Cameron’s disguise and deception as an adequate French tutor as a desperate attempt to attract the attention of Bianca in 10 Things I hate About you is an example of where deception and disguise becomes a key theme in the story. Cameron and Michael are discussing Bianca one more when Michael reveals that Bianca is actually looking for a French tutor an opportunity deemed perfect by Cameron. Michael then asks if Cameron even speaks French, and Cameron’s reply “Well no, but I will” is self explanatory. Jill Junge uses a close-up from the shoulders up to express the exasperated and jovial emotions and reactions of Cameron and Michael.
The characters are smack in the middle of the screen as the camera revolves around them, giving insight into the setting and happenings of the high school world. Such mise en scene also sheds light on the fact that the world still continues while Cameron plans any opportunity to interact with the girl of his dreams, and that their scheme of deception and disguise is only a mere few meters away from the target girl herself. These film techniques help to establish the theme and role of deception and disguise in both Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I hate About You.
The role of women in relationships or societies in both Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You have generally been portrayed as one that requires very meek, submissive and humble behaviour, though obviously, there are some exceptions. In Taming of the Shrew, Katherina started off as a very emotional, angry, witty and independent woman who refused to listen to all men alike. However, as evident in her speech at the wedding banquet of Bianca and Lucentio, her values, opinion and demeanour upon husbands in particular seem to dramatically change.
“…Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign one who cares for thee.” The use of such respectful words of gratitude and admiration for a husband conveys how she ultimately sees her role as a wife and woman. Shakespeare creates her monologue at the end to signify the importance of her speech and reveal the seemingly dramatic change of the ‘shrew’, which was once angry and uncontrollable, now turned over a new leaf. Katherina Minola’s monologue which reveals the role of women in society and in a relationship at the end of the play can be compared once again to that of Kat Stratford’s own monologue at the end of the filmic text.
Although Kat lives in a modern high school world where the role of women in society isn’t challenged as significantly and her role in her relationship with Patrick isn’t specifically relevant, Jill Junge also tries and recreates the similar idea of a ‘shrew being tamed down’. At the end, Kat offers to come to the front of her class, and read out her poetry assignment. “…but mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all”. This simple statement gives such a deep insight into Kat’s personality, and the audience learns that though she may maintain a violent, livid and ill-tempered faï¿½ade on the outside, inside, she is still very much a human being capable of feeling complex emotions. During this scene, the camera gradually zooms closer into her face, so that the anguish and hurt she expresses is conveyed very directly, her tears and facial expressions not omissible.
In conclusion, through comparison of dramatic and film techniques alike used for the three common themes evident in the two set texts of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew and Junge’s 10 Things I Hate About You, marriage and dating, deception and disguise and the role of women in society/relationships, the composers have been able to convey similar ideas through different methods.