Is 10 Things I Hate About You simply The Taming of the Shrew relocated to high school? Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You is undoubtedly more complicated than a relocation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew into high school. The transformation of Shakespearean comedy into the ‘teen’ movie genre and the integration of Elizabethan values enable the film to be a successful relocation of the play, yet the incorporation of modern gender conventions discerns it as something more than a relocation. The culmination of these facets produce a cinematic masterpiece that draws parallelism to Shrew in a feminist perspective.
The transformation of Shrew’s comedic genre into the ‘teen’ genre in 10 Things facilitates its relocation into high school. In Shrew, comedy revolves around the physical violence upon Kate, deception, and a play on words. The sight of a ‘shrew’ physically subdued by a man would have been humorous to an Elizabethan audience. Humour is also evident in Petruchio and Kate’s verbal battle, where elaborate puns are constructed. ‘Women are made to bear and so are you’ (II.i.200). Here, Petruchio twists the word ‘bear’ into meaning ‘giving childbirth’, thus twisting Kate’s insults into innuendo. Influenced by the ‘teen’ genre and the rise of feminism, in 10 Things, comedy exists verbally and in stereotypical teenage experiences. Ms Perky’s attempt to describe an erotic scene in her novel is evidence of verbal humour, similar to Petruchio’s use of puns. The concept of growing up is embodied in Kat’s antisocial behaviour. Described as a ‘heinous bitch’, her unfriendly manner illustrates her inability to accept her adolescence, such as dating. This is emphasised in the party scene, where the childhood swings she is sitting on juxtapose against the adolescent party house in the background. The modern adaptation also explores teenage dating. Dating forms the basis of comedy. Bianca feels the urge to date for the purpose of fitting in to teenage...
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