Shakespeare vs. the 20th Century Essay

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Shakespeare vs. the 20th Century HUMN 142 7/20/2011 Research Paper William Shakespeare composed a legendary piece of literature in the late 16th Century that has defied time and become a universal text. This famed piece of literature is a play called The Taming of the Shrew. Owing to the plays universal themes and timeless elements, the text has been cleverly appropriated in various periods of time. Hence, the film 10 Things I Hate About You, composed in 1999 by writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirstin Smith, and directed by Gil Junger. The film, 10 Things I Hate About You is a story which has been loosely based on the play by William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew. Although the two have many more differences than similarities the film can be compared to the original story line as both versions share similar details. Many changes have taken place in the role of women and the nature of marriage since the 1590s till today. Societies' perceptions and expectations of women differ greatly from the Renaissance period to the twenty-first century. Despite all these changes, the free- thinking, independent woman has proved to be a durable stereotype. The concept of the disobedient women that opposed any male authority was worked into many different adaptations of the original play and used in other texts. Even though slightly changed and modified through the ages to relate to different societies, the Kate character has survived. The “shrew” idea became a major challenge for any actress offered the role of Shakespeare's Kate and attempt to develop it in an appealing way to the audience of their time. The word shrew as used in the concept of Shakespeare's original play, means a woman with a violent, scolding, or nagging temperament (TCM, fact sheet). The shrew in the original play is made clear within the very first few scenes: Kate

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