Critical Essay On Shakespeare Plays On The Relation Of Marriage And Economy

1819 words - 8 pages

Preliminary Extension English Assessment Task #1

From a Shakespearean play set in the time of the Italian Renaissance, showing the journey of a women and her ‘taming’ by her husband comes Gil Jungers fantastic film 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). What once used to be a play viewed by anyone and everyone of European culture is now only viewed by those of an esoteric nature for literature. Gil Junger has successfully appropriated The Taming of the Shrew (1594), and made it into a flim which has taken the plays place in popular culture.

In modern society, it is common to want to take an old and extremely famous text and change it so it can be applied to a modern audience. ...view middle of the document...

Also the setting of the story must be altered. The messages within the play needed to be altered in order for them to appeal to a modern audience.

Whilst the themes of Jungers’ 10 Things I Hate About You are similar to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the attitudes presented within the film have been altered considerably. The major theme that has stayed alive is comedy. In The Taming of the Shrew, a great amount of the comedy is presented by minor characters such as Petrucchio’s servant Grumio. This is carried on to 10 Things I Hate About You by characters such as Michael, in such situations as when he gets a penis drawn on his face by Joey. A new supplier of comedic value is Katherine’s Father. In The Taming of the Shrew he is portrayed as a very strict and uptight dad who only cares about how he and his daughters are seen within society. The father in 10 Things I Hate About You, Mr Stratford, is a rich source of comedy. He is now a doctor who spends much of his time delivering babies to young mothers therefore he focuses his concerns on making sure his daughters do not have a possibility of becoming pregnant. This view is expressed by the quote “Kissing? That’s what you think happened? I’ve got news for you. Kissing isn’t what keeps me up to my elbows in placenta all day long”. The reason for this change in the father’s role is to show the difference between values for a man of Baptista’s time, and a man of Walter Stratford’s time. By adapting this character to show these attitudes, as shown by Walter, the audience is now able to relate to the fact that fathers are more concerned about the safety of their children rather than how the society views them.

Another theme that plays a large part in both texts is feminism. The feminism in The Taming of the Shrew is considerably altered in its transformation to 10 Things I Hate About You. In the original version, Katherine begins as an independent and feisty personality but she is ‘tamed’ by Petrucchio in a way that is similar to the taming of a falcon for example, sleep deprivation and restriction of food. Towards the end of the play Katherine explains how a woman should be passive and obedient to her husband. This attitude would not sit well with a modern audience, hence the reason Junger changed it so much. In 10 Things I Hate About You, it is expected that a female be independent and stand up for herself. It is also communicated that young women should be well educated and be able to express themselves and their opinions. Kat portrays a female of exactly this description. In 10 Things I Hate About You, Kat wishes to go away to university and also start a girl band. At first Katherine’s father is reluctant to allow her to go away to university so far away but he changes his mind as he believes her independence in more important than his want for her to be under his control.

One theme that was altered dramatically is the view of marriage as an...

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