Shakespeare – Module 8: 10 Things I Hate About You – 3 of 6

WHAT: Examine how the film, 10 Things I hate about You is similar or different to the Shakespeare play it’s based on: The Taming of the Shrew. We will also consider whether the plot is sexist and how it might be changed to address this.

By the end of this study session you will be able to:

✔ Name some differences between the movie and the original play
✔ Suggest ways the story line is sexist and make recommendations for changes

Today you will need:
✎ A pen
☰ Some paper to write on
♫ Some headphones or a space where you can play videos out loud

Firstly, let’s take a very quick look at the plot of Shakespeare’s play, The Taming of the Shrew.
1) Watch this quick summary (7 minutes). As you watch, consider what the message is about the way women are viewed by fathers and the men they date. Is it positive?

2) Now watch this short video which looks at the modern film adaptation of the play. (7 minutes)

Read through this Prezi presentation. It explains some of the key similarities and differences between The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I hate About You.

3) Answer these questions in your notebook.

1) Which (in your opinion) is more offensive towards women, the play or the film? Explain.
2) In The Taming of the Shrew, Katherina hits people to get her own way. Would a modern audience find this funny? What would the audience think if a male character did this?
3) In both the play and the film, the fathers try to control their daughters’ dating lives. In what way might modern feminists view this as wrong?
4) In 10 Things I hate About You, Patrick doesn’t want Kat to obey him. He sees her as his equal. Why do you think the film maker decided to make the characters more equal than those of Katherina and Pertruchio in The Taming of the Shrew?

5) Finally, how would you change the story or characters in the film to make it even less sexist/outdated?


Challenge Task: 
Choose one of the following plays: The Tempest / A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Hamlet. How would you adapt the play to appeal to a modern audience? Where would the story take place? How would you change the characters? What time period would you set the play in. 

You could present your work as a powerpoint, a poster or a mind map. Send your work to your English teacher!

This is an ongoing task for you to work on as you go through each session in module 8. The rest of the blog posts in module 8 will help you with ideas for this challenge project.