Clever title goes up topName your play and your movie in the sub-title so the clever title doesn't seem random
Comparing "Taming of the Shrew" to "My Best Friend's Wedding"
After your title comes your intro description, which should include the following info:
- names of the play and your movie selection, plus an introduction to the characters you're talking about and their basic situation.
- a thesis statement that compares/contrasts the movie and the play. You it should be clear which focus area you're zooming in on from the intro paragraph--set the reader up to understand the scene(s) you'll be presenting!
As "The Taming of the Shrew" proves, the idea of romance as conquest has been around for centuries. In "Shrew," the wild and demanding Petruchio swears he will have Katherine as his wife, no matter the cost. In the 1997 movie "My Best Friend's Wedding," the main character sets out to do the same--only this time it's a woman seeking to win her close friend, who is about to marry someone else.
Though Petruchio and Julianne share some emotions and motivations in their stories, their situations--and the tactics they use--are quite different. Petruchio's only roadblock is Katherine's resistance, so he can be unabashedly forward in his attempts to win her, and has the full support of his friends. By contrast, Julianne faces an already-existing romance, so she has to be more covert, and faces criticism from the one friend who knows of her plan. These two situations make for different kinds of humor, and also show how society's attitudes towards courtship have changed over the centuries. These texts reflect that women have more power and agency than they once did, but because of this, a match can't be made by brute force. Both parties must be won over by romance.
After you have the intro, it's up to you how you organize your film stills and quotes. I chose to alternate between the play and the movie, starting off with the play. Put the play quotes in BIG FONT to give the reader something to latch on to. And remember to give enough CONTEXT in your captions for each quote and picture, or else the reader will be confused!
(Act II, Scene i, 124-26)
A few sentences go after quote, including sufficient CONTEXT that tells the reader what's going on in "Shrew," and also a bit of ANALYSIS linking to your thesis.
In this quote, Petruchio describes how both he and Katherine are very strong-willed, and how these forces will combine once he woos her. That this could be as dangerous as a raging fire doesn't seem to concern Petruchio, or even Katherine's father. The extreme situation calls for extreme measures.
You then TRANSITION into your comparative scene from a movie. Include a transition sentence and then put in the screen shot:
The plotting suitor finds herself in a similarly extreme situation in the movie, although her delivery is somewhat different.
After the screen shot, you need to do the same thing that you did for the quote from "Shrew" -- sufficient context that describes what's happening in that scene, and analysis that connects back to your thesis (and states what the comparison and/or contrast is to "Shrew.)
In this early scene from "My Best Friend's Wedding," Julianne anxiously declares to her friend George that "I'm a busy girl. I've got four days to break up a wedding and steal the bride's fellow." Unlike Petruchio, she remains on edge during the entire film--she is either ranting to George about the next phase in her plan, or nervously putting her deceits into action. This fuels the humor in the movie, but it also reminds the audience that what she's doing is wrong.
Then, you need a second (and possibly a third) set of comparisons: play, movie. Play, movie. Don't forget to use a larger font!
"Quote 2 from Play"
(Act x, Scene x, line numbers)
Analysis goes here. Then transition:
Julianne's friend George, however, is not so supportive of her idea.
After her first attempts to break up the wedding fail, George comes to visit her and asks: "Do you really love him? Or is this just about winning?" When she says that she does in fact love him, George gives her a piece of advice that he repeats for the rest of the movie: the only chance she's got is to be honest and tell her friend the truth. Interestingly, George doesn't even believe this will get Julianne what she wants, but he still thinks it's the only worthwhile path.
Finally, you need your CONCLUSION. This paragraph should specifically mention BOTH the play and the movie, and touch on the central question of the assignment: What do these portrayals show us about society's attitudes towards courtship/dating?
That Julianne doesn't win her man in the end only reinforces that a modern audience wants to see true love above all else. Petruchio finishes off "Shrew" with a wife, twenty thousand crowns, and a sense of accomplishment; All Julianne has at the end of "My Best Friend's Wedding" is a deeper understanding of love and commitment, but we're left with the feeling that this will help her later in life, after the movie ends. Plus, she's smiling again before the credits roll: she has her gay friend George to spin her around the wedding dance floor as a consolation