andy Fickman. Perf. Amanda Bynes, Channing Tatum, Laura Ramsey, Vinnie Jones, David Cross. DreamWorks, 2006. DVD.

Lucrece Paraphrase

Let us go back to Lucrece shall we?

As I was skimming through my full notebook for a blank page today in  class I came across some notes about Lucrece. There was a specific passage that I struggled with and decided to paraphrase/annotate. I decided to share my paraphrase with you in the chance any of you struggled with the  same lines.

The original lines are:

“‘O unseen shame, invisible disgrace!

O unfelt sore, crest-wounding, private scar!

Reproach is stamped in Collatinus’ face,

And Tarquin’s eye may read the mot afar:

How he in peace is wounded, not in war.

Alas, how many bear such shameful blows,

Which not themselves but he that gives them knows.

‘If, Collatine, thine honour lay in me,

From me by strong assault it is bereft:

My honour lost, and I, a drone-like bee,

Have no perfection of my summer left,

But robbed and ransacked by injurious theft.

In thy weak hive a wand’ring wasp hath crept,

And suck’d the honey which thy chaste bee kept.” (827-840).


My paraphrase:

Shame is not seen, disgrace is invisible!

The unsupported scar will ruin the family’s name!

Shame is clear on Collatine’s face,

Tarquin can see the shame on the family and Collatine.

Collatine was not injured in the war but by this.

How often do people feel as much shame as the guilty.

Collatine placed his honour in me:

But, by force it was stolen.

The chastity I was fighting so hard to protect is gone,

And now I am no longer pure.

An evil wasp crept into my ‘hive’ and stole my ‘honey’.


I thought it was quite interesting how Shakespeare used the symbolism of the wasp to represent Tarquin, the bee to represent Lucrece and the honey to represent Lucrece’s chastity and purity. After reading Troilus and Cressida I cannot help but notice how much weight Shakespeare’s characters place on others opinions. This is evident in Lucrece’s fear of shame for both herself and Collatine. It is also interesting to note Shakespeare’s extensive emphasis on the eye and what is visible on the outside (and public) versus internal emotions that are private.


Ashley Anderson



Shakespeare, William. “Lucrece.” The Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Sonnets and Poems. Ed. Colin Burrow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 289. Print.

Voyant of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

With the recurring themes in Shakespeare’s sonnets I thought it would be interesting to see the recurring words in all 154 sonnets.

Here are the results:

Voyant sonnets 2

The most used word- being used 372 times- is my. I found it interesting as well that love is used 161 times. I was shocked to discover that time is only used 53 times and beauty is only used 52 times. I was so surprised that beauty and time were directly used so few times because they are such prominent themes throughout the sonnets.  Even more surprising is that glass is only used 10 times!


Here is a closer visual:

Voyant sonnets

And here is a visual of some prominent themes:

Voyant sonnets 3

These results display how in the sonnets, Shakespeare uses hidden meanings as opposed to directly saying what he meant. He expressed the same theme in multiple different ways.


Ashley Anderson



  • Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 1-154” The Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Sonnets and Poems. Ed. Colin Burrow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 383-689. Print.
  • Sinclair, S. and G. Rockwell (2015). Voyant Tools: Reveal Your Texts. Voyant. Retrieved April 5, 2015 from

Voyant of Troilus and Cressida

As I was reading Act 3, scene 1 I noticed extensive repetition during Helen and Pandarus’ conversation (3.1.42-141). I thought it would be interesting to use Voyant to find out how many times the words are actually used.

Here is the visual:

Troilus and Cressida Voyant



To my surprise, at 19 times the most used word is you. It is followed by my at 17 times. In a tie for third we have lord, queen and sweet all being used 16 times!

The use of the words lordqueen and sweet can be seen here:


Troilus and Cressida Voyant 2



I was surprised to learn that the word fair only showed up 10 times and all at the beginning of the conversation!

Troilus and Cressida Voyant 3

Ashley Anderson



  • Shakespeare, William. Troilus and Cressida. 3rd ed. Ed. David Bevington. New York: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2012-2013. Print.
  • Sinclair, S. and G. Rockwell (2015). Voyant Tools: Reveal Your Texts. Voyant. Retrieved April 5, 2015 from

My Shakespearean Sonnet

Continuing my infatuation with sonnets I decided to write my own. Written in iambic pentameter and Shakespearean language of course. As always, enjoy!

Ashley Anderson


Thy beauty makes night long for the day 

For we know not that which makes us love

Perchance I shall just float away

Oh! To be free and fly up above

Thine eyes shine brighter than the stars

Ne’er there was a more beauteous glow

How dost thou feel alone on mars?

Mine heart pains thou wilt never know

Thine thickest thoughts shalt block mine speech

Silence louder than a bubbling stream

Wherefore thy soul has much to teach

Thy wishest this was just a dream

T’was no time to speakest of thy sorrow

For now tis time to say good morrow




The Sonnet Project: Sonnet 138

Another sonnet? What!?!?!

Yes! I guess I have a weakness for sonnets (and any poetry really). Hopefully you enjoy this one. This is definitely one of my favourite sonnets because although it speaks about lying and unfaithfulness, I admire the truth that is required for the speaker to reveal  such thoughts.

Ashley Anderson



  • Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 138” The Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Sonnets and Poems. Ed. Colin Burrow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 657. Print.

The Sonnet Project: Sonnet 62

Here is another sonnet for the Sonnet Project. This one was quite the tongue twister. There is extensive alliteration in this sonnet, especially “Sin of self-love possesseth” (1) and “Methinks no face so gracious is as mine, / No shape so true, no truth of such account,” (5-6). Any ways, enjoy!

Ashley Anderson




  • Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 62” The Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Sonnets and Poems. Ed. Colin Burrow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. 505. Print.