Along Came Deception
Comparing “Taming of the Shrew” and “Along Came Polly”
“The Taming of the Shrew” was one of the first exposed examples of deception in relationships. During “Taming of the Shrew”, Petruchio and Katherine are emotionally unfaithful to each other in their marriage. Meaning that the emotions and feelings that they showed were never truthful. A movie presenting a similar message was later released in 2004. “Along Came Polly” expressed the same values but it two different ways. Reuben, marries a woman who he believes is the love of his life only to find out that on the first day of their honeymoon, she has an affair. Less than a month later, Reuben decides to start dating an old classmate, Polly, whom he fails to admit his past and present to.
Deception is shown throughout the play because many of the characters tend to deceive their partners by not being truthful to them about what they want in a relationship and what they want out of a relationship. Petruchio is not upfront with Katherine about what he wants out of the relationship and instead continues to exploit Katherine. Katherine does the same thing by allowing Petruchio to treat her without respect and not stand up to him. Katherine wants nothing material from Petruchio except for the titles of a marriage Because Reuben’s former wife, Lisa, decided to have an affair very early in their marriage, Reuben is scared that if he does not know everything to please Polly, she might try to escape the same way Lisa did.
By doing so, they are both deceiving each other in the relationship by not being comfortable with being the person they truly are in the relationship.
Both the play and the movie deal with similar situations, but in different ways. While they both acknowledge what it is like to not be truthful in a relationship, “The Taming of the Shrew” never reveals the better qualities and advantages that a healthy and truthful relationship has like they do in “Along Came Polly”. This reflects that modern films may start relationships off as rocky, but over time they show the growth of relationships including obstacles and miracles.
“Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee and wish thee to a shrewd ill-favored wife? Thou'dst thank me but a little for my counsel and yet I'll promise thee shall be rich. And very rich.”
(Act 1, Scene 2, Line 60)
In this section of the play, Petruchio is offered a deal. He is given the thought of marrying Katherine, a rich but unwanted young lady. Out of this marriage/arrangement Petruchio would gain wealth. By Petruchio already having these ill intentions for a relationship that had not begun yet, he set their relationship up for failure. By the time that relationship started, it was already destined to fail fail because Petruchio was deceitful towards Katherine by engaging in a relationship with her for her money and only for her money. While Petruchio enters his marriage with Katherine for money, Lisa, Reuben’s wife enters their marriage for nothing.
As Petruchio entered his relationship with ill intentions, so did Lisa, Reuben’s wife.
In this scene, Reuben has left his wife, Lisa, on the beach to go scuba diving with an instructor. When he comes back to find her, unfortunately, he finds her involved in intercourse with the instructor. Lisa fails to admit to her husband what she wants out of the relationship. She also fails to admit to her husband, (on their wedding day), that he is not the man she is truly in love with. Because if she were to be truthful with Reuben, she would have acknowledged and admitted that he was not the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Not only did Lisa hurt Reuben and deceive him by stepping outside of their marriage, she was so reckless that she allowed Reuben to catch her in the act. By deceiving Reuben in the very beginning of their marriage, she pushed him to carry these same relationship tools onto his next romance.
"Too little payment for so great a debt. Such duty as the subject owes the prince, even such a women oweth to her husband."
(Act 5, Scene 2, line 170)
Katherine is notorious for her bad attitude and wicked persona in the play. Her character is sought out to be so evil that she it seems just a little awkward that she becomes so submissive towards her husband, Petruchio. During Katherine’s long speech about how she understood the expectations of her husband, she mentions what seems to be the total opposite of her initial impression. Katherine becomes submissive to her husband which is out of character coming from her. This is a surprise to everyone who has known her, especially because of what she refers to herself as. She mentions that she is indeed a debt or a burden to her husband because she sees herself unworthy of his true love. Now that Katherine feels this way, it shows how much of an impact her husband has on her personality. Instead of making a compromise with her husband about how they should both share the right to express their emotions in the relationship, she submitted to her husband and lost the person that she was. Katherine simply forgot who she was and what she believed in to make her husband happy and feel like he was doing his job as a husband to “train” her into a well equipped wife.
When Reuben begins dating shortly after his departure from his wife, Lisa, he begins to carry on the “dishonest” trait into his next relationship.
Reuben has recently started dating again and has already started on the wrong foot. Instead of telling his new “girlfriend” that he has irritable bowel syndrome, he withholds the information and allows himself to be put in an uncomfortable situation just to make his mate happy. While this may seem to be just minor and immature, it leads to more problems further on in the relationship, including trust issues like those of Katherine and Petruchio’s.
"Come, Kate, we’ll to bed. We three are married, but you two are sped. Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white, and being a winner, God give you good night."
(Act 5, Scene 2, line 200)
After Katherine decides to give her shocking speech, Petruchio feels honored. Honored enough that his wife has now become submissive towards him with no words of her own, that he should still disrespect her because she allows it. Petruchio thanks God so much because he would rather have been able to say that he broke a strong minded female down than to have her “prettier” sister.
This happens to be one of the big problems that concealing does to Reuben and Polly’s relationship. Despite Polly spending loads of time with Reuben for the last few weeks, he has left out plenty of information that should have been revealed when they first went out. Concealing his real life causes Polly to lose trust in him as well as feel like she doesn't even know exactly who she is dating. By this time, Reuben has started to use the same character traits with Polly, that his cheating wife used with him. Unlike Petruchio and Katherine, Reuben was able to leave one toxic relationship, just to start another. Allowing Katherine to portray herself in this way lowers Katherine’s self esteem because it proves that he is not in love with her, but the person she has become because of them wedding.
Both today’s society and yesterday’s society have similar approaches to relationships. No matter what century humans are living in they will still make the stupidest mistake of engaging in a relationship where both parties are not happy. One of the most common mistake sin relationships is not being 100% truthful. By doing so, mates allow their mate to paint a completely different picture of them. And although these situations are continuously depicted in movies and plays such as ‘Along Came Polly’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, audiences still fail to realize how important it is to remain honest with their partners as well as come to compromises about things the both of them do not agree on.
Hamburg, John. Along Came Polly. Universal Studios. 16, Jan, 2004.
Shakespeare, William, et al. The Taming of the Shrew. Pocket Books, 1963.