Composers often use different methods to portray similar ideas to their audience. How have the two texts you have studied reflect the same ideas in different ways? Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Jill Junge’s 10 Things I Hate about You are examples of where composers have used different methods to portray similar ideas to their audience. This essay will compare the three common themes the texts share, including marriage and dating, deception and disguise and the role and hierarchy of women in society. By comparing the dramatic and film techniques used in each of these respective texts, the common themes are expressed in their individual ways which ultimately are able to engage their audiences.
Traditionally, economics and financial gain have been the more important aspect in relationships, especially marriage, as opposed to love. The marriage and dating customs of society have remained relatively similar overtime. In Taming of the Shrew, the audience is given an exclusive view into what marriage meant to society and individuals of the Elizabethan period. William Shakespeare conveyed how marriage as a financial gain was specifically applied to peoples during his era in Taming of the Shrew, where in Act 1 Scene 2, Petruchio and his servant Grumio visit Hortensio’s house. Petruchio boldly announces his quest to wed a rich wife.
“…I come to wive it wealthily in Padua, if wealthily then happily in Padua.” Such a blunt statement clearly shows Petruchio’s ‘gold digger’ of a personality and his values when it comes to marriage, most likely influenced by the society he lives in. When Hortensio refers Petruchio to Katherina as part of a devious scheme for Bianca, the dramatic irony only further enhances how when it comes to women, men of Petruchio’s standard prioritize marriage as a financial transaction first, then their own feelings or even the feelings of the intended and that the view of the female is not taken into account. In this way, Shakespeare is able to demonstrate the value of marriage and by comparing this to 10 Things I Hate about you, it is evident that the same values still apply.
The modern day teenage filmic text is still able to portray marriage and dating mostly as a profitable process through a different setting. When Joey asked Patrick to take out Kat, again, for his own warped benefit, including the punchline that if Patrick were to make Kat his own problem, a generous compensation would be rewarded, Patrick immediately becomes interested. “…you’re going to pay me to take out some chick? How much?”. This question highlights Patrick’s cleverly concealed interest in this deal because it ultimately involves money.
Throughout this scene, Joey is seen mostly cast in sunlight, which suggests an almost innocent like motive to his request, where as Patrick is seemingly more of the selfish, sullen and nasty party in his business deal, because it is all for money, and he is completely disregarding or holding no respect for what Kat’s opinion and emotions might be on this matter if she heard of it. Jill Junge also makes effective use of medium shots, where the surly facial expressions of Patrick and arrogant body language of Joey and Patrick can be observed in more detail during their conversation. It also shows the reactions and emotions of them both whilst finalizing their business deal. The camera works and techniques of Jill Junge in this scene evidently express the monetary benefits of marriage and dating throughout time, from Shakespeare’s time well into the modern day.
Deception and disguise in the two set texts involves harmlessly deceiving one, or multitudes of people by impersonating someone, or good at something they’re in actual fact not, the result of which is gaining something in personal value. Shakespeare expresses his interpretation of deception and disguise through Act I Scene II where upon arrival in Padua Lucentio and Tranio swap identities with each other as part of the plan to capture Bianca’s heart. Tranio assures “…when I am alone, why then I am Tranio, but in all places else, your master Lucentio.” Master and servant are well disguised as someone they’re not, and the chess pieces are set.
Furthermore, Baptista, Bianca, Petruchio and the others of the story are deceived by the role swapping of Lucentio and Tranio. Again, the use of dramatic irony further increases the ‘masquerade’ atmosphere developing in this scene, thus supporting the theme of deception and disguise, for masquerades often involve not knowing the identity of anyone as their face is so effectively shielded with masks. Shakespeare cleverly inserts the concept of deception and disguise within his play that it becomes an important and crucial element to the plot, and when compared back to 10 Things I Hate about You, deception and disguise is another important and crucial element to the plot.