10 Things I Hate About You in Comparison to Taming of the Shrew

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“I don’t like to do what people expect.” This line from the character Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You accurately summarises the attitudes of both her own character and her doppelganger, Katherina, in The Taming of the Shrew. These texts show us that the differing contexts and societal values of the texts influence directly the development and growth within the characters. The parallels and differences between Kate’s transformations in William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You are drawn through the use of characterisation and the strong tones generated by Shakespeare’s language as well as the visual imagery in Ten Things I Hate About You. The characterisation used in both texts relies on verbal dialogue, and in the case of 10 Things I Hate About You, visual imagery. In both text’s Kate is described as “shrewish” and “tempestuous” providing us with an insight as to what other characters think of her. We also learn from her own words that she resists control and domination and strongly values her own free will. However, the similarities between the two character’s developments begins to diverge towards the end of the texts. In The Taming of the Shrew, Katherina begins to become increasingly subservient to a certain extent through Petruchio’s unorthodox and cruel treatment; whereas in Ten Things I Hate About You, the transformation of Kat is of one to a more open minded state where she can accept that not all men are necessarily bad people; and in contrast to The Taming of the Shrew, she is not treated badly by Patrick (Petruchio’s parallel) but rather treated with kindness and compassion. These differences can be attributed to the context of the texts. While The Taming of the Shrew is set in Elizabethan times where women had a lack of rights and were ruled by men, Ten Things I Hate About You is set in 1999 where women are treated as equals. This characterisation directly demonstrates the similarities and differences...
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