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Taming of the Shrew Play and Movie

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Taming of the Shrew Play and Movie

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Each producer contrives means to present the relationships between the characters precisely, which is the most important point in a piece of literature. William Ball and Franco Zeffirelli each use different methods to show the relationships between the main character, Katherina, and her sister, Bianca, in “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare, and to bring Shakespeare`s word to life on the screen and the stage. Ball focuses on bringing a unique vision of Commedia dell’Arte to the piece, and exaggerates all physical expressions using movements such as gymnastics and acrobatics on a free form stage. On the other hand, Zeffirelli cuts and pastes the script, and puts in scenes that are reported actions in the text, to make the story more understandable to the audience.

There are scenes where the relationships between Katherina and Bianca are clearly shown through Ball`s means and methods, which are to input comedy in the act and to exaggerate each movement. It is difficult to express the descriptions of characters on a stage with only normal motions, because of the distance to the audience. Ball is a theatre director, and makes use of the features in a theatre play. One of the scene is where Bianca`s suitors and schoolmasters come to visit her house. They witness Katherina, chasing and striking poor Bianca. Bianca begs Katherina’s pardon. In this part, Katherina is characterized as rebellious and un-submissive. One of Bianca`s suitors, Gremio, describes her, “She`s too rough for me.” (p.16) On the other hand, Bianca is shown as a well behaved and obedient character. Lucentio, who falls in love with Bianca, describes her, “Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her” (p.20) when he first meets her. In this production, the scene where Katherina strikes Bianca is expressed using a slapstick. The reason why it is being used in the play is that Ball wants to express it in a comedy touch, and to also use sight and sound effects to exaggerate. The decision of...