The play, The Taming Of The Shrew would be an extremely difficult play to present in a modern day audience as its themes including deception, the role of the parent and the pursuit of money. The reason the values of the characters in the play surprise us is because they conflict with our own values and with what we perceive to be right. The play was written in the 16th century and when the crude actions of Petruchio and Katherina are juxtaposed with the more respectful and genuine Patrick and Kate of the 20th century, there is a certain maturity and humanism in their relationship and courting style. .
A key theme in both texts is deception. Deception is implemented in both texts to “get the girl”. However their method of deceiving is different. The play used costume and disguise as their way of deceiving in comparison to the film’s use of verbal deception. In the play, Lucentio and Hortensio disguise themselves as tutors and this can be seen as comical in the Elizabethan era. However, when Patrick deceives Kat into thinking that he genuinely took interest of her, it confused Kat’s perception of what was an illusion and what was reality. In other words, it played with her mind and emotions. Nowadays deception, also known as lying, is not seen as amusing as it deals with human feelings. This goes to show how different the values are in each society.
The role of the parent in both societies are similar yet different. In general, the role of all parents is to ensure a secure future for their children. Both Baptista Minola and Walter Stratford reflect this role, however for different reasons. Baptista restricts Bianca to wed until her sister, Katherina, has done so. This is partly to save Baptista from the embarrassment of having the younger sibling wed before his eldest “shrewish” daughter. Walter on the other hand, inhibits his daughters from dating to protect them from the male sex and to prevent them from doing things they may regret.