Shrews in Disguise
Comparing the play "The Taming of the Shrew" with the movie "Hitch"
There are many thin lines that can easily be crosses in the pursuit of love. In the movie “Hitch” a guy named Albert hires someone to help gain the attention of his beloved, Allegra. This of course was done in secrecy and many would view this as not politically correct. On the other hand in the play “The Taming of the Shrew” a man named Lucentio falls in love with the most sought after girl in the city, Bianca. To win her favor he disguises himself as an instructor for her. By doing this he will be closer to her and gain her favor. In both cases deception is prevalent. Ultimately both spouses found out about their husbands deceit, yet in the end both couples stayed together. Both these stories show that for love the ends justifies the means.
"Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
(Act 1, Scene 1,5)
This quote early on in the play sets up the mindset the Lucentio will do something out of the ordinary for Bianca. For example him impersonating an instructor. Lucentio made this statement when he first set his eyes upon Bianca. Him and his servant Tranio were walking into town. It is soon after that the plan for Lucentio to be in disguise was formed. To a normal person this would be ludicrous, but for Lucentio who is so smitten with love that he would rather die than be without Bianca it is only a means to an end.
Similarly albert is having the same idea when he decides to hire Alex “Hitch” Hitchens to help get him and Allegra together.
In this scene you see Albert collaborating with his hired date man, Hitch. Unlike in The Shrew, Albert will not be in disguise. Rather, Hitch will fabricate a scenario which seems real to Allegra. In the scenario she will meet Albert and the chance of her falling for him will increase due to Hitch’s coaching. In this instance the deceit is lesser yet very unconventional to the established view of dating. This is can be seen as similar to asking a friend for help with a girl. On the other hand it takes this normal human action and pushes it to an extreme. Albert has no care for the means of how he gets with Allegra just as long as he he is with her.
"Love wrought these miracles. Bianca's love
Made me exchange my state with Tranio"
(Act 5, Scene 1, 128)
This statement was uttered after Lucentio’s disguise was discovered. also it is revealed that Lucentio's servant Tranio changed his identity to that his masters. This is explaining why he had done all this deceit. He claims love drove him to this extreme measure. Ultimately he got the girl because when she found out she did not care, and as long as the bride was happy no one else did.
In the movie Albert was exposed as getting help to woo Allegra.
During this part of the movie Hitch is trying to steer Allegra back into liking Albert. He claims that he just give guys the confidence to talk to the girls that they want. Also, that the true self of the guy is what gets the girl. Unlike in the play the deceitfulness is different because in the play Bianca falls in love with a a different characters but in the movie Allegra falls in the with a confident version of Albert. The end up reuniting and being happy. This shows that those the means was faulty the couple could still be together.
All in all in both the play and the movie both show males going to an extreme to woo the loves of their lives. In both the mens deceits are exposed but ultimately the women stay with them. Both play and movie portray a theme of the ends justifying the mean because at the end of the day when all was said and done both couples were happy.
Hitch. Columbia Pictures :, 2005. Film.
Shakespeare, William, and Barbara A. Mowat. The Taming of the Shrew. Washington Square Press New Folger ed. New York: Washington Square, 2002. Print.