The Taming of the Shrew
Option #5: Differences Between Men and Women
In the play The Taming of the Shrew, and in the movie version Ten Things I Hate About You, Shakespeare demonstrates that men and women can take on different roles in a relationship, but there is no set definition. For example, Kat/Katherine tries to dominate over Patrick Verona/Petruchio's efforts to be with her. He finally wins her over when he quits smoking and likes the same types of music. Later in the play, their roles reverse as "the shrew" is tamed, and she falls for him. Slowly, he becomes someone she respects, and she lets him lead in the relationship. Because they both do what is less popular, many people spread untrue rumors about them. In the movie Ten Things I Hate About You, people say that Kat has been “violent towards them”, and they say that Petruchio has “been in jail and ate a live duck”. Their pseudo-personalities bring them together.
Shakespeare shows through Kat, Patrick, Bianca, and Cameron/Lucentio that there are all types of men and women in the world, so the gender role in a relationship is not set in stone. There are strong, feminist women like Kat, who want to lead and not be controlled, and there are submissive women like Bianca, who just want to listen and please the men in their lives. There are insecure men in the world like Cameron, who may let more dominant men like Joey Donner/Hortensio go after the girl that they want. Because he hesitates, Joey first asks Bianca to prom. Bianca (although originally meek) is stronger than Cameron in that relationship because she is the one who admits love for him; one would think that Bianca would be more vulnerable, but no one knows what facade a person might be hiding behind. Kat (originally bold) later showcases her vulnerability by reading an original poem about Patrick to the entire class about how she doesn’t actually hate him. Therefore, Shakespeare celebrates all types of men and women in all types of relationships in The Taming of the Shrew.
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