Taming of the Shrew Appropriation 10 Things

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How is it possible for a play written in the Renaissance period to display social, cultural and economic constructs that are still evident and relevant in the 21st century?

Good morning/ afternoon ladies and gentlemen I am Gil Junger and I am present here today to inform you on how I appropriated the Shakespearean play "The Taming of the Shrew" into the modern day teen flick "10 Things I Hate About You" , whilst still being able to keep the key themes and values evident throughout the film.

The themes and values present in The Taming of the Shrew for the appropriation to be successful needed to be evident in 10 Things I Hate About You. These included romance and marriage, the importance of money, social order and status, patriarchal values and finally transformation.

To represent and to appeal to today's society while a large amount of the themes and values stayed the same, some of these ideas I had to alter. I did this through the language and form of the play and also by using film techniques, if I hadn't of done this the appropriation would have seemed unrealistic and the audience would be unable to relate to the film.

To keep the appropriation true and meaningful the basic plot and characters were kept similar. For the characters I chose to have the parallel personality traits to The Taming of the Shrew characters.

For example Kate and Kat were similar as their both independent and intelligent individuals who go by their own morals and don't care what anyone else thinks of them. Bianca in both texts is seen as the ‘object of desire' as of her submissive manner and good looks. I used similarities like these ones all throughout ‘10 things' with only making minor changes.

The idea of marriage and romance was demonstrated in The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare where that it was the father's right to marry his daughters off to the male who bided the "sufficient dower" and asserted the greatest masculinity. Once the father had made this choice the daughters were forced to obey. The romance was seen as a pursuit of love to win the girl. In 10 Things I Hate About You, I chose to deal with the issue in The Taming of the Shrew in a similar fashion but with one significant difference. Marriage is the focal point in the play "not to bestow my youngest daughter before I have a husband for the elder".

While in my appropriation not once did I mention marriage. I replaced this concept with dating to conform to the contextual influences. "No dating until your sister does".

I represented romance as a competition with both Joey and Cameron striving to achieve Bianca. I used the song ‘WAR' to portray the notion of rivalry in romance, as of the lyrics "no one has one this war…this time" and "come on, it's war come on".

In The Taming of the Shrew Kate is "tamed" to become a "better woman" by Petruchio's "cruel love" where she is denied food and sleep among other things. This form of taming is unacceptable in the 21st century. Would any of you here today be denied of basic things like Petruchio had done to Kate and go unnoticed? I didn't think so.

Therefore to convey this idea Patrick went through the process of winning Kat over with persistence and at first the incentive of money that was involved. I used two songs by Letters to Cleo in ‘10 Things' to represent these issues… Cruel to Be Kind to represent Petruchio's treatment of Kate and I Want You to Want Me… representing the extremes that both Petruchio and Patrick went to tame Kate and Kat.

One of the major adaptations between The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You was between Kate's final speech and the sonnet delivered by Kat. Kate's speech is one of female subservience ‘thy husband' as ‘thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head and thy sovereign…' and at the end she kneels before him.

This would have been completely inappropriate as throughout the film I had been conveying the concept of a culture which is one of equality...
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