Comparing “Taming of the Shrew” to “Trainwreck”

The book “Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare and “Trainwreck” both focuses on the idea of how love has been around for a long time but are portrayed differently. Petruchio in the “Taming of the Shrew” sets his goal on marrying Katherine no matter what it takes but in “Trainwreck” it’s the same thing but Amy sets her goal with being with Aaron, a sport doctor not exactly marrying but showing commitment even after her past history with hooking up with other people.

Petruchio and Amy both have similar tactics on getting their way but also uses different tactics and reasonings that block their road path. Petruchio could have Katherine but his only roadblock is Katherine resistance. In the movie, Amy could have Aaron but Amy ways of acting powerful prevents her from staying with Aaron which causes conflict between them and a break up. The fact that Amy's character does not have an easy time keeping the relationship together, shows the difference in attitudes that audiences have towards male suitors and female suitors. It shows that female suitors can’t be powerful like male suitors. Since Petruchio was a powerful man and when Amy acted as one, it causes problems in their relationship.

"Quote from Play"

“This burnt, and so is all the meat. What dogs are these? Where is the rascal cook? How durst you, villains bring it from the dresser And serve it thus to me that love it not? There, take it to you, trenchers, cups and all!”

(Act 4, Scene 1, 161-165)

In this quote from the Shrew, Petruchio is complaining about the food so that Katherine doesn’t eat or sleep. This is a tactic of Petruchio to get into Katherine head to make her listen and obey in a way of taming her. Petruchio already has Katherine but his goal was to tame her. Petruchio process of taming Katherine is the same way you tame a falcon, starving it and keeping it sleepless.

This is similar to Trainwreck but different because Aaron did not starve Amy but instead use the tactic of arguments which was the process of taming her.

This argument between Amy and Aaron starts when Amy left during Aaron ceremony from the speech he wrote for her but she left due to her boss phone call. Aaron catch her smoking weed outside and gets mad which resulted in him snapping at her about having her phone out even though she said she was sorry she was gonna lose her job. Amy acts powerful towards him and snap back. From this it can be seen that Amy has a harder time keeping the relationship together compared to Petruchio who already have Katherine without any worries.

"Quote from Play"

“What is she but a foul contending rebel And graceless traitor to her loving lord? I am ashamed that women are so simple, To offer war where they should kneel for peace or seek for rule, supremacy and sway.”

(Act 5, Scene 2, 175-180)

This quotes is from the end of the Shrew from Katherine speech. It basically shows how she is tamed and how women are dumb to betray their own husband, and that she is ashamed of how women are so foolish since they want war instead of kneeling for peace and power. She believes women are made to serve love and obey. From this it can be seen that males are seen to have it easier because Katherine was already married to him but his ultimate goal was to tamed her so she is powerless against him.

Amy did a similar act toward the end of the movie that show she has changed or has been tamed.

Unlike the Shrew where Katherine only says a speech at the end, in trainwreck, Amy did a whole cheerleader scene dance as well as a speech at the end to show that she has changed for him. She also tries to impress him with the trampoline jump even though she didn’t make the jump. With this she says to him,  “I can work hard and put myself out there, not be afraid to fail, I really wanna try with you” Basically she is able to work hard and make it work with him. This is like Amy is stepping down from being powerful and actually putting herself out there instead of pretending. It can be seen that Amy is giving up her rights with commitment.

Amy wins her man Aaron at the end, this show that a modern audience want to see women not portrayed as too powerful because that is the male job. While male have it easier. Like Petruchio, he didn’t have any worries since all he had to do was marry Katherine and do what he wanted with her. Unlike Trainwreck, female had it harder. The way female were portrayed as hooking up with other people and simply just being wild. This was a problem for Amy cause she liked Aaron and from trainwreck, it can be seen that woman suitors have a harder times than male suitors. Although, Amy ended up with Aaron at the end, it can be seen that commitment was involved that kept them two back together. The attitude from the audience of how male suitors go after women and how women suitors go after male attitude from the movie, trainwreck and the taming of the shrew are different.

Work Cited

Trainwreck. Dir. Judd Apatow. Perf. Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. 2015. Movie. 17 July 2015. Web.

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. The Taming of the Shrew. New York :Signet Classic, 1998. Print.

Comments (2)

Gil Rosen (Student 2018)
Gil Rosen

Well done visual essay. I thought the effort and thought the process you put into this piece really reflects how you are as a writer. You analyzed the movie really well and relating it to the play. Great job.

Claire Byrnes (Student 2018)
Claire Byrnes

The first screenshot illustrates the couple’s argument well, allowing us to see Amy getting upset at Aaron. Nice job comparing women suitors to men and also how portrayals of them haven’t really changed.