Battle of the Sexes Essay

Topics: The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You, Gender Pages: 3 (1128 words) Published: August 17, 2013
Battle of the Sexes Essay

Context plays a large role in how a text is perceived and how the author portrays their concept. In William Shakespeare’s early seventeenth century play The Taming of the Shrew, the outcome and the surrounding context directly reflects the Elizabethan era where males were superior. Therefore Petruchio winning the battle directly reflects this context. In comparison, Ten Things I Hate About You by Gil Junger’s shows a similar concept but alternate context. Having a modern setting brings individuality and value to the female characters. The battle in Ten Things has an equal result, which is also a reflection of the twentieth century and the value society places on equality. The mutual theme in both texts is the battle of the sexes, both portraying a male competing for the love of an unwilling female. Each texts context is what shapes the storyline.

The events and situations represented in Shrew almost give the reader an insight into what life was like in the seventeenth century. It was not uncommon for women to find themselves treated as tokens for trade, handed over by their fathers to a suitor who they think is most appropriate. This decision was often influenced by the amount of money the suitor had. Petruchio’s words emphasise the superiority men had over women and Shakespeare uses animal imagery. “Thou must be married to no man but me, for I am he am born to tame you, Kate, and bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate conformable to other household Kates.” This makes Kate seem like a wild animal, an animal that needed to be domesticated, and animal that only Petruchio could tame. Petruchio is persistent throughout the text, determined to make her obedient. His methods of taming included deprivation of sleep, food, and embarrassing her by making her greet Vincentio as if he were a girl. “Good morrow, gentle mistress, where away? Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly too, hast though beheld a fresher gentlewoman?” Petruchio tests...
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