The Taming Of The Shrew Versus 10 Things I Hate About You: Comparative Essay

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Shakespeare wrote, “The course of true love has never been smooth.” This wise quote perfectly describes both the play “The Taming of the Shrew,” as well as “10 Things I hate about you.”

William Shakespeare’s stories are still relevant to society today, vastly enjoyed by all ages, whether it be the play or modern interpretations. So how can you represent the same message to appeal to today’s society while portraying the same themes and values? The ideas and values which have been showcased in The Taming of the Shrew need also to be included in 10 things I hate about you, the most apparent themes which can be pointed out include Money, social order, transformation, status and most importantly, love. To modernize this play, you would have to incorporate things which people can relate to today; it is not hard to tell that Ten things I hate about you, (directed by Gil Junger) taming of the shrew are similar films/plays. Although the setting and period differ, the piece of film and the play have many of the same characters. The main characters have similar or the same names, such as Katherina, Bianca, Cameron, portrayed as Cambio, and Petruchio, who is Patrick (Anglicized) It is quite plain to see that these themes may differ but still get the same point across.

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As you begin to read the taming of the shrew, you may notice Shakespeare’s development of the characters. He gives you an idea about personalities and stories behind the characters right from the moment you are introduced to them. On the contrary, ten things I hate about you seems a little slower in that department. While it takes you no time at all to realize Kat is Katherina, Bianca is Bianca, and Mr Stratford is Baptista, it takes longer to figure out why the director added extra characters. These additional characters like Michael Eckman and Mr Morgan make it hard for the person watching the movie to figure out what characters correspond to those of the taming of the shrew. The director of 10 things also leaves out the vital information, like Kat’s backstory, for the audience to hear in the end. In addition to this, the portrayal of Petruchio in 10 things I hate about you is very inaccurate. Petruchio is supposed to be an arrogant money-driven snob, which is not the case in 10 things. Patrick Verona, the character that corresponds with Petruchio, is fond of money, but not motivated by it. In addition, Patrick falls in love with Kat much faster than Petruchio falls in love with Katherina; this clearly shows that the taming of the shrew is undoubtedly more thoughtful about its character choices.

The foundation of this story is about men wanting to be with a nice beautiful girl, this is shown when Petruchio is given quite a lot of money to marry Katherine so that Lucentio can marry Bianca. Wherein the modernized version, Patrick is given money by another character (Joey) to begin dating Katherine so that Joey can marry Bianca. So thus, showing that men can go to any extent to be with the girl they desire. Within the finish, Petruchio and Patrick have “tamed” Katherina in one way or another because she is now willing and trusts men. From this evidence that I have given from this, it can be said that most of the characters in the ten things I hate about you are primarily based on characters in 10 things I hate about you, and not in a subtle way. Furthermore, that they share identical roles and behave identically as their forerunners.

Although they might seem alike, there are small details which need to be given importance, a difference which is quite big but goes unnoticed. No one in 10 things I hate about you gets married, simply put, it would not be acceptable to get married when you are seventeen and attending high school; therefore that is the reason behind why they begin dating. Another difference is that Petruchio and Patrick are “Taming” Katherine and Kat in different ways. Petruchio is mean, abusive and disrespectful towards her, he starves her, he disturbs her and does not let her sleep, and he harasses her for everything she says, whether it is right or wrong. He refers to her as “Wildcat” or “Shrew,” despite all of his efforts; in the end, he is sure that he has “tamed” Katherine, but he is mistaken. It is her that tamed him. Patrick, on the other hand, unintentionally falls in love with Kat, and persistently tries to be kind and affectionate for her. Both methods worked, but Petruchio’s approach is not acceptable in today’s society and labelled as domestic violence, which proves that it has somewhat is altered to be fair in the time period based on its audience, without the need to be changed drastically enough to veer off from the idea itself.


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