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The Taming Of The Shrew And 10 Things I Hate About You. Comnpare Both Texts And What Each Text Reveals About Their Culture Through Themes, Language And Characters

1641 words - 7 pages

The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You both raise important issues through their themes, language and portrayal of characters. In doing so they each reflect the prevailing culture of the time they were composed.A modern audience has the opportunity to compare its society to those of the past, a prospect not offered to those of Elizabethan England. This allows a modern audience the ability to analyse views and opinions throughout history, draw appropriate conclusions about certain issues and in a manner of speaking, learn from their mistakes. It is through this ability to analyse societies of the past that appropriations of texts occur, as issues, themes and views are changed to include the prevailing contemporary culture.Both The Shrew and 10 Things were considered romantic comedies at the time they were composed. This means they deal with relationships, are light hearted and most importantly conclude with a happy ending which leave both the audience and characters feeling satisfied and cheerful. However as views change over time certain issues have to be altered to achieve the 'happy ending' and to allow 10 Things to be accepted as popular culture.The themes of The Shrew are marriage as an economic institution, social roles (mainly that of men compared to women) and deception. These themes are demonstrated through the characters and their relationships and the story itself. 10 Things main theme is relationships and it too explores social roles and deception but the views it portrays are very different to those of the original. Through changes in the characters and storyline, it reflects the modern values of western civilisation.The central issue of The Shrew that has been altered in 10 Things is the role of women in society. In Elizabethan England there was a widely accepted household hierarchy with husbands/fathers in control. Sometimes women were considered equal, but often they were treated as servants or property. In today's western society women have much more freedom, sense of self and worth.The role of women is explored through the character of Kate Minola/Kat Stadford and the ways in which their society responds to them, in particular Petruchio/Patrick Verona's interaction with her.At the time The Shrew was composed there were specific social classes that determined how a person should behave. As a young upper class female Katherina would have been expected to fulfil this role by being civil, polite and obedient; like her sister Bianca, who represents the 'perfect female' in Shakespearean context. As Kate refuses to accept this role she is looked upon with cold disproval by her society and considered an outsider. The play reveals little character development of Kate; she resembles a card-board cut out of the typical 'shrew' of the time. Shakespearean audiences would not have empathised with this strong willed character and the 'happy ending' needed in comedy is achieved by her being 'tamed' and accepting the role of a...

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