Discussion Questions for "10 Things…"

Write a paragraph or two in response to each of the following groups of questions:

  1. Based on the Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew, this movie changes its setting to modern-day Seattle-Tacoma instead of the Italian renaissance town of Padua (which becomes the name of the high school instead). What are some of the other updates you notice in this film adaptation? What specific references does the film make to Shakespeare?
  2. Like in the Shakespeare play, the main female character of “10 Things” is Kat (or Kate, both short for Katherine), a strong and independent young woman. How does the movie introduce her and what are the specific details that tell us about her character? Why is Kat seen as “difficult”?
  3. How would you describe the relationship between the sisters Bianca and Kat? How would you explain their relationships to their father? What are the main differences and similarities between these two girls? What are their individual and shared goals?
  4. This film follows the historical pattern of a Shakespearean comedy, meaning that it ends with one or more marriages, but it fits into the familiar movie genre of a romantic comedy, or “rom-com.” How do we know that we’re watching a rom-com? What do we expect from the main characters and the plot? How is “love” defined in this film? What are the obstacles to love and how are they overcome?
  5. Compare Shakespeare’s title, The Taming of the Shrew, to the title “10 Things I Hate About You.” What is a “shrew” and why would she need to be “tamed”? By contrast, what element of the story is reflected in the movie’s title? Who is the “I” and who is the “you” in the movie’s title?
  • Extra Credit: The play ends with a speech where Kate explains why a wife should be obedient to her husband, but the movie ends with Kat reading a love poem aloud to Patrick in English class. Why is this change significant? How does this update reflect changes in our understandings of love and marriage and of women’s roles?

Published by Chuck Caruso

writer of dark fiction (crime, horror & western noir), literary & textual scholar (american gothic, noir, po-co, sf), and cultural critic

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