Love at first sight more like physical attraction at first sight.

       Love at first sight more like physical attraction at first sight.

   Comparing "Taming of the Shrew" to "Romeo and Juliet - 1996 Version"

                Carolyn Borock

In the popular shakespeare play “ The Taming of the Shrew” proves that the idea of being yourself is a bad idea and lying and being deceitful is the way to go in getting a girl. In the taming of the shrew young Hortensio sees beautiful Bianca and he decides to court her. The only thing getting in his way is that Bianca’s  sister Katherine is not wed and must be before Bianca gets courted. Hortensio comes up with the clever idea to dress up like a music teacher in order to get close to Bianca. But as seen in the 1996 version of “Romeo + Juliet,” Romeo sees young Juliet and falls madly in love even without one word coming out of her mouth. But he does not lie and deceive her as Hortensio has. ( Romeo and Juliet portrays the long-standing conflicts between the two families in Verona, the Capulets and the Montagues.)

Contrary to what society believes, people don’t really fall in love at first sight. Almost always, it’s lust at first sight. The intense attraction that people feel for someone when they  first lock eyes with each other, those butterflies in someone’s stomach and that skip in their heart, in all probability, is lust and not love. Lusting for someone isn’t a bad thing, because love generally starts with lust and desire and grows and blossoms into love over a few weeks or months. In the movie Romeo and Juliet, as soon as Romeo saw Juliet, that was it, he had to have her. The only thing that he was truly falling for was the physical attraction. The same goes for Hortensio who sees Bianca and he decides to marry her right away. In contrast, Hortensio goal’s are a little different by having the mindset from the beginning that he is going to marry Bianca. The way he goes about getting Bianca is by dressing up and not being who he is. On the other hand, Romeo loved Juliet but never lied and was not deceitful to impress her. This just shows that society has proven that, in order to win the girl, a person must be who they truly are. These texts show the standards in life and love that being yourself truly is a great thing.  

(Act 1, Scene 2, line numbers 130-140)

“Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace

And offer me disguised in sober robes

To old baptista as a schoolmaster

Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca,

That so I may, by this device at least,

Have leisure to make love to her

And unsuspected court by herself”

In the “Taming of the Shrew” this quote is explaining how Hortensio is going to steal Bianca’s heart. He is tricking the father Baptista into thinking that he is a schoolmaster. This will then lead to the father hiring him to teach Bianca. His overarching goal is to get close to Bianca. In this scene he is taking to Grumio and discussing the plan. This goes along with my thesis because he is a servant and is changing himself to fit what he thinks her ideal man is. This proves the thesis by being yourself is a better option then tricking a girl to like you.

Even though the two shakespeare plays are quite similar there are major differences in how the characters go about getting the girl.   < Clip of the Scene

In this scene from “Romeo and Juliet,” the characters are seeing each other for the first time. Romeo starts to “flirt” with her in a way such as kissing the glass between the two of them. Romeo is being real and honest about his feelings for Juliet and expressing that. Unlike Hortensio who decides to be someone he is not when dressing up as a school master.

"Quote 2 from Play"

(Act 3, Scene 2, line numbers 70-85)

Gamut I am, the ground of all accord:

A re, to plead Hortensio’s passion;

B mi, Bianca, take him for thy lord,

C fa ut, that loves with all affection;

D sol re, one clef, two notes have I;

E la mi, show pity, or I die.”

Call you this “gamut”? Tut, I like it not.

Old fashions please me best. I am not so nice

To change true rules for old inventions.

In the play Hortensio is portrayed as being weird and unlikable. This quote was given at the music scene where he tells Bianca of the whole scheme to get her love and affection. Which in the end became a terrible idea because bianca found that a red flag.

In the last scene of Romeo and Juliet - 1996 version lying ended up being a terrible thing.

After romeo finds Juliet “dead”, he decides to end it all because he couldn’t live with the pain of losing her. This is the only time they have ever lied or was deceitful and look what happened they ended up dead. How she was deceitful was to intake a liquid substance and this would put her to sleep. People believed she was dead so she had a grave in place. The effects wore off about one minute before he drank the potion. She grabs his hand and starts crying and kisses him as he dies. She shoots herself in the head and they both end up dead.  

In the end being lying and deceitful is never a good thing.  Romeo and juliet end up dead. In the taming of the shrew hortensio doesn’t get the girl. Society hasn’t learned that being yourself in the end is all you need to be. These two plays portrayed that very well and tought some meaningful lesson that being yourself is ok and not to be the person who you're not.


Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Print.

Romeo & Juliet. Madacy Entertainment Group, 1996. Film.