Professor Shahani on Shakespeare Remade Into High School Movies

Wednesday, December 07, 2016
SKILLSET/MTV -- William Shakespeare stopped going to school when he was 13, but his plays make for great high school movies — especially if they star Julia Stiles. Gitanjali Shahani, a professor of English at San Francisco State University, explains the lasting power of 400-year-old blockbusters. Shahani says she is not surprised that Shakespeare works show up in teen films. She discusses the 1990s hit “Ten Things I Hate About You,” which is based on “The Taming of the Shrew.” “‘The thing about ‘Taming of the Shrew’ is that it shows up in almost every era,” she says. “There are many versions of it in during the suffragist period. ... It showed up in the phase of TV movies in the heyday of the feminist movement, and this is a particularly interesting ‘Shrew’ for the post-feminist audience.” Shahani says that “Ten Things” mocks high-school stereotypes from a Shakespearean perspective effectively.