Friday, September 18, 2009

The Taming of the Shrew / 10 Things I Hate about You

Did I know this was a play within a play?  I'm not sure.  But let me tell you that I am slightly appalled by the content.  I guess back in the day, it was ok to basically torture your wife into submission, but that is decidedly not ok now.

So Katherina is a big witch, a shrew if you will, who is mean to everyone and has a sharp wit.  Her younger sister, Bianca, cannot get married until Katherina is married first.  Along comes Petruchio who decides that Katherina should be his wife as she has a lot of money.  He decides to tame her with starvation and sleep deprivation, all in the name of love, till she submits to him.

There is also Bianca's subplot about two men who want to marry her  Hortensio and Lucentio pretend to be tutors to get close to her.  Through a slightly complicated plot, Lucentio wins her hand and they are married.  In the end, Petruchio proves that he has the most obedient wife.

So I think it can be said that this is not one of  my favorite plays although I think Katherina and Petruchio deserve each other.  Katherina is a b***h to everyone without actually meeting them and she is very mean to her sister and Petruchio is fairly insane just in general.  One day she is going to slit his throat while he sleeps.  I have no doubt.

Since I listened to the play, I thought it would be fun to watch one of the all time greatest movies.  I speak, of course, of 10 Things I Hate about You, the masterpiece starring Heath Leger and Julia Stiles.  I forgot how funny this movie is.  It's more "based on" and is definitely not an straight adaption, which is good because it would be ridiculous if it was.  The characters are very similar, Katerina is straight-up mean (with reason we find out), Patrick is a thug (with a heart of gold-ish), but Bianca is much more annoying and is really more horrible to her sister than her sister is to her.  I would  have been mean to her to if I was Kat.  The character of Hortensio is transformed into arrogant model Joey Donner and Lucentio into sweetie Cameron.

In this version, Patrick is paid to take out Katerina so that Bianca can date.  She is out right mean to him and softens up later.  But after he refuses to kiss her (and rightly so, she is threw up early) she gets mad and Patrick sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" to win her back and then she flashes her teacher to get him out of detention.  So he really tries to win her with kindness and she is angry later when she finds out about him being paid (and rightly so).  Thus the titular poem "10 Things I Hate about You" is written

Julia Stiles and Heath Ledge are so good and so beautiful in this movie.  I especially thought the scene where Cameron and his friend decide if Patrick is a "pretty" guy or not was funny.  And I love the ending and the fact that they both gave as good as they got.  The music is fantastic.


  1. I"ve never read the play but that sounds horrible! As for the movie, I saw it once but it was when my kids were little and I ended up running around most of the movie...

  2. I really enjoyed the movie and although I thought I had read every Shakesoeare play I don't remember this one. I'll have to go see if I've got it on my shelf.

  3. I've never read the play or seen the movie (the title pretty much lays it out there doesn't it?) but after Heath Ledger died, I saw clips of the movie and wanted to see it -- he was just so magnetic and attractive. I think I will watch it someday ... but perhaps skip the play!

  4. Amanda & Jenners - It is a must watch movie, made of win.


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