Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew from the Elizabethan England period and Gil Junger’s teenage film Ten Things I Hate About You, released in 1999, share many similar elements but at the same time seem completely different from each other. Although both stories work with similar plots, many aspects of the Ten Things I Hate About You, which is an appropriation of The Taming of the Shrew, have been altered to suit the teenage audience of the late 1990’s. Both stories deal with relationships with families, the roles and expectations of women and men, and the nature of a romantic relationship, yet vary deeply in the way the composers chose to present. The film and the play also reflect on many values and attitudes of their time through the issues which are handled.
The nature of relationships within families is quite similar in The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You. In both cases, Kat and Bianca do not share a cl ,ose bond with each other as they have completely different personalities. A constant sibling rivalry between each other can still be seen in both stories. Junger used specific filming techniques such as a panning shot from Bianca to Kat to show the great differences between the two sisters. In The Taming of the Shrew, Bianca openly criticises and insults Kat about her shrewishness and unpleasant behaviour which highlight more of the dissimilarities of the siblings. On the other hand, in Ten Things I Hate About You, Bianca and Kat does not show as much respect to their father as they do in Shakespeare’s play. In the film, Walter Stratford is more of an irritating nuisance than a role-model. This shows that the 17th century placed a strong emphasis on respect and can be seen in the play when Kat is forced to marry Petruchio by his father’s commands. Junger demonstrated the lesser respect to parents by showing the girls showing their backs to their father while being lectured and the use of sarcasm and high-tempered voices towards them.
Women are shown in rather different ways between The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You. Shakespeare’s view of women is that they are only a mere possession of their husbands. They did not have the social respect as they would of the 1990’s. Towards the end of the play, Katherina even states that Petruchio is “Thy head, thy sovereign,” meaning that she is under the regulation of her husband. She would definitely not have any say on whether she wanted to marry the man either. In the play, other male characters have a low regard for women. For example, Petruchio held a contest in which the winner would be the one whose wife is willing to place their hand under their husbands’ foot. Society would surely not accept this today because the social status of women has greatly increased since Shakespeare’s days. Kat openly dumped Patrick in 10 Things I Hate About You after realising that he was only being paid to date her. Earlier in the film, Patrick even has to persuade Kat dearly into going on a date.
Men, on the other hand, in the stories have been positioned to be quite similar in many ways, despite the fact that they were created about five hundred years apart. They are presented as more witty and clever than the women and often outsmart them in conversations. Shakespeare’s Petruchio, for instance, is very smart with his words and often makes use of lurid sexual puns in order to undermine Kat’s standoffishness and anger.
The last element that is covered in across both 10 Things I Hate About You and The Taming of the Shrew is the nature of romantic relationships. The ways that Junger and Shakespeare used to demonstrate the shift in values and attitudes and greatly varied overall, but there were few similar elements which linked the texts together. During the early stages of both 10 Things I Hate About You and The Taming of the Shrew, unrequited love relationships could be seen similarly amongst most couples. This included the relationship between Patrick and Kat, whereby Patrick repeatedly attempted to woo uninterested Kat while she replied only with sarcasm and discontent. The director had used a middle shot of Patrick chasing Kat to demonstrate that Kat was uninterested and Patrick could easily lose her.
Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew both share the same plot. However, it is the time and technology that sets the two apart. Junger could have just copied Shakespeare’s version exactly onto film, but he chose to manipulate it to suit the modern audience which has changed drastically since Shakespeare’s time. The movie shows that most of the relationship issues of the 17th century are still mostly applicable in today’s world. The only significant difference between then and now is that women are now very much independent from men.