What do We Expect?

Comparing Taming of the Shrew and the film Friends W. Benefits

“Taming of the Shrew” is one of many plays created by Shakespeare. In this play, there are 2 sisters going by the name of Bianca and Katherine. All the suitors in the play want to marry Bianca because of her commendable personality. While their Father, Baptista, has to basically go and hunt for someone who is willing to marry Katherine because of her unpleasant personality. Throughout the play, the family comes across a suitor named Petruchio who is willing to marry Katherine, the only problem is that he has to tame her.   There have been many films created that make this plays plot as their very own, however, the film Friends with Benefits have taken their own twist on things.  In this film, there is a women by the name of Jamie who is having trouble like Katherine from Taming of the Shrew, finding a man who wants to marry her. One day on her job, she is assigned to assist this man named Dylan who is also having problems with finding a spouse,  where they later become Friends with  Benefits.   throughout reading and watching both of these text, it is evident that women and men expect  that they are going to find someone, and when they do, there are expectations that they have to fill, however, those expectations have changed over the years.

"Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented

That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on,

And will you, nill you, I will marry you.

Now Kate, I am a husband for your turn,

For by this light, whereby I see thy beauty—

Thy beauty that doth make me like thee well—

Thou must be married to no man but me,

For I am he am born to tame you, Kate,

And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate

Conformable as other household Kates.

Here comes your father. Never make denial.

I must and will have Katherine to my wife.


(Act 2, Scene 1, lines 259-270)

When this quote was stated, Petrucho and Katherine just got news that they were going to be wedded. Petrucho was flattering Katherine  but sarcastically about how good of a person she was. He also goes on to describe what he expects from Kate.  Kate went back and forth wit him about how is trying to insult her and that if he wants someone to do something he expects her to.

There where similar traits from the scenario above that protruded out in  this scene below from “Friends with Benefits”

In this scene Dylan is now on a blind date. The girl however is not all what he expected. She is annoying, chafing and extremely childish. He goes on to making faces that show that he does not want her around him and that she is not meeting his standard and expectations as someone he sees himself compatible with.

The two scene described above shows exactly how the expectations of a man for a women and vise versa   ha has changed today. During the time that Shakespeare wrote “Taming the Shrew”, it was expected for the women to submit to her man. It was expected and more of requirement that whatever the man ordered the women to do she had to do it, no if ands or buts about it. The quote above shows that Petruchio expects his wife to submit to him and give show great servitude towards him or she is not demonstrating good traits of a wife. On the other hand, there is Dylan, were all he expect from his spouse is someone who loves him for him . SOmeone that  is suitable to live with and someone he is able to have a decent relationship. Dylan is expecting to find some one out there who is not going to chafe him and some one who is going to be easy to live with and love. It is quite evident that the characters of these text expected different things from their women.

"(to BAPTISTA) I pray you, sir, is it your will

To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

(Act 1, Scene 1, line 57-58)


May I ask, sir, if it’s your intention to publicly humiliate me, showing me off like a whore in front of these suitors?”

(Act 1, Scene 1, line 57-58)

Before Katherine stated this to baptista who is her father, she was in an argument with the suitors. They were basically all telling Katherine  that they were not there to marry her but they were their to marry  Bianca because Katherine was too much to handle, THis quote shows that Katherines expects that she will find a man without flaunting  around what she has and without having to have sex with them so that they want her.

In the film, friends with Benefits, Jamie is going through similar things illustrated below.

This image took place after Jamie had just had sex with this guy that she thought was the man of her dreams. When she went out to get both of them coffee, she turned around and he was leaving. He then said basically that he does not want her.  This moment resembles exactly what Katherine is going through in Taming the Shrew. The both expect that they are not going to have to have sex with a men so that he is going to be willing to stay with her. They both expect that they can be with someone and that they are going to except them for who they are not what they can do for them.

What happened in Friends with Benefits to Jamie  is slightly  different in What happened to Katherine in Taming the Shrew. In friends with benefits, Jamie can have  sex guys out of wedlock. However in Taming the shrew Katherine can’t.  This makes the situation different because the men in modern day have a different expectation than the men during the time Taming of the shrew was created.  The men in modern day, expect that they are going to have sex with you out of wedlock and/or whenever they want. While the men that were around during the time Taming of the Shrew was created know that in order to have sex with a women, they were going to have to mary.

Taming the Shrew and Friends with Benefits both have similar plots. Being as though they were placed in different times, those plots are also different. Friends with Benefits is focused more around sex while Taming the Shrew is focused more around power and control balance in a relationship.  However, the expectations in a relationship are some somewhat similar and different.  This showing that regardless of the time that you were born in, relationships are going to have some compartments that are the same and some  compartments that are different.

Cited SOurces 

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

Friends with Benefits. Dir. Will Gluck. Perf. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Sony, 2011.