The Taming of the Shrew

While I have no control to the extent which you use this work, I ask you to RESPECT MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and NOT DIRECTLY COPY THIS ESSAY. Feel free to use aspects of it in your work or use it as a basis for any work you may need to do, but once again don’t plagiarize my work! No one can do it as well as Shakespeare .

..”No one can do it as well as Shakespeare” is a statement, that while containing obvious bias also holds a measure of truth.

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This truth is found in the plain and simple fact, that to this day there has never been another playwright that has held as much lasting influence as William Shakespeare. This can clearly be seen by the fact that his original ideas and plays are still frequently being rehashed in all forms of current-day media including film, television, fiction novels and modern plays. One such modern reinterpretation of a classic Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew, is the recent teen movie, ’10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999).While ’10 Things I Hate About You’ isn’t a direct reproduction of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ it still keeps some fundamental elements found in the original work but also contains many differences designed to help the production fit in better with a modern, teenage, audience. While the majority of the similarities between the two are noticeable and important, they are still quite general and are found in the fact that at a basic level the storyline remains the same as do the characters that drive it. The strongest character resemblances between ‘The Shrew’ and ’10 Things’ can be found in two of the main characters, sisters, Kat and Bianca.

They both share the names of their counterparts in The Taming of the Shrew (Katherine and Bianca) and have very similar personalities, i.e. Kat remains strong willed and shrewish or a “heinous bitch” while Bianca is still the shallow and manipulative character that she was in the original play. The roles that the two play in the development of the plot are also similar; In ‘The Shrew’ Katherine must first get married before her younger sister, Bianca, is allowed to be wed, while in ’10 Things’, Bianca is not allowed to date before Kat does.Other characters are also similar in that their roles in the development of the storyline remain fundamentally the same, however the manner in which they go about contributing to the story differs greatly between the film and the theatrical production. For instance the father of the two sisters, known in ’10 Things’ as ‘Mr.

Stratford’ and in ‘The Shrew’ as ‘Baptista’ plays the same, critical, position in both productions – that being the force which ultimately controls the development of the story, however the way in which he does it differs and is in effect toned-down to comply with the social standards that modern, westernized, society has come to expect.While Baptista’s main reasoning behind not letting Bianca marry before Katherine was one of finance and honor (in Elizabethan society a daughter was the respective ‘property’ of her father up until marriage), Mr. Stratford’s finds his reasoning of not letting Bianca date before Kat does through a comedic paranoia about teen-pregnancy. While the motives behind the two fathers differ, the outcome of their decisions remain the same and in effect open the gates to a host of Bianca’s potential suitors trying to find an appropriate partner for Kat/Katherine.However, while much of the story and many of the characters found in ’10 Things I Hate About You’ seem to parallel those found in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, it is notable to highlight the vastly different character development throughout the two productions and the impact this has on the final outcome of the plot. In ‘The Shrew’, the only character that really undertakes any major change is Katherine.

Through an onslaught of public and private humiliation mixed with food and sleep deprivation and with a pinch of plain abuse, Katherine has the shrewishness driven out of her by her suitor and then husband, Petruchio and by the end of ‘The Shrew’ Katherine is the model image of a subservient, submissive and ‘proper’ 17th century wife. This sort of character change, which is one of the major plot-aspects of the Shakespeare classic, is completely unsustainable and unattractive to a modern-day teenage demographic who are just after some light-hearted entertainment. It is for this reason that while Kat still undergoes a change, it is one that is far more appropriate in this day and age.

By the end of the film, she maintains her strong will and is still passionate about what she believes in, but instead she is somewhat ‘softer’, more open to romance and more accepting of others.