Similarities Between Taming of The Shrew and 10 Thing I Hate About You

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Taming of the Shrew and 10 Thing I Hate About You are two very similar films. One just so happens to be made in 1967 and the other in 1999. The characters in 10 things are put in a number of indistinguishable situations to those in taming of the shrew. While the setting and time period are contrastive, they represent the original point that is meant to get across.

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In the play Taming of the Shrew the main characters are a man named Petruchio who wants to marry Katherine, who has a bad temper. Then there is Lucentio, who is in love with Bianca, Katherine’s pure, loving, kind, younger sister, and will do anything to win her over. In 10 Things I Hate about You, we have Patrick, who falls in love with Kat, a bad-tempered girl, and Cameron, who falls in love with Bianca Stratford, a loving girl and who happens to be Kat’s younger sister. The characters in the play and their counterparts in the movie are similar and so are their relationships. Also, in the end Kat becomes tamed just like Katherine does in the play. In 10 Things I hate about you, the couples are younger and the relationships are less serious than they are in Taming of the Shrew. However, in Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate about You, they both have the exact same plot.

The plot of Taming of the Shrew is that Lucentio, Gremio, and Hortensio want to marry a girl named Bianca. The only thing standing in their way is her older sister Katherine, who her father says has to get married before Bianca does. So they set off to find a husband for Katherine, and they find Petruchio.

He eagerly marries her, but at first he does it only for the dowry given by Baptista. Over time, however, Petruchio and Katherine develop feelings for each other and they have a good relationship. On the other hand, in the movie 10 things I hate about you, Cameron, Joey, and Michael want to win Bianca, and the only thing standing in their way is her father who says Kat has to date before Bianca can. So they find Patrick Verona whom they pay to date Kat. Over time, though, Patrick and Kat develop feelings for each other like Petruchio and Katherine did. Another difference was the way they were paid. Petruchio got money from the dowry, whereas Joey paid Patrick to take Kat out on a date. However the plot is relatively the same in every other way.

Audiences are able to recognise the extent of how values have evolved over time through the comparison of texts across varying/different contexts. This is portrayed through Shakespeare's 1590 play Taming Of The Shrew as it illustrates Elizabethan values of Patriarchy and the value of relationships within their society. Contrastingly, Gil Junger's 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You demonstrates 20th century ideologies which subverts patriarchal values and promotes relationships based on loving partnership.

Patriarchy within the Elizabethan society is depicted through the oppression and treatment of women by their fathers and husbands in Tots. The authoritive actions Baptista placed upon Katherine and Bianca allows Baptista to control their lives like puppets, leaving no room for them to be independent individuals. This is further communicated through the marriage negotiations that were discussed in his daughters’ absence. The metaphor, “I play a merchant’s part” demonstrates that Baptista sees marriage as a business contract and is willing exchange his daughters in return for economic gain. Treating his daughters as commodities communicates to the audience that women during the Elizabethan period were objectified burdens, emphasising patriarchal values of women being seen as property of their father’s. Petruchio’s treatment towards Katherine also shows male supremacy within the Patriarchal society. Katherine is depicted as a character whom expresses her individuality and refuses to conform to societal expectations, causing her to be dehumanised throughout the play. Unlike the modern adaption “10TIHAY”, where individuality was valued and not oppressed by society. Petruchio’s animal imagery in “My falcon now is sharp and passing empty.” Conveys that he intends to tame Katherine into submissiveness through a method similar to hunting a falcon which was seen as a pursuit of the upper classes. As a result, it seems Petruchio’s social status and his knowledge underpins the patriarchal dominance which he intends to assert over to Katherine. “To make her come and know her keeper’s call” the metaphor suggests that Katherina will become obedient and understand her position of subservience to her ‘keeper’ (Petruchio), conveying that Katherine is on the receiving end of patriarchal dominance.

In the 20th century, there was a fall of patriarchy and a rise of a more egalitarian society which is shown through the film “10IHAY”. While males continue to exert their dominance, females are no longer repressed or seen as property of male characters which is demonstrated by the characterisation of Kate Stratford. The scene in which Kate and her father discuss collage and his disapproval of her choice, the low angle shot of the father suggest that he is superior which conforms to society's expectations of patriarchy within the family. However, the scene also shows Kate is in the foreground which subverts those expectations, conveying that Kate is the one holding more power. An additional low shot show the father doing a few sit ups. His outdated body figure and lack of physical strength establishes him as a Jocular father, which appeals to the audience that he is not taken seriously. The relationship that the daughters have with their father in “TOTS” show that he has complete control over their lives however, in “10TIHAY” the father seem to be oblivious to what is occurring in his daughter’s lives, which further accentuates the fall of patriarchy and promotion of social equality. Furthermore, in “TOTS” Petruchio exerts his societal control over to Katherine to the point where she feels humiliated and buckles into submission. However in “10TIHAY” Kate still exerts her power into the relationship, causing Patrick to embarrass himself in order to please her by singing his rendition of “Can’t take my eyes off of you” in front of a crowd, highlighting that their relationship has no male dominance over female but rather a relation where they are equals.

Relationships in the Elizabethan period was not based on love but rather economic and social gain which is highlighted in “TOTS”. The representation of status is brought up repeatedly in this play, that only well know, Nobel birth, respectable men could marry the most beautiful and modest women with large dowries. The parallelism of 'I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; If wealthily, then happily in Padua.' Depicts that for Petruchio, marriage and money are synonymous, he continues to say that apart from his wife’s prospective wealth he doesn’t care about her other qualities. He even metaphorically stated that she may be “old as Sibyl,” which highlights his honestly about his materialism and selfishness by straightforwardly acknowledging the economic aspect of marriage with little concern for romantic love.

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While TOT depicts the quintessential features of the 16th century marriage, 10 I hate about you have been appropriated to suit the modern cultural expectations and the modern audiences ideals of love, relation and marriage.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Similarities between Taming of the Shrew and 10 Thing I Hate About You. (2022, February 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
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