10 Things I Hate About You, arguably one of the most iconic movies in pop culture, displays continuous similarities to Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Both storylines have several key elements in common– just as in 10 Things I Hate About You, Mr Stratford forbids his youngest daughter from, Baptista applies bans Bianca from dating until Katarina does. The rest of the plot unfolds in a similar fashion– a suitor interested in the younger sister works to ensure the older sister is in a relationship so he can continue his pursuit without their father’s disapproval.
It is clear even now that Shakespeare’s reach stretches across the boundaries of time and culture – the tales he has constructed are malleable enough that they can be adapted by several different societies. What is interesting to note however, is that unlike in The Taming of the Shrew – where Katherina is ill-treated by Petruchio – in 10 Things I Hate About You, Katarina ends her relationship with Patrick (Petruchio’s corresponding character) when he wrongs her– this divergence in similarity could be due to the difference in societal expectations– when Shakespeare wrote his play, perhaps it was acceptable to mistreat one’s wife, but in the early 21st century this was definitely not the case. This highlights that although Shakespeare’s writings can be (and have been) adapted in different cultures, differences in social norms will lead to certain elements of the original plays being completely changed or even removed.