Arrow Of God Short Summary Sample College Essay

In his novel “Arrow of God,” Mordaunt discusses how the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe addresses the issue of personal conflict. The protagonist, Ezeulu, is the chief priest of Ulu, the deity worshipped in the village of Umuaro. Ezeulu grapples with an internal conflict as he strives to retain his authority despite his old age and the rise of British colonial rulers.

Ezeulu desires to exert influence over his own people as well as the British administrators. He believes that his clan will obediently follow him and that the British will hold him in high regard. To accomplish this, he sends his son to a missionary school run by white men, where the boy embraces the new religion and disrespects his own traditions. Despite the clan’s desire for punishment, Ezeulu refrains from disciplining his son. Achebe’s novel illustrates that it is impossible for individuals to challenge the collective desires of societies, which can ultimately drive a person to madness.

African literary critics have shown great interest in Achebe as a prominent African novelist, resulting in a multitude of works of criticism on his four novels: Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, No longer at Ease, and A Man of the People. Some of the most well-known critics include Obiechina, Bemth Lindfors, Abiola Irele, David Carrol, David Cook, G. D. Killam, G-C. M. Mutiso, Peter Nazareth, Emmanuel Ngara (153), Benedict Chiaka Njoku, Eustace Palmer, and Shatto Gakwandi. These critics have examined various aspects such as setting, style, conflict, and characterization from cultural, political, and religious perspectives.

Achebe’s skill lies in externalizing the internal conflict of his central characters, which is one of his achievements. To evaluate the quality of Achebe’s accomplishments, I will analyze his second novel Arrow of God, focusing on the central character. Unlike being preoccupied with society, Arrow of God mainly concerns Ezeulu himself. Ezeulu resides in a tightly-knit society, and through his interactions with this community and other elements in the setting, we can grasp the problem he confronts. Ezeulu and his culture are indivisible.

The struggle in Arrow of God involves Ezeulu, his rivals within his tribe, the British administrators, and Christian missionaries. However, the core focus of the story is not inter-tribal conflict but the internal conflict within Ezeulu, the chief priest of Ulu. The external forces that affect his life are only manifestations of his internal struggles. This novel takes place in an Igbo village in Nigeria during a period when the influence of British colonial rule and missionary activity is starting to be noticeable.

The main character of the story is Ezeulu, who holds the prestigious role of being the chief priest of Ulu, the most powerful deity worshipped by the Umuaro people. Given his important position in society, he is deeply intertwined with the community, making it challenging to analyze him separately. The story is intricate and full of cultural intricacies, which may cause non-African readers to become disoriented and overlook the central theme. This can lead to misinterpreting the story as solely being about village life, as suggested by the Times Literary Supplement (26).

Although there is a dominance of village life, it serves as the backdrop for the main character to showcase his personality. Ezeulu, who is half black and half white, plays the important role of conveying the god’s will to Umuaro and conducting the crucial ceremonies of the Pumpkin Leaves and the New Yam festivals. Through this, he acts as a bridge between the spiritual and human realms (151).

The opening of the novel depicts Ezeulu contemplating the decline of his eyesight and the eventual possibility of depending on someone else’s vision, similar to his grandfather when his sight deteriorated (1). While this contemplation is a common concern, it sets the tone for the story and introduces Ezeulu’s internal struggle. The implied significance of this imminent blindness lies in the threat it poses to Ezeulu’s ability to organize religious festivities and maintain his tribal influence. Failing to monitor the moon’s progression could jeopardize both his religious duty and political responsibility.

He strives to comfort himself by imagining that he is as physically fit “as any young man, or even better because young men are not what they used to be” (1). This action shows his desire to maintain an everlasting control over his tribe. Although he acknowledges that old age is starting to affect him, he denies this fact. Despite possessing immense power, he recognizes that he relies on incomprehensible supernatural forces, which makes him somewhat vulnerable. Even the decision of who will succeed him is ultimately up to Ulu, thereby making his dependency on the deity a danger to his authority.

Ezeulu’s authority is dependent on his cooperation with supernatural powers. Questioning his authority has significant psychological consequences. Throughout the novel, he expresses distress over his authority, fearing that it may be challenged. This is unsurprising considering his immense control over the year, crops, and people. However, he only selects the date for the feast of the Pumpkin Leaves and the New Yam feast—are the festivities he determines.

My power, Ezeulu’s power, is likened to that of a watchman. It is as weak as a child’s control over a goat that belongs to him. For as long as the goat lives, it is mine to tend to and provide sustenance. However, the moment it is sacrificed, its true owner is revealed. Nevertheless, the Chief Priest of Ulu holds more authority than a mere caretaker. If he were to refuse to designate a day, there would be no celebration, no planting, and no harvesting. Yet, could he realistically decline such a request? Historically, no Chief Priest has ever done so. Therefore, it is an impossible feat. He would not dare. Ezeulu is troubled by his thoughts, feeling unsettled as if his adversary has voiced them.

However, he then begins to play with the concept of daring. By doing so, he manages to convince himself that no one in Umuaro would dare to confront him and say that he, Ezeulu, is not brave enough. Clearly, Ezeulu is the kind of person who will not give up in his pursuit to resolve his authority problem; he will persist and strive to come to grips with the situation. His mind continued to examine the essence of his power, wondering what it really meant when everyone knew that it would never be employed.

It is preferable to state that it was absent, merely like the strength in the anus of the arrogant dog attempting to extinguish a furnace with its feeble fart. (4) Cook (18) claims that the novel explores the boundaries of personal power within a tradition-controlled system, a circumstance known to any traditionalist. However, Ezeulu resists the idea of being a mere puppet leader in his mind, obligated to carry out his responsibilities dictated by his position. He faces a conflict that he must confront.

That is why, later in the text, he loses his equanimity: he no longer is content to see himself as merely a watchman (3). He has, of course, assessed his situation in light of influences and changes brought to bear on his society. He, no doubt, is intrigued by the power of the white man, particularly the latter’s use of the firearm to quell the civil war between Umuaro and Okperi. In his dilemma, Ezeulu sends his son Oduche to the white man’s region on the assumption that the white man has come with great power and conquest; it was necessary that some people should learn the ways of his own deity… but he also wanted to learn the white man’s wisdom… (47).

Ezeulu’s motive for sending his son to the mission school is not altruistic, but rather driven by personal gain and a deep-seated fear of lacking power. He slyly exercises his cunning in this situation, unaware or unconcerned about the potential consequences of defying his people’s sanction. In doing so, he takes a step towards embracing the new culture.

His people are vehemently opposed to this deliberate step because he is operating outside the collective solidarity of individuals with shared customs, beliefs, and world views. This action causes conflict between him and his friend and confidant, Akuebue. However, Ezeulu prioritizes self-interest over the traditional group and its interests, disregarding Akuebue’s warning: “But if you send your son to join strangers in desecrating the land you will be alone. You may go and mark it on the wall to remind you that I said so” (151) 156. Despite the advice from a close and wise friend, Ezeulu stubbornly refuses to listen. He haughtily declares, “Who is to say when the land of Umuaro has been desecrated, you or I?” (vague reference) Ezeulu’s mouth displayed a disdainful indifference.

Considering loneliness, the idea of it being as familiar to me as dead bodies are to the earth is absurd. It should not be a laughing matter. Cook acknowledges that Ezeulu’s isolation, whether it is chosen or imposed upon him, is unique to him and distinguishes him. His stubbornness sets him apart from others in a society based on community. Despite his own reservations, Ezeulu encourages his son to attend the church school.

He is perceptive about his surroundings and thus tells Oduche that the world is changing. This intensifies his conflict and leads him to send his son to join the missionaries as his “eye” there. If there is nothing important, Oduche will return. If there is value, Oduche will bring Ezeulu’s share home. Ezeulu also considers that not befriending the white man may result in regret instead of benefits in the future. (50, 51).

Achebe has created a character, Oduche, who is torn between two conflicting desires. Oduche possesses the intelligence and courage to take risks with his ideas. His mother disapproves when her husband sacrifices their son to the white man’s religion, but Oduche adamantly defends his decision and refuses to listen to reason. He believes that he knows what is best for his sons and questions why his wife is concerned about his choices. Oduche argues that in a prominent household, there will always be individuals who follow unconventional paths.

There must be good people and bad people, honest workers and thieves, peace-makers and destroyers; that is the mark of a great obi. In such a place whatever music you beat on your drum there is somebody who can dance to it” (51). Achebe is indicating here that Ezeulu has become marginal in propounding ideas completely at variance with his culture’s norms, necessitated by the predicament in which he finds himself. As people belonging to a traditional society, Oduce’s mother and other members of his family, no doubt, have a clear understanding of what societal expectations are for different members 157 f the clan.

Ezeulu’s family is aware of the rituals and consultations he has with his god, but they are not privy to the details. However, they understand the standards of behavior expected from someone in a high position, especially a chief priest who acts as an intermediary between the people and the deity. Despite their concern and embarrassment, Ezeulu’s family is unable to dissuade him from ignoring their advice and disregarding societal expectations. His stubbornness inevitably leads to a strained relationship with those closest to him – his own family.

At a certain point in the plot, complications arise when Ezeulu’s plan does not go as intended. This results in Oduche committing sacrilege in the eyes of the community by imprisoning the sacred python. Oduche has become a fervent follower of the new religion, which greatly disturbs his father. This event confirms the power of the white man’s religion, as it has managed to infiltrate and influence the thoughts and feelings of the boy. The intense struggle of the sacred python inside its confined prison can symbolize the inner turmoil Ezeulu is currently facing.

Ezeulu’s goal is to retain and assert his authority, which is a way for him to escape from reality. Achebe effectively portrays Ezeulu as a cunning character who, as a result, has lost touch with his authentic self and is disconnected from the community he belongs to and even from the god he claims to understand. Ezeulu constantly worries about losing control, but he fails to fully grasp the severity of his situation.

The chief priest of Umuaro is facing daunting odds that prevent him from exerting influence over the people. This reaches a boiling point when he refuses to eat the sacred yams, resulting in his people, including the innocent, suffering the consequences. Various clashes and issues, such as cultural differences and domestic conflicts, contribute to externalizing the conflict that is consuming the chief priest. His household is torn apart as his sons disregard their traditional filial duties and his wives argue with each other.

The division arising from Oduche and Nwafu’s role as Ulu’s expected successor to the priesthood has become a source of conflict. Ezeulu’s inability to restore order within his own household suggests he is also incapable of unifying the people of Umuaro and Okperi. Despite his failures, he refuses to admit defeat. At the elders’ meeting regarding the Umuaro-Okperi land dispute, Ezeulu’s words are futile as he has lost all support. The people favor Nwaka, who receives their approval for criticizing Ezeulu’s speech.

Nwaka becomes the tribe’s voice as the chief priest’s words no longer hold weight. The uproar that ensued was largely due to Nwaka appropriating power and undermining Ezeulu’s speech. Speaker after speaker addressed the assembly, and it became evident that all six villages supported Nwaka. Nwaka, a rival of Ezeulu and personal enemy, is a respected member of the community and a friend of Ezidmili, the chief priest of Edemili, the oldest deity engaged in a longstanding conflict with Ulu.

The conflict in the story involves the deities and it intensifies the conflict within the traditional society. According to Palmer (88), this conflict is a struggle for authority within the clan. It starts as a struggle for supremacy between the chief priests of two deities: Ezidmili, the chief priest of Edemili, and Ezeulu, the chief priest of Ulu, the main clan deity. Ezidemili hides behind Nwaka, the most powerful and wealthiest layman, one of the three surviving members who have taken all the titles of the clan.

Nwaka, hailing from Umunneora, the largest village, believes that he is entitled to the leadership of the clan. This leads to a political battle between Nwaka and Ezeulu, with Ulu being at a significant disadvantage. However, it is Ezeulu himself who challenges Ulu through his unethical actions. Suspicion arises regarding his dealings with the white man, which angers Ezidemili even further when Oduche, the son of the person perceived as a traitor, imprisons the sacred python. It is within the context of the conflict between Okperi and Umuaro that Nwaka makes his opinions known.

The chief priest of Ulu found himself involved in this intense affair and supported the white man in favor of Okperi. The clash of cultures is revealed in the conflict between Ezeulu and Nwaka, which gradually builds up to the point where Ezeulu isolates himself and rejects any advice or help. Ezeulu’s refusal to listen to his friend Akuebue’s guidance has been observed. Later, village elders approach Ezeulu in an attempt to convince him to prioritize the interests of the clan. Some elders remind him of his responsibility as “Ezeulu,” as mentioned by Anichebe Udeozo. “We understand that such a thing has never happened before, but the white man has never before taken away the Chief Priest.”

These are not the times we used to know and we must face them as they come or he rolled in the dust. I want you to survey this room and tell me what you observe. Do you believe there is another Umuaro beyond this hut currently? ” “No, you are Umuaro,” said Ezeulu. “Yes, we are Umuaro. Hence, pay attention to what I am about to utter. Umuaro is now requesting you to go and consume those remaining yams today and designate the day of the harvest. Do you comprehend my words?

I instructed you to eat those yams today, not tomorrow. If Ulu says that our actions are an abomination, let the blame fall on the ten of us here. We have assigned you this task and we will ensure you have the means to complete it. Just as someone who instructs a child to catch a shrew should also provide water for them to wash away the smell, we will find the water for you. Umuaro, do you agree with what I have said? “You have expressed our thoughts precisely, and we will accept the punishment.” “Leaders of Umuaro, please understand that I am not disrespecting your words; it is not my intention to do so. However, you cannot expect us to do something that is not normally done and then take the blame for it.

The message I have conveyed is not my own, but that of Ulu. However, I am not responsible for this situation. Sometimes, the gods use us as a means of punishment. The elders requested Ezeulu, the Chief Priest, to return to Ulu and ask for guidance on how to appease the deity. Despite consulting with the god, Ezeulu does not hear his response. Instead, he is preoccupied with introspection and becomes distracted by the bell ringing at Oduche’s mission school. This is a grave matter, as Ezeulu’s thoughts and actions have ramifications for the entire clan. The confusion Ezeulu experiences is not only personal but also has social implications.

The refusal to consume the yams is driven by the belief that the individual is the sole recipient of divine enlightenment and has exclusive authority to make decisions on behalf of others. This refusal serves as a pretext for seeking revenge on the people. As a result of the white man’s meddling in traditional African matters, chaos has ensued. Because Ezeulu is imprisoned, he cannot fulfill his customary duties at the intended time.

The tragedy of Umuaro is reflected through the tragedy of Ezeulu. Ezeulu’s personal sufferings represent the experiences of the wider community he is responsible for. The society itself is in confusion, evident by Ezeulu becoming a demented high priest at the novel’s end and the breakdown of traditional solidarity. Obiechina (85) comments on the functioning of the traditional society, stating that social and political institutions have perfected the art of enforcing conformity and discouraging deviations and subversion of the common will.

In all their operations, these institutions highlight the importance of the group above the individuals within it. The careers of notable characters such as Okwonkwo (Things Fall Apart), Ezeulu (Arrow of God), and Araba (Panda) exemplify this prioritization of society over the individual. Although they possess power within their communities, the significance of the community ultimately prevails. For Ezeulu and Araba, it becomes evident that they cannot achieve personal fulfillment without the support of their community. Ostracism is feared and regarded as the most potent form of punishment within traditional society.

During the most critical period, the missionaries, who are the main rivals of the chief priest, take advantage of the situation in Umuaro. They believe that Yahweh is responsible for the disastrous condition of the village and exploit the already deteriorated situation. Ezeulu’s pride has caused destruction not only to himself and the people but also to their religion and culture.

The earlier mentioned song of extermination in the novel has come true. It is conveying a message: abandon your yam and cocoyam and go to church. Udoche is the one saying this. Ezeulu reflects on it and confirms that it instructs people to give up their yam and cocoyam, which signifies the song of extermination. As a result, the word spread that those who didn’t want to witness their harvest being destroyed could offer their sacrifices to the Christian god, who claimed to have the power to protect them from Ulu’s wrath. This news has taken away the laughter from the people.

Many Umuaro men, in their desperation, sent their sons with a few yams to offer to the new religion and receive the promised protection from Ulu’s wrath. From then on, any yams harvested in the man’s field were harvested in the name of their son. “Ironically,” as stated by Palmer, Ezeulu, who should have been the defender of his people’s faith, becomes the instrument of their destruction. The colonial officers did not compete with him for power. They wanted to appoint him as the paramount chief, which aligns with the British plan to establish indirect rule based on native institutions. Ezeulu is the most likely candidate for this position.

Despite Ezeulu’s rejection of a warrant chieftaincy, the white man shows no respect for Umuaro’s traditional culture. It is evident that Winterbottom selects Ezeulu because he believes the latter has supported the colonial government regarding the Umuaro-Okperi land issue. Winterbottom does not bother to investigate the true reasons behind the chief priest’s friendship with him. The British also do not pay much attention to Ezeulu’s role as chief priest. Their focus lies in fulfilling their colonial duties for their own interests.

The indifference of the colonial authorities in England towards the unity of the villagers is evident in their disregard for the solidarity of the people, as long as there is no conflict amongst the natives that threatens their interests. Although the arrival of the white settlers is unavoidable, it serves to highlight the intense inner struggle experienced by Ezeulu, much like the inevitability of old age slowly creeping into his life. The extended period of imprisonment imposed on Ezeulu by a British officer provides him with ample time to contemplate seeking revenge against his own people, who have accused him of siding with the white man and betraying them (181).

When Ezeulu returns home, he is welcomed as a hero, which helps to calm him. However, when his god visits him, he is no longer able to think about reconciliation. This change in his behavior can be attributed to factors such as a lack of security and self-interest. Additionally, the hand of fate seems to have inflicted him with a touch of insanity, as evidenced by the text. According to Palmer (94), the theme of madness is prevalent throughout the novel, further emphasizing that the insanity culminating with Obika’s death is the ultimate climax of a progression.

Ezeulu’s determination to liberate his people from famine may appear odd if the reader fails to recognize the truth behind his actions. According to Akuebue, who seemed to be the only person in Umuaro with this realization, Ezeulu’s decision was not a deliberate punishment towards the six villages, as some believed. Akuebue understood that Ezeulu was helpless, trapped in some greater force beyond his control. This understanding arose from a previous encounter where Ezeulu’s words filled Akuebue with fear and unease, comparing them to encountering a deranged individual laughing on a desolate path.

Akuebue is suspicious of Ezeulu’s insanity. Strikingly, both his mother and his pampered son, Obika, are mentioned as being mad. Moses Unachukwa also implies that madness runs in the family. Furthermore, Nwaka believes that Ezeulu’s madness is inherited from his mother (198). Palmer (95) suggests that Achebe deliberately includes numerous references to madness in the text to suggest that it is a contributing factor to Ezeulu’s otherwise inexplicable behavior. However, can we solely attribute Ezeulu’s tragedy to his insanity?

It is strange that in the end he is destroyed by the god whose directions he claims he accepts without any doubt. Akuebue believes that Ezeulu, despite his pride and defiance, would not fabricate the god’s decision, but Ogbuefi Ofoka, conversely, is convinced that “a priest like Ezeulu leads a god to ruin himself.” Akuebue counters by suggesting that “perhaps a god like Ulu leads a priest to ruin himself (243).” When Obika is killed, Ezeulu believes that Ulu has abandoned him. However, rather than blaming Ulu, we must closely examine Ezeulu’s own actions, which are accountable for his tragic outcome.

Ezeulu decided not to search for the new moon while he was imprisoned before he discovered the will of Ulu. He had already planned his revenge, which was motivated by personal resentment, before hearing Ulu’s voice. Ezeulu is so consumed by his own thoughts that he does not listen to what Ulu is actually saying. He mistakenly believes that the words he hears are from his own confused mind. This is why he considers himself to be just a tool controlled by his god.

To Ezeulu, every event is believed to be caused by Ulu, whether it be Oduche’s capture of the python – where the boy could be seen as a tool in the god’s hands – or the arrival of the white man and his religion, viewed as agents of the god (219,220). However, Ezeulu pays a steep price for surpassing the boundaries set by the deity, resulting in the death of Obika. In the eyes of the villagers, Ulu was their creation during a time when they formed a union to protect themselves against slave raids. Ulu took the place of older village deities.

According to Wren (94), the clan is of utmost importance to these individuals. However, the chief priest’s interpretation of the god’s will has set a path that would have resulted in the clan’s destruction, if not for the intervention of the church. Ulu is a communal responsibility that belongs to the people. Thus, the actions taken by Ezeulu are viewed by the people as being approved by the deity, despite defying the clan. This leads to a clear conflict, and Ezeulu suffers greatly for exceeding Ulu’s limitations. Ultimately, he is driven to madness. As Wren (95) points out, Ulu had to choose between supporting the clan or the priest.

Dissertation On The Films “The Taming Of The Shrew” And “Shakespeare”

The aim of the thesis is to analyse how the contemporary context and genre conventions have affected the representation of different characters and the plot in two modernized film versions of The Taming of the Shrew, ShakespeaRe-Told Taming of the Shrew (2005), directed by David Richards, and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), directed by Gil Junger.

The thesis is divided into four sections: Introduction, Historical and Theoretical Background, Analysis of the Modernised Film Appropriations of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and the Conclusion. The Introduction states the aim of the thesis, explains the importance of Shakespeare’s work in contemporary world and introduces the films discussed in the thesis.

The second section of the thesis, Historical and Theoretical Background, firstly defines the terms adaptation and appropriation, discusses the different methods of adaptation and appropriation literature, theatre and film, with special attention to the advantages film has over the other means of reinterpretation. The section also gives an overview of Kenneth Rothwell’s classification of Shakespeare, in particular recontextualisation. Finally it gives examples of different film versions of The Taming of The Shrew.

The Analysis of the Modernised Film Appropriations of Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew gives a short overview of the films analysed discusses the influences the chosen genre has on the mode of reinterpretation. Then the representation of the main characters – Katherina, Petruchio, Bianca, Baptista, Hortensio, Gremio, Lucentio or their counterparts – will be discussed along with the relations inside the Minola family, the relations between Bianca and her suitors and the relationship of Katherina and Petruchio. The Conclusion summarises all the sections of the thesis and discusses the main differences between the films analysed.


Besides the tales which are told and then forgotten, there are some which are retold by each new generation throughout history.

These stories survive because they touch the themes which are everlasting and remain topical regardless of the time which has passed since the creation of the original story. Still, although human nature remains the same, people, life and culture change and so do the stories – each retelling reinterprets the tale in order to retain the significance of the story for the people of that particular time. The retelling of stories means that they are adapted and altered so that they would fit the current culture. However reinterpretations work as reinterpretations only when the audience is familiar with the theme and the plot.

That is the reason why well known stories – myths and legends, but also classical literary pieces – are chosen for reinterpretations as they are recongniseable for the majority. Shakespeare is one of the writers whose stories are retold and reinterpreted constantly because, as Jackson Russell (2007: 321) has said, “Shakespeare is the space where the past meets our uncertain future. ” In other words the themes Shakespeare wrote about hundreds of years ago – love, vengeance, ambitions, justice – have not lost their significance.

The issues he dealt with in his plays are still present in the modern world and so his works matter to the contemporary audience. Another reason for Shakespeare’s popularity is that his works are very varied and therefore it is not surprising that there are many people who want to create their own versions of the stories told be him. Reinterpretations themselves may occur in many forms, but in the contemporary world one of the most important ways of retelling is film, as it is a method with very distinct creative recources and reaches a very broad audience.

The popularity of Shakespeare adaptations can be seen in the fact that his works have been used as a source for film productions from the era of silent films to today. This thesis is going to focus on the screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, in particular two reinterpretations of The Taming of the Shrew. The choice of the play is based on the fact that of all plays written by Shakespeare, some are filmed more often than others. Besides the four famous tragedies (Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Othello) there is a comedy that has also been reinterpreted more often than others – The Taming of the Shrew.

There are almost 20 film versions based on the play. One reason for it is certainly that the story is about the everlasting power-struggle between men and women, which, although gender roles have changed a lot, is still topical. The genre of comedy makes it possible to deal with the topic with humour and therefore more openly than other genres would allow it (Henderson 2003: 120). The films analysed here are ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew (2005) directed by David Richards and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) directed by Gil Junger.

Both of them have brought Shakespeare’s play into the modern world and created reinterpretations which make the story relevant to contemporary audiences. At the same time the two films are very different from each other as, although they take place in contemporary world, they depict two very different worlds using different genres– the British political circles in the form of a farce and an American high-school in the form of a teen-comedy.

This means that the directors have made very different choices in their reinterpretations and therefore the story and the characters have been altered in different ways. The aim of the thesis is to analyse how using the contemporary context has affected the representation of different characters in the two modernised film versions of The Taming of the Shrew. For that purpose the concepts of adaptation and appropriation in general will be discussed with focus on appropriations and recontextualisations of Shakespeare.

The thesis also covers gender roles during the 16th century and in the contemporary world to explain why The Taming of the Shrew needs to be adapted to retain its relevance to today’s viewers. The main part of the thesis is going to analyse the two films, ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew (2005) and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). The discussion concentrates on the representation of the main characters and the relations between them in the context of the chosen mode of recontextualisaton. HISTORICAL AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND Reinterpretations can be divided into adaptations and appropriations.

Julie Sanders (2006: 19) states that adaptations are often “specific process[es] involving the transition from one genre to another” and “reinterpretations of established texts”. The difference between adaptation and appropriation is that adaptations stay closer to the original and are recognisable as adaptations of certain works, while appropriations tend to move “away from the informing source into a wholly new cultural product and domain” (Sanders 2006: 26) making more alterations than adaptations and sometimes even creating a new story.

For example the musical My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion is an adaptation as the musical stays quite close to the original plot, while Graham Swift’s novel Last Orders is an appropriation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying as there are many overlaps between the two novels, but the stories are different because they take place in different contexts and have a different focus (Sanders 2006: 32-33).

As the possibilities of adaptation and appropriation are very wide, it is not surprising that the world of Shakespeare adaptations and appropriations is extremely diverse as he wrote numerous plays on different themes, which in turn can be retold in various manners. One possibility is to create a play which uses the same plot as Shakespeare but gives a new angle to it. A good example of this is Tom Stoppard’s Rozencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead, which is an interpretation of Hamlet from the perspective of two minor characters – Rozencrantz and Guildernstern.

Also there have been literary works which retell a play form a different angle, such as Jane Smiley’s novel A Thousand Acres which is based on King Lear but is told from the perspective of his eldest daughter and Margaret Atwood’s short story titled Gertrude Talks Back, which gives the reader the perspective of Hamlet’s mother, who in the play does not have much say (Sanders 2006: 49). Another widely used possibility of adapting and appropriating plays by Shakespeare is film, which is a mode of reinterpretation very different from literature and theatre.

Literature gives the reader more possibilities of interpretation and leaves more room for imagination than film or theatre, in which the impressions are determined by the directors choice of actors and settings. Theatre and film are more similar to each other as both involve actors performing a written script and can influence the viewer with music and lighting in addition to words. But there are also significant differences as film usually looks more like “real” life as the acting in film is more “natural” than in theatre where emotions have to reach the last rows.

On film the camera can get close to the actors and capture even the smallest facial expressions. Also, in theatre one sees the play from one position but film, by using skilful camera-work, allows the audience to see more angles. Film also enables the director to use various settings while in theatre the action takes place on the same stage throughout the play and although the decorations can be changed for different scenes, the possibilities are still not as wide as in film. Although all films based on the plays by Shakespeare are adapted or ppropriated in some way as all directors alter the play in some respects, there are many films which attempt to create a more “authentic” production. These films construct a setting which would look historical, either bearing in mind the content of the play or the time when Shakespeare wrote it, and keep the original text and language. Often these films look like theatrical productions, although it must be said that they still use the advantages film has when compared to theatre.

Hamlet (1948), directed by Laurence Olivier, is an example of such adaptations because in it the original text is used and the costumes and settings create the illusion of being historical, even if they do not represent medieval Denmark, which would be the true context of the play. There are also films which derive from Shakespeare, but abandon the original play in some ways. These productions move away from the text of Shakespeare by giving it a new context, new angles or new subplots while being based on some element, for example the general plot, of the original.

Kenneth Rothwell (1999:218-219) has divided these derivations into seven categories : recontextualisatons, mirror movies, music/dance films, revues, parasitical films, animations and documentaries or educational films. Recontextualisatons move the play to a new era and/or place and do not use the exact words of Shakespeare, but maintain the plot. There are many examples, such as Joe Macbeth (1955) directed by Ken Huges, which puts the story of Macbeth into Chicago gangland or Romanoff and Juliet (1961) directed by Peter Ustinoff which tells the timeless story of the star-crossed lovers in the context of the Cold War.

But there are also recontextualisatons which do not change the language, such as Hamlet (2000) directed by Michael Almeyrada, in which the plot of the play is taken to New York and into the year 2000 (Rothwell 1999: 219; 220-221). Mirror movies involve two plots: the one of a play by Shakespeare and the other about the life of the actors performing the play. Usually the life of the actors begins to reflect the plot of the play. One of the most popular play by Shakespeare used for this type of derivation is Othello, used for films such as Carnival (1921) directed by Harley Knoles and Men Are Not Gods 1936) directed by Walter Reisch, which both involve actors who are performing Othello with the events of the play developing parallels with their personal life. Other plays which have been turned into mirror movies include Hamlet in In the Bleak Midwinter/A Midwinter’s Tale (1995) directed by Kenneth Branagh which tells the story of actors who are staging Hamlet in an abandoned church, and Richard III in the Goodbye Girl (1977) directed by Herbert Ross, which is the story of an actor who plays Richard III in an off-off Broadway production (Rothwell 1999: 219; 222-225). Music and dance films turn the plays of Shakespeare into musicals.

Usually these films are based on theatrical productions and not directly on Shakespeare. A well known Shakespeare musical is West Side Story (1961) directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, which retells the story of Romeo and Juliet in the context of New York gang wars. Other examples include The Boys from Syracuse (1940) directed by A. Edward Sutherland, which takes it plot from the Comedy of Errors and Kiss Me Kate (1953) directed by George Sydney, which is based on The Taming of the Shrew (Rothwell 1999: 219; 225-226). Revues use the concept of biography, documentary or even horror shows to perform some scenes from Shakespeare’s plays.

Films of this type include Prince of Players (1954) directed by Philip Dunne, where Richard Burton plays an actor who performs various scenes from different plays by Shakespeare, such as Hamlet and Richard III. Theatre of Blood (1973) directed by Douglas Hickox also falls into this category as the film tells the story about an actor who decides to kill the critics who had destroyed his career using methods of murder applied in Shakespeare’s plays such as Julius Caesar, Richard III and Titus Andronicus (Rothwell 1999: 219; 226-227). Parasitical films borrow some short verbal or visual quotations from Shakespeare’s plays.

One of the most often quoted plays of Shakespeare is Hamlet and the “To be or not to be” soliloquy in particular, which for example occurs in My Darling Clementine (1964) directed by John Ford and Morning Glory (1933) directed by Lowell Sherman. Even the cult TV-series Star Trek quotes Hamlet in the episode The Conscience of the King (1966). Other plays used in parasitical films include The Midsummer Night’s Dream, used in The Dead Poet’s Society (1989) directed by Peter Weir and Romeo and Juliet which is used in for example The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (Rothwell 1999: 219;227).

Animations, as the name suggests, put Shakespeare into the form of cartoons. The first animation based on Shakespeare was Othello by Anson Dryer in 1920. In 1959 Jiri Trnka made an animation of The Midsummer Night’s Dream and during 1992-1994 a set of 18 plays called Shakespeare: The Animated Tales, including Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and As You Like It, was released. One of the most popular animated derivations of Shakespeare is certainly Lion King (1994) directed by Roger Alles and Rob Minkoff, which turns Hamlet into a power struggle inside a pride of lions in Africa (Rothwell 1999: 219; 227-228).

Documentaries and educational films are pedagogical productions, which may overlap with other categories. For example Shakespeare: The Animated Tales mentioned above was meant for introducing Shakespeare to schoolchildren. Other examples include Discovering Hamlet (1990) directed by Mark Olshaker which focuses on the development of a theatre production of Hamlet and the Playing Shakespeare series (1984) in which John Barton teaches the viewers, with the help of other actors, how to perform Shakespeare (Rothwell 1999: 219; 228).

Some films clearly belong to certain category, such as Joe Macbeth (1955) which is a pure recontextualisaton. However there are also some production which can be fitted into more than one category, such as Kiss Me Kate (1953) which is a musical and a mirror movie at the same time as the plot also involves the lives of the actors, or West Side Story (1961) which is again a music and dance film, but also a recontextualisation. Therefore it can be said that the classification offered by Rothwell is not absolute as it is not possible to fit all films into specific categories.

Still, this typology gives us the chance to make the versatile world of Shakespeare on film somewhat more organised. All types of derivations of Shakespeare have their own strengths. Recontextualisations bring the audience closer to the play when it is moved to a contemporary context or just give new angles to the events and characters. Mirror movies give the audience a chance to see some of the original play and at the same time create a new story around it. Music and dance films move the stories into a completely new genre.

Revues build a new plot around Shakespeare’s plays so that the audience recognizes some parts of the film. Parasitical films use some quotations from the plays and give the audience the pleasure of recognition. Animations make it easier for children to relate to and understand Shakespeare. Documentaries and educational films give information and have pedagogical importance. There can be many different appropriations, falling into various categories, which are based on one play. As mentioned in the introduction The Taming of the Shrew has been the basis for about 20 films.

The first film production of the play, directed by D. W Griffith,was released in 1908, According to this version of the play Petruchio tames Katherine by mirroring her behaviour and making her realise that she is too vicious with others, an interpretation also used in later productions. The first sound production from 1929, directed by Sam Taylor, carried a secondary message for the contemporary people as it starred the super-star couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks and their personal relationship offered a parallel to that between the main characters of the film.

The representation of Katherine in this film were strongly affected by the choice of the actor – as Pickford (1955: 311) herself notes: “Instead of being a forceful tiger-cat, I was a spitting little kitten”. This the demand of the director who wanted her to keep her soft image and not be too strong and intense (Henderson 2003: 120-134). The two films discussed above are adaptations, but there have also been appropriations which fall into the categories of derivations proposed by Rothwell.

For example the music and dance film Kiss Me Kate, which also can be classified as a mirror movie as the two main characters portray actors performing the roles of Katherine and Petruchio, both on the stage and in their own lives. There are also recontextualisations, such as the TV-series Moonlighting, in which the original play is only slightly reflected in the theme of the series which focuses on the continuous battle between the male and female lead. The Taming of the Shrew has also been animated as it was included in the Shakespeare: The Animated Tales series, intended for educating schoolchildren.

Already this fact is a sign of the importance of The Taming of the Shrew among the works of Shakespeare (Henderson 2003: 120-134; Rothwell 1999: 225-226). The two reinterpretations of The Taming of the Shrew analysed in the thesis are set in the contemporary world and can be classified as recontextualisatons. ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew (2005) is put into the context of contemporary British political circles and takes the form of a farce while the 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) is Shakespeare in the form of a teen-comedy set in an American high-school.

Both films have created a new text so that the language of Shakespeare is lost, although the directors use the general plot which has been altered to some extent. The reason why The Taming of The Shrew cannot be modernised without alterations in the plot is that society has changed extensively since the time when the play was written, especially when it comes to gender relations. The central theme of the play is the battle of the sexes. The original play emphasises that the key to marital happiness is that men should be in control of women and that wives should obey their husbands unconditionally – the shrews have to be tamed.

The contemporary social norms are different as the role of women has changes and women have become more equal with men and this the final conclusion may seem anachronistic to contemporary audiences. Therefore the modernisation of the play has to include alterations in the outcome and the general attitude of the play to retain its relevance. During the 16th century, when Shakespeare wrote the play, women’s main “job” was to marry and bear children. A good wife had to be humble and obedient to her husband and obstinate women were frowned upon. Although the head of the country was a woman– Elizabeth I – women in general did not have a voice as hey were always legally represented by the head of the household, that is their father or their husband. This meant that the fathers were also in control of the choice of a husband for their daughters. Thus it can be concluded that The Taming of the Shrew represents the reality of the time when it shows Baptista’s worry about the marriageability of, the dowry negotiations and the praise of obedient wives. Although there must have been exceptions, unruly women like Katherina, the social norms of the time approved the male domination and Katherine of the end of the play is a representation of the ideal wife of the time (Palliser 1992: 70-79).

The role of women has changed to a great extent from the time of Shakespeare. Contemporary norms and laws state that men and women should be treated as equals and have the same rights, such as the right to vote and work. Modern women have careers outside the home and other concerns in addition to marriage and children. It is possible for a woman to be successful at, for example, politics or science, both of which were considered to be male fields in the past. Men are no longer obliged to take care of the women as the latter are considered to be self-sufficient.

However, there are still people who believe that women are inferior to men and/or the wife should only focus on home and the family while the husband works. This means that the discussion over gender-roles continues and is still a topical issue (Rowbotham 1997: 581-591). These cultural changes mean that if a production of The Taming of the Shrew would carry the original meaning, it would not fit the general norms of today’s society. Therefore the play has to be altered so that it would be in greater harmony with contemporary understandings of the role of women.

This suggests that the portrayal of the characters and the relationships between them has to be modernised. At the same time, the plot and the genre of the original play can still be used for making humorous statements about the roles of contemporary women and men. The following parts of the thesis are going to focus on the alterations made in the portrayal of the main characters and the relations between them in ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew (2005) and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) and discuss how the choices made by the screenwriters and directors have affected the message of he play. ANALYSIS OF THE MODERNISED FILM APPROPRIATIONS OF SHAKESPEARE’S THE TAMING OF THE SHREW The discussion below concentrates on the ways in which the characters created by Shakespeare have been represented in today’s context and what changes have been made in the plot and the relationships between the characters. The analysis begins with a short overview of the film, focussing on events relevant for the thesis, and a discussion of the general influences the genre of the film has had on the adapted plot.

Then the representation of the main characters – Katherina, Petruchio, Bianca, Baptista, Hortensio, Gremio, Lucentio or their counterparts – will be discussed along with the relations inside the Minola family, the relations between Bianca and her suitors and the relationship of Katherine and Petruchio. As the latter is central in the film and the play, it will be covered in greater detail than the other elements. ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew(2005)

The film begins with introducing Katherine Minola, a bad-tempered single woman in her thirties making a career in the British parliament by running for the position of the leader of the opposition. She is advised to get married to benefit her campaign, but due to her temper there are no willing suitors. Meanwhile her younger sister – a famous super-model – Bianca rejects her manager Harry’s (Hortensio) proposal of marriage by stating that she will marry only when Katherine does.

When Harry’s friend, an eccentric and financially broke British aristocrat Petruchio, the 16th Earl of Charlbury, arrives in London, after having been deported from Australia, to find a rich wife. Harry instantly thinks of Katherine as it would also solve his problem. He introduces Katherine and Petruchio and the latter instantly proposes to her. When she finds out that Petruchio has a title she accepts.

The wedding is a disaster as Petruchio is late and shows up dressed as a woman, after which Katherine is so venomous towards Petruchio that he decides to tame his wife during the honeymoon in Italy, by depriving her of food, sleep, clean clothes and sex until she “will be nice to him”. He succeeds and they find a balance in their relationship. Back in the UK Katherine becomes the leader of the opposition. The wedding of Bianca and Lucentio, a young Italian, is cancelled when Lucentio refuses to sign a prenuptial agreement, as his goal was to get rich through marriage.

The mother of Katherine and Bianca, Baptista Minola supports Bianca in this question, but the happily married Katherine states that a woman should respect and obey her husband, the same way a husband should respect his wife. The film finishes with Katherine telling Petruchio that she is pregnant with triplets and that Petruchio has to stay home with them as she will continue her career. This production moves the play into the world of British politics and turns it into a farce, which means that the situations and the actions of the characters are extremely exaggerated, even ridiculous.

Therefore it is possible to use the original plot, including its treatment of women, as the viewers recognize the farcical nature of the film and do not take it as a serious social commentary. Also all the characters in this production represent recognizable stereotypical figures whose personalities have not been fleshed out due to which the viewers perceive them not as real people, but more as parodies of stereotypes. Still the makers of the film have made some significant changes in the portrayal of the characters and in the plot, which reflect contemporary world and practices.

The first time the audience sees Katherine Minola she is yelling at her secretary and throwing things at him because he had given her insufficient information. She is presented as a true shrew – ridiculously violent, bad-tempered, rude and with no self control. The reason why the audience accepts making a successful woman into a laughing stock is the choice of the context – Katherine is a politician and people generally mock political figures.

Also all her negative characteristics are reinforced in a way which clearly indicates that the film is a farce and therefore Katherine is not supposed to be a realistic portrait – no politician could get away such behaviour. However while in the play Katherine was violent and rude but had no power over others as her fate was still controlled by her father and later by her husband, in the film she seemingly has much influence as she is politician, although in a way she is controlled by her voters and her party which is why she has to get married. Shakespeare’s Petruchio was boisterous and daring but still a realistic person, but the Petruchio of ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew is similarly to Katherine, turned into a farcical figure. His character is based on the stereotype of eccentric and broke British aristocrats. This is emphasised by making him a cross-dresser but also letting him quote Shakespeare and exhibit excessive self-confidence.

He is described by his best friend Harry as “just an unstable, unbalanced exhibitionist who needs someone to think the world of him. ” This portrayal of Petruchio makes it possible to include the taming process itself in an almost unchanged manner, because his eccentricity explains his methods. As in the original play Bianca is very different from her older sister, but while Shakespeare’s Bianca was a sweet-tempered and passive girl, the Bianca of this production is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.

The two sisters are similar in that they both have successful careers, but while Katherine strives to break through in a male-dominated sphere, Bianca’s career is very feminine. She is represented as a typical rich and successful super-model who is adored by the public and used to getting whatever she wants, including men as in the film she is the one who pursues Lucentio not vice versa. When compared to the play, Bianca has been given much more power to control her own life, reflecting the changed position of women in today’s world.

At the beginning of the film Lucentio, the young Italian fortune-hunter, remains very mysterious as he is seen seldom and does not say much, but in the end his true nature is revealed when it comes out that he is marrying Bianca to become wealthy so that he would not have to worry about his education or career. Therefore he is probably the character who has been altered the most, because in the play Lucentio was the embodiment of pure romantic love, whereas in the film his intentions are purely rational. As he wishes to live off Bianca’s riches, it implies that he would become financially dependent on his wife – a “kept man”.

This is a significant alteration as traditionally this behaviour is more associated with women and at Shakespeare’s time it was the husband who made money and the wife depended on him. Harry, the counterpart of Bianca’s suitor Hortensio, is a well-known type, the stereotypical middle-aged manager who has dedicated his life to his client, who does not value his efforts. He also represents the typical sensitive man who does not have luck with women as he complains to Petruchio “I can see their inner beauty, but they never see mine. This development clearly is an sign of modernisation as in the film Harry is a soft and emotional man, therefore his portrayal is somewhat feminine. In the 16th century these qualities would have not been generally acceptable in a man as then gender-roles were more clear-cut and men were expected to be masculine. Another character who has been altered to a great extent is Baptista Minola, the father of Katherine and Bianca, who in this film has been turned into their mother – a rich widow whose main interest is spending money. She does not have control over her daughters and is more of an observer.

This speaks of how the role of parents has changed since the 16th century, as then it was common that the parents made the important decisions for their children, especially daughters, but adult daughters are shown as being responsible for their own lives in today’s context. Another significant alteration involves ,Baptista being made into a woman. In the play the mother of Bianca and Katherine existed but was not spoken of, indicating the typically powerless role of women in that time while in the film the audience knows that there must have been a father, but he is never mentioned and it is the mother who takes centre stage.

Similarly to Shakespeare’s Baptista, she is closer with Bianca than with Katherine. The difference lies in the type of relationship Bianca and Baptista have as in the play it was the relationship between a loving father and the daughter he is trying to protect and care for, but in the film Bianca and Baptista are more like friends who go to beauty parlours together and chat about men. Baptista is distant from Katherine because Katherine’s political career and aspirations are not interesting to her and she does not pprove of Katherine having neglected the world of feminine activities that Baptista and Bianca share. For example in the scene where the family meets for lunch it is obvious that Katherine feels left out of the “female community”. She does not understand the world of her mother and sister and they do not understand her as they tactlessly joke about her potential marriage. Also, as the life of Bapista and Bianca revolves around glamour and reputation they are ashamed of Katherine’s bad-tempered behaviour and lack of fashion sense which increases the gap between them.

The relations between the two sisters in the play are complicated because Katherine is envious of Bianca’s popularity and her relationship with Baptista. This tension has been kept in the film. The difference lies in the way how this conflict is represented. In the play Katherine expressed her resentment directly by constantly fighting with Binca and even by inflicting physical violence. The modern context makes the use of violence impossible as a successful politician beating her super-model sister would be too improbable even for a farce.

Therefore Katherine expresses her feelings by attacking either Bianca’s fans or friends, for example during the scene in the restaurant she goes into a fit of rage because some people want Bianca’s autograph and at Bianca’s farewell party she smashes a guitar over the head of a friend of Bianca’s because she thinks he was making fun of her. However the relationship changes by the end of the film, because after her marriage Katherine starts to feel superior to her sister and no longer is jealous of her life.

At the beginning of the film Katherine to envies Bianca as there is no-one who would like to be “shackled to a gorgon like you [Katherine]”, as Bianca puts it, but Bianca is surrounded by male-admirers. Bianca’s relations with men are controlled by herself and not by Baptista or the men, which is a remarkable alteration as in the play the suitors had to pay as much attention to negotiations with the father as to wooing Bianca. In the film this aspect of Bianca’s relationships with men is completely omitted as the mother does not participate in any decision-making.

Another difference in Bianca’s relations with men is that in the play Bianca is a passive character whose fate is controlled by her father and the will of her suitors as she lets herself to be wooed but does not take any action. In the film she is the active side as she introduces herself to Lucentio, asks him to teach her Italian and finally seduces him. The only independent action taken by Lucentio is using the opportunity to marry a rich woman.

This change shows the influence of the modern context where it is common for women to play active roles in relationships. In the film, as in the play, the reason why Petruchio is interested in Katherine is money, but in this case it is Katherine herself who is wealthy and not her father, another example of the influence of the changed social context as in Shakespeare’s times it was generally impossible for women to own property and wealth belonged either to the father, the husband or other male relatives.

Also, in the film Petruchio is not the only one to benefit from the marriage. Katherine agrees to marry him because of his title as a marriage to an aristocrat is beneficial to her party leadership campaign, but the only advantage of marriage to Shakespeare’s Katherine was that she would not end up as a spinster. The relationship between Katherine and Petruchio in the film centres on the process of taming and this has not been altered much when compared to the play and includes the same key events – the wedding, the honeymoon and Katherine’s final speech.

The wedding is as strange in the film as it was the play – Petruchio arrives late, drunk and wearing women’s clothes, but manages to persuade Katherine that not going through with the wedding would be even worse for her reputation than marrying him. The difference is that in the film the public humiliation implied by the episode has a bigger effect on Katherine as she is a public figure and the wedding was intended to benefit her career.

Petruchio’s intention here was to show her that she has to keep her private life separate from work as everything she does should not only revolve around her political career, but in the play he just wanted to show that a husband can do anything and the wife has no right to object. During the honeymoon in Italy Petruchio deprives Katherine of food, clean clothes, sleep and sex. Shakespeare’s Petruccio used the same methods, but the difference is in the reasoning behind the actions.

In the play Petruccio argued that the food, the bed and the clothes were not good enough for his beautiful wife and by that he robbed Katherine of the reason to object but in the film Petruchio does not hide behind any reasoning but simply states that he will not end this torment unless Katherine changes her attitude. This change is probably not caused by the context but by the farcical nature of the production.

The taming results in changes in Katherine’s principles and behaviour which are reflected in her speech, which she delivers while arguing with her sister and mother about whether prenuptial agreements are reasonable and necessary or not. As she says: I think that your husband is your lord and your life and your keeper. He is the boss. Day in and day out he emits his body to painful labour and all we do is sit at home in front of the telly all day eating chocolates. I know I do when I’m not running the country. I have been like you – argumentative, obnoxious, bad tempered.

And what good did it do me? Eh? I think you should do whatever he tells you to to, whenever he tells you to do it. I mean, good lord, how could we ever be equal to them – big, noisy and opinionated. And we are little and noisy and opinionated. /… / I think you should be prepared to place your hands below your husbands feet in token of your duty to him. /… / I would if he’d ask me to, but he won’t ask me to, because he feels exactly the same way about me and he wouldn’t expect anything from me what I wouldn’t expect from him.

The speech clearly shows how the taming has changed Katherine – she has learned that she has to keep her career and her family-life apart and that although she is running the country and has political power she should not enforce her will over her husband. Still, unlike the Katherine in the play, in the speech she does not say that a woman should be completely subordinate to her husband but, in accordance with modern views, she states that women and men should be equal – they should expect the same things from the other what they are willing to do themselves.

This is an important change in the speech, because the original only emphasised that the husband is the lord and called for a total submission from the wife. The original play concluded with Katherine and Petruchio going to bed, but the film shows us subsequent events and how their marriage worked out – Katherine gives birth to triplets, but does not give up her career and eventually becomes the Prime Minister, which can be concluded from the photograph of Katherine and Petruchio standing in front of 10 Downing Street. Petruchio stays at home and takes care of the children, but does not lose any of his eccentricity or childishness.

This ending, is also a marker of the modernisation of the play – although Katherine learns to accept the need to surrender some of her independence to her husband, in the end it is the husband whose role is changed more dramatically as he has to assume the domestic role while Katherine continues her public career. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) The film begins with introducing Katarina Stratford (Katherina Minola), a teen rebel who objects to all norms of high-school popularity and is perceived by others as a “heinous bitch”.

Then a new student, Cameron (Lucentio), enters Padua High School and on his first day falls in love with Bianca Stratford, Katarina’s sister. In order to get her attention he becomes her French tutor as Bianca and Katarina are not allowed to date boys. During the first tutoring session Bianca tells him that their father, Walter Stratford (Baptista Minola), has changed the rules and Bianca can date when Katarina does. Therefore Cameron, with the help of a friend, devises a plan.

They trick a rich model Joey Donner, (Hortensio/Gremio) who is also interested in Bianca, into paying off the strangest boy in the whole school – Patrick Verona (Petruchio) – so that he would date Katherine. Patrick’s first attempts to ask Kat on a date fail, but finally he succeeds in winning her attention. This is followed by a series of conflicts between the couple. Meanwhile Bianca at first uses her freedom to date Joey Donner, but as she gets to known him better, loses her interest and begins to date Cameron. As the prom is the centre of American teen -life, all major plot-lines culminate during the events surrounding it.

Firstly, as Katarina has decided not to go, and therefore Bianca cannot go either, they have a fight which results in a heart-to-heart conversation during which Kat explains the motives of her behaviour. Secondly, at the prom, as Kat finally decides to go, Patrick reveals his true past to her and she also finds out that Patrick had dated her for money. Thirdly, the negative character of the film – Joey – is attacked by Bianca and becomes the object of humiliation. The prom is followed by Katarina’s final speech which is in the form of her reading a poem in the English class, where she confesses her true feelings for Patrick.

The film ends with the two sisters finally getting along, the father admitting that he cannot control her daughters and Katarina forgiving Patrick. 10 Things I Hate About You is a teen-comedy set in an American high-school, and therefore it uses the typical concepts and solutions of the genre while interlacing them with elements from Shakespeare’s play. This has resulted in some significant changes in the plot as, firstly, marriage has been substituted with dating, secondly, the taming-process is much milder and, thirdly, the prom, as a traditional centre of teen -life, is included as a culmination of events, as customary in teen-comedies.

Also the characters of the play are portrayed as typical teen-flick characters – Cameron is the nice and a bit nerdy boy, Bianca the beautiful and selfish girl striving towards popularity, Walter the overprotective father, Katarina the intelligent rebel, Patrick the mysterious bad -boy and Joey the popular, egoistic and self-indulgent character whom the audience hates. As mentioned above, Katarina is a typical feminist teen-rebel who objects to everything that has to do with popularity and norms.

She expresses her views by ripping off prom posters, listening to indie-rock girl-bands, speaking her mind whenever she can and sometimes even by pure violence. For example on one occasion she causes serious injuries to a schoolmate who offended her. She is also intelligent and witty, having excellent verbal skills, as did Shakespeare’s Katherine. Consequently, most of the students at Padua High are afraid of her, but still the film’s Katarina is a milder and more likeable character than Katherine in the play.

In the film people do not laugh at her, but at her jokes. The audience does not perceive her as a mad shrew, but rather she is admired for her independence, intelligence, courage and sharp language. She is portrayed in a way that the viewers can relate to her as a real person, which is very different from the way how for example the Katherine of the ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew is presented.

Petruchio, the gentleman from Verona who is looking for a rich wife is transformed into Patrick Verona, an Australian boy with a mysterious past, feared my most people at the school due to the his strange behaviour, such as playing with fire, and the rumours which revolve around him, for example that he has been in prison and once ate a live duck. At the same time he is not foolish or unintelligent as he is a verbal equal to Katarina and his reason for behaving strangely is to experiment with people and their reactions.

However, in the course of the film he decides to lose his image of a bad -boy and changes his behaviour, therefore it can be said that in a way, in this film he is also the shrew who is tamed. This shows the contemporariness of the film as in Shakespeare’s time the presentation of a woman taming a man would have been unthinkable. Bianca Stratford is represented as the typical beautiful and superficial girl who strives for popularity and is therefore the opposite of her sister, similarly to Shakespeare’s Bianca.

The contrast between the sisters is also emphasised by their speech and conversation topics. When we first see Bianca, she is having a discussion with her best friend on the difference between “like” and “love”, arguing that there is a distinction because “I like my Sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack”, while Katherine talks about Silvia Plath and the “oppressive patriarchal values that dictate our education”. The play does not create such an intellectual contrast between the sisters, probably because the intellectuality of women was not emphasised in the society at the time when it was written.

This portrayal of Bianca is interesting, because it makes her a somewhat negative character, but as she is influenced by her sister and Cameron, her nature changes and she loses her egoism. Therefore it can be said that she is another shrew who is tamed. Lucentio’s equivalent, Cameron, is the cute but a bit nerdy boy often seen in teen-flicks probably because many of the target viewers can relate to such characters. Similarly to the play he is portrayed as the opposite of Patrick – in the play Lucentio is a romantic lover and Petruchio a rational-minded gold-digger and in the film Patrick is the bad -boy and Cameron is the typical sweet guy.

The difference is that in the film they work together – Cameron is the one who helps Patrick to win Katarina’s heart and Patrick encourages Cameron not to give up on Bianca while in the play there is no direct connection between the actions of the two characters. This change is caused by other alterations made in the plot as in order to make it possible for Patrick to employ the “taming methods” he uses, it is necessary for him to have an ally who would get him information about Katarina.

Another reason for the co-operation is that the film has also omitted the communication between the suitors and Baptista. In the film Cameron’s plan to woo Bianca does not include pretending to be a teacher while his servant is pretending to be him to negotiate with the father, so without him being involved in the taming of Katarina and devising the plan to get the father to let Bianca date, his role would be too empty and insignificant.

It is difficult to determine whether Joey Donner is the counterpart of Hortensio or Gremio as he is not the direct equivalent of either. While Hortensio and Gremio where rivals of Lucentio, they remained neutral, but Joey is presented as a purely negative character. In the film he is the common enemy as he is the cause of Katarina’s behaviour, the rival of Cameron, the cause of the fight between Patrick and Katarina at the prom and has interest in Bianca only to prove that “no-one is out of reach” for him.

This development is not connected with the modernisation of the play, but with the recontextualisaton and the genre as he is the popular, rich, selfish and excessively confident character, who is typically seen in teen-comedies as the foe of the protagonist. In this film Baptista Minola is transformed into Walter Stratford – a typical middle-aged single father who tries to protect his daughters and believes that he knows everything about the world of teenagers and how out of control it is.

He is a gynaecologist who on daily basis has to deal with teenage girls having children and this has made him paranoid as he believes that all parties lead to orgies and that any contact with boys is dangerous. When compared to Baptista, it is clear that his intentions are very different. Baptista’s goal in allowing Bianca to be married only after Katherine is to insure that someone would marry both of his daughters and Katherine would not become a spinster, but Walter’s aim is to make sure that neither of them date to avoid unwanted pregnancy and too early marriage.

This reflects the contemporary ways of life as today the issue of teen pregnancies worries many parents and most of them prefer that their children stay away from the opposite sex for as long as possible as early marriage is seen as seriously damaging a girl’s chances of getting an education and having a professional career, both of which are considered to be essential in having a satisfactory life. The relations inside the Stratford family generally reflect those of the Minola family, but the difference lies in the reasoning behind the behaviour of the family-members.

In the play the father has better relations with Bianca than with Katarina because as Bianca is the sweet-tempered sister, the father sees her as an ideal daughter, but he can not understand Katherine’s behaviour and thinks of her as a shrew who should be married off as soon as possible. In the film, the father explains the reasons why he seems to favour Bianca as “Fathers don’t like to admit it when their daughters are capable of running their own lives, it means we’ve become spectators.

Bianca still lets me play a few innings – you’ve had me on the bench for years. ” This explanation makes the film more realistic in today’s circumstances and is used because of the genre as teen-flicks have to appear recognisable to the audiences. This also explains the relationship between Bianca and Katarina In the film they constantly fight as they did in the play, but physical violence has been omitted, probably because it would make Katarina a more negative character than the film-makes have desired.

In the play the reason behind Katherine’s behaviour is her envy for Bianca because of the latter’s admirers and the attention she gets from their father. But in the film Katarina’s motive, on the one hand is her rejection of the norms of high-school popularity towards which Bianca strives and, on the other hand, she is trying to prevent her sister from making the mistakes she once made as she also was involved with Joey Donner who used her sexually. After the prom, when Bianca has realised that Katarina was right about Joey, they develop a friendly relationship of trust, which never happens in the play.

Cameron’s friend Michael describes Bianca as “a snotty little princess, wearing a strategically planned sundress to make guys like us realise that we can never touch her, and guys like Joey realise that they want to. ” It can be seen from the quotation that in this production Bianca is not the mild and modest girl as in the play, but a rather manipulative young woman who knows how to gain attention and uses it do increase her popularity. Therefore at first Joey seems to be a good choice for her, because he is the most popular boy of the school and a relationship with him would benefit Bianca’s status.

Unpopular Cameron interests her only because he can help Bianca to find a boyfriend for Katarina. As Bianca develops in the course of the film her attitude changes as she realises that Joey is just a self-centred narcissist and that Cameron truly cares about her. This reasoning behind her choice is different from the play, where the contrast between Hortensio and Lucento is that the latter is younger and more attractive to Bianca, but not that the former is unpleasant and abhorrent.

Also, while in the play the decision maker is the father, in the film he can decide whether Bianca can have a boyfriend but not who the boyfriend should be. This is a sign of contemporariness as in today’s western -culture the control of parents over who their children interact with is much weaker than it was in the time of Shakespeare when the children where completely under the control of the father. Patrick’s interest in Katarina is initially triggered by money, as in the play, but in this case the money comes from Joey and not from Baptista.

Also, Patrick is not looking for a rich girl to date, but just seizes the opportunity for some easy money and fun. The difference also lies in the fact that Patrick sees Katarina as something more than a source of money – at first he is intrigued by her because she is not afraid of him as most people are and then at the concert of Katarina’s favourite band, where he goes in order to make Katarina think that they have the same interests, he realizes that there could be more in Katarina than the “heinous bitch” everyone sees.

The process of taming is the most significant alteration in the plot of the play as the goals and methods used by Patrick are very different from Petruchio’s. Although he refers to the process as “taming the wild beast”, his intention is to make Katarina accept and trust him. Patrick tries to be interesting, pretends to have the same interests, quits smoking, is caring and understanding and accepts Katarina for who she is, instead of tormenting her in order to make her submit to his will or change her nature.

It can even be said that Katarina has a bigger effect on Patrick than he has on her as Katarina’s behaviour does not change much during the course of the film – she opens up to Patrick and learns to trust him, but is still the same rebellious teen girl as in the beginning of the film. Patrick on the other hand develops from the bad-boy into a sweet and caring boyfriend who is willing to lose his reputation for the girl he loves. This is seen, for example, in the scene where he performs a love song to Katarina at the school stadium and by that reveals that he is not as tough as he seems to be.

Also, during the prom he uncovers his past and loses the mystery surrounding it and by that his reputation within the school. The taming concludes with Katarina’s speech, as it does in the play. In the film it is presented in the form of a recitation of an English assignment, writing a new version of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 141 The content of the poem Katarina composed reveals that she has feelings for Patrick, but does not contain anything on the theme of gender-roles or the battle of the sexes because of the differences in the taming process discussed above.

The change in Katarina can be explained by looking at the context. The recitation takes place at school, which has been the centre of the whole film, and in front of Katarina’s classmates, including Patrick and in particular Joey, to whom Katarina has always wanted to seem strong and tough, but now she openly discusses her feelings and shows her weakness by crying and then running out of the classroom. This demonstrates that Patrick has made Katarina realise that she should not always try to present herself as being tough and hide her feelings from others, but this shift does not indicate that she is therwise tamed. Rather, in the film it is all other characters who change and are, in a way, tamed. However the development of the characters does not emphasise gender roles but rather just becoming more independent and caring for people around them. The same norm is applied to both male and female characters of the film, suggesting more egalitarian gender norms. CONCLUSION Reinterpretations of well-known stories work as reinterpretations only when the story is known to the audience.

Therefore Shakespeare’s plays, as some of the best known texts in world literature, are a good source for retelling as many people know the characters and the plot. Shakespeare writes about everlasting themes which have remained relevant to this day. His play The Taming of the Shrew deals with the theme of the battle of the sexes, which is as topical in contemporary society as it was in the 16th century. Still,as gender -roles have changed extensively since the time when the play was written, alterations have to be made both in the portrayal of the characters and in the plot.

Adaptation and appropriation are two ways which enable transformation of, for example, literature into film. While adaptations stay close to the original, appropriations introduce more extensive extensive alterations in the text and genre. Today, film has become the most prevalent medium for appropriations of classical text. As Shakespeare’s plays are well known and cover a wide variety of themes, his work is a popular basis for very different films. The present thesis focuses on one type of reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s work recontextualisation.

Recontextualisations give new angles to the familiar plots to make it easier for the contemporary audience to relate to the characters and the theme. The films analysed in the thesis – ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You – both fall into the category of recontextualisations and more specifically can be classified as modernisations. Although both films take place in contemporary world, the two contexts are very different.

In ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew the play is relocated into British political circles. Also, as it is a farce, the film-makers could make the character behave ridiculously and unrealistically, including Petruchio taming Katherine by tormenting her. 10 Things I Hate About You, on the other hand, is a teen-comedy and in order to be in accordance with the genre, the behaviour of the characters has to look realistic and so the taming process is made much softer.

Also the outcomes of the two films are very different: in ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew the only character who undergoes notable development is Katherine, but in 10 Things I Hate About You, basically all the main characters change their behaviour in one way or the other. The analysis of these films showed that in order to modernise The Taming of the Shrew significant alterations have to be made in the portrayal of the characters. It was also demonstrated that the changes depend on the genre of the film as a farce makes it possible to use more of the original plot than the teen-comedy, which requires a more realistic approach.

The different approaches result in significant differences between the two films and their outcomes: ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew finishes with a statement about the changed gender-roles when Petruchio stays at home with children while Katherine continues her career, but 10 Things I Hate About You does not focus so much on specific gender roles as on general development of the characters as human beings. All in all, it can be said that appropriating Shakespeare can be seen as a culturally enriching practice.

One hand, it revives the old classics in ways which are more understandable to the contemporary audience. On the other hand, all new appropriations, even the reinterpretations of the same play, are different from others and create new ways of understanding and appreciating the plays. REFERENCES Primary Sources Hood, R. C. (ed) 1975. The Macmillan Shakespeare: The Taming of The Shrew. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan Education Junger, Gil (Director). 1999. 10 Things I Hate About You [Motion picture].

United States: Touchstone Pictures Richards, David (Director). 2005. ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of The Shrew [Television programme]. United Kingdom: BBC Secondary Sources Henderson, Diane E. 2003. A Shrew For The Times Revisited. In Burt, Richard and Lynda E. Boose (eds). Shakespeare The Movie II. London and New York: Routledge Palliser, D. M. 1992. The Age of Elizabeth. England Under the Later Tudors 1547-1603. 2nd ed. London and New York: Longman Pickford, Mary. 1955. Sunshine and Shadow, An Autobiography.

New York: Doubleday & Co. Inc. Rothwell, Kenneth. 2001. A History of Shakespeare on Screen : A Century of Film and Television. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Rowbotham, Sheila. 1997. A Century of Women. The History of Women in Britain and The United States in the Twentieth Century. New York. Penguin Book Russell, Jackson (ed. ) 2007. The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Sanders, Julie. 2006. Adaptation and Appropriation. London and New York: Routledge

Analysis Of ONGC Group Of Companies


“Not only had India…. set up his own machinery for oil exploration and exploitation…. an efficient oil commission had been build where a large number of bright young men and women had been trained and they were doing good work. ” -Pandit Janwarlal Nehru to Lord Mountbatten, on ONGC (1959)

ONGC Group of Companies comprising of ONGC Limited, and its subsidiaries ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), ONGC Nile Ganga BV (ONGBV) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) organize Import/International Sale of Crude Oil, Export of Petroleum Products and Petrochemical Products through Tendering Procedure for all the Group Companies of ONGC. ONGC Group presents a lot of business opportunities to prospective Business Partners in the area of international sale/import of Crude Oil and Export of Petroleum Products and Petrochemical Products.

ONGC Group is one of the fast growing groups in the world and its parent company ONGC is the only fully-integrated petroleum company in India, operating along the entire hydrocarbon value chain. It is not only the largest E&P Company in India but also one of the most valuable companies in India. Moody’s has assigned ONGC Baa1-highest ever credit rating to any Indian corporate. Highest ever profit company in India since last many years, it produces value added products like Naphtha from its own plants, which are available for export. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) is an overseas arm of ONGC, engaged in Exploration & Production Activities.

It trans-nationally operates E Business in various countries across the globe. OVL has so far, acquired several properties in more than 12 countries across the globe, and striving to reach out further OVL’s projects are spread out in Vietnam, Russia, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Syria, Myanmar, Australia, Brazil, Cuba and Ivory Coast. It is further pursuing Oil and gas exploration blocks in Algeria, Australia, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, Russia, UAE and Venezuela. Nile Blend Crude Oil from its Sudan Project and SOKOL Crude Oil from its Sakhalin 1 Project in Russia are available for sale in International Market.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), located in a beautiful hilly terrain north of Mangalore city on west coast of India, have a State of Art Grass root Refinery at Mangalore and is a subsidiary of ONGC. The Refinery has got a versatile design with high flexibility to process Crude oils of various API and with high degree of Automation. MRPL has a design capacity to process 9. 69 million metric tones per annum and is the only Refinery in India to have 2 Hydro crackers producing Premium Diesel (High Cetane).

It is also the only Refinery in India to have 2 CCRs producing Unleaded Petrol of High Octane. Lately it is venturing into production of Petrochemicals Products (Mixed Xylene, Para Xylene, Propylene, Benzene) LOBS and Petroleum Coke, which are in addition to its production of the whole range of Petroleum Products ( Naphtha, Jet Kero, HSD/Gas Oil, FO, Reformat, etc. ). In future, it has plans to expand its capacity. Currently all type of Petroleum Products viz. Naphtha, Jet Kero, HSD/Gas Oil, FO, Reformat, VGO and Mixed Xylene under Petrochemical Products are available for export.


During the pre-independence period, the Assam Oil Company in the northeastern and Attock Oil company in northwestern part of the undivided India were the only oil companies producing oil in the country, with minimal exploration input.

The major part of Indian sedimentary basins was deemed to be unfit for development of oil and gas resources. After independence, the national Government realized the importance oil and gas for rapid industrial development and its strategic role in defense. Consequently, while framing the Industrial Policy Statement of 1948, the development of petroleum industry in the country was considered to be of utmost necessity. Until 1955, private oil companies mainly carried out exploration of hydrocarbon resources of India.

In Assam, the Assam Oil Company was producing oil at Digboi (discovered in 1889) and the Oil India Ltd. a 50% joint venture between Government of India and Burma Oil Company) was engaged in developing two newly discovered large fields Naharkatiya and Moran in Assam. In West Bengal, the Indo-Stanvac Petroleum project (a joint venture between Government of India and Standard Vacuum Oil Company of USA) was engaged in exploration work. The vast sedimentary tract in other parts of India and adjoining offshore remained largely unexplored. In 1955, Government of India decided to develop the oil and natural gas resources in the various regions of the country as part of the Public Sector development.

With this objective, an Oil and Natural Gas Directorate was set up towards the end of 1955, as a subordinate office under the then Ministry of Natural Resources and Scientific Research. The department was constituted with a nucleus of geoscientists from the Geological survey of India. A delegation under the leadership of Mr. K D Malviya, the then Minister of Natural Resources, visited several European countries to study the status of oil industry in those countries and to facilitate the training of Indian professionals for exploring potential oil and gas reserves.

Foreign experts from USA, West Germany, Romania and erstwhile U. S. S. R visited India and helped the government with their expertise. Finally, the visiting Soviet experts drew up a detailed plan for geological and geophysical surveys and drilling operations to be carried out in the 2nd Five Year Plan (1956-57 to 1960-61). In April 1956, the Government of India adopted the Industrial Policy Resolution, which placed mineral oil industry among the schedule ‘A’ industries, the future development of which was to be the sole and exclusive responsibility of the state.

Soon, after the formation of the Oil and Natural Gas Directorate, it became apparent that it would not be possible for the Directorate with its limited financial and administrative powers as subordinate office of the Government, to function efficiently. So in August, 1956, the Directorate was raised to the status of a commission with enhanced powers, although it continued to be under the government. In October 1959, the Commission was converted into a statutory body by an act of the Indian Parliament, which enhanced powers of the commission further.

The main functions of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission subject to the provisions of the Act, were “to plan, promote, organize and implement programmes for development of Petroleum Resources and the production and sale of petroleum and petroleum products produced by it, and to perform such other functions as the Central Government may, from time to time, assign to it “. The act further outlined the activities and steps to be taken by ONGC in fulfilling its mandate.

Since its inception, ONGC has been instrumental in transforming the country’s limited upstream sector into a large viable playing field, with its activities spread throughout India and significantly in overseas territories. In the inland areas, ONGC not only found new resources in Assam but also established new oil province in Cambay basin (Gujarat), while adding new petroliferous areas in the Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and East coast basins (both inland and offshore). ONGC went offshore in early 70’s and discovered a giant oil field in the form of Bombay High, now known as Mumbai High.

This discovery, along with subsequent discoveries of huge oil and gas fields in Western offshore changed the oil scenario of the country. Subsequently, over 5 billion tones of hydrocarbons, which were present in the country, were discovered. After 1990 The liberalized economic policy, adopted by the Government of India in July 1991, sought to deregulate and de-license the core sectors (including petroleum sector) with partial disinvestments of government equity in Public Sector Undertakings and other measures. As a consequence thereof, ONGC was re-organized as a limited Company under the Company’s Act, 1956 in February 1994.

After the conversion of business of the erstwhile Oil & Natural Gas Commission to that of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited in 1993, the Government disinvested 2 per cent of its shares through competitive bidding. Subsequently, ONGC expanded its equity by another 2 per cent by offering shares to its employees. During March 1999, ONGC, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) – a downstream giant and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) – the only gas marketing company, agreed to have cross holding in each other’s stock.


The work of the Administration in an organization as large as ONGC in particular and Ahmedabad Asset in general, has its own challenges as it involves dealing with complex administrative affairs and maintaining cordial relationship among the employees as well as with other interfaces of the company.

  • The various functions of General Administration are as under
  • Allotment and vacating orders for colony accommodation.
  • Maintenance of Asset Estate.
  • Requisition of new office or housing accommodation.
  • Hospitality which includes arrangements for official parties, meetings, seminars, hotel bookings, air / train ticket bookings, and smooth functioning of transit accommodation.
  • Preparation of Indent for new articles, machinery, office / residential accommodation, Kits & Liveries, job contracts etc along with the support of MM, Finance, and concerned department.
  • Monitoring of house keeping, garbage disposal, and horticulture contractual workers.


ONGC consists of many departments i. e, “Production department, HR department, Finance deparment, Marketing department”. Finance department have its own importance in the organization. All the activities related to the salary of the employees,or allocation of cost, posting the entries of daily transactions, all the data’s related to the Sales of product etc. Hence finance has its vital importance in the functioning of the organization.

The main function of Finance section is to reduce the cost of the organization. The first work is done by the Incharge of budget because firstly the budget has to be prepared on that basis only the target can be decided and exploration or production can be done by the Onshore or Offshore Employees. And after the production had been done then after that the selling of the product is done. As ONGC deals with the selling of two products only Oil & Gas. Sales accounts are prepared on the basis of sold quantities. The PCS(Personal Claim Section) department deals with the earnings of employees like Salary, Loan,Advances etc.

Costing section deals with the allocation of costs, when the production work is done the cost of each activity is allocated to the cost center. Ahmedabad finance has developed in house website (www 10. 205. 67. 54) which gives useful information regarding PCS claims, circulars etc. As every Asset prepares its financial report and send it to the main Head quarter Dehradun and the consolidated balancesheet is prepared after compiling all the different asset’s financial balancesheet is prepared and it is shown in the annual report as ONGC’s financial status. Finance & Controlling

Finance & Controlling module of SAP is divided into two main sections- (1) Financial Accounting (2) Controlling. The financial accounting module handles the financial transactions for the organization. Balance Sheets are traditionally produced from this module in SAP, as this is where the legal entity is registered. The controlling module handles the cost and profitability accounting for the organization. It specifically caters to internal management reporting requirements on areas of cost analysis and control, evaluating profitability of business segments, variance analysis and budgeting.


  • General Ledger
  • Cash & Bank
  • Costing – Material & Asset
  • Sale Accounting & Receivable Management
  • Pre-Audit Section 6. Asset Accounting
  • Budget

Virtual Corporate will work out Activity wise Financial Outlays corresponding to approved Physical targets based on the per unit cost of the inputs required to be used in accomplishing the activities of Survey, Exploratory drilling, Development drilling and Operating cost. Actual cost as per finalized accounts for F. Y, 2008-09 will form the basis for working out financial outlays for RE 2009-10 and BE 2010-11. However, in case of uncontrollable exigencies like increase in charter hire rates as per Contracts already finalized, etc, higher increase may be considered with detailed reasons to be furnished for While allocation of additional resources. Working out activity wise financial outlays, cost of services provided by services/expenditure incurred by other locations also need to be considered and the same will form the basis of resource allocation to services.

Accordingly, it is suggested, that service cost considered in activity wise financial outlays be arrived at after due deliberations between the service providers and service users and approved by respective Asset/Basin Managers. Virtual Corporate will also work out total financial outlays for funds allocations after adjusting for inter unit transfers. The information is required for allocation of financial outlays to Virtual Corporate for expenditure sanction and availability control. Activity wise financial outlays for funds allocation and details of Opex were submitted by Virtual Corporate to Corporate Budget Cell latest by 15th June’ 2009. Examination of Activity wise Financial Outlays by Corporate Budget:

Activity wise Financial Outlays submitted by Virtual Corporate will be examined by Corporate Budget Cell considering approved physical work programmed, cost of activities, availability of resources, etc. Based on above parameters, Corporate Budget Cell will communicate level of indicative financial outlays to Virtual Corporate after obtaining approval from Director (Finance). Item wise Financial Outlays: Virtual Corporate will work out item wise budget requirements under Natural heads within the limits of recommended activity wise financial outlays. Line item wise budget proposals under natural head will be converted into activity wise budget outlays and per unit budgeted cost of activities by allocation of common costs to the activities through the budget software.

Line item wise budget requirements will be iteratively reviewed and moderated at the work centres so that budgeted cost of activities fall within the acceptable level of last year’s actual costs and also that natural head budget remains within the limits of recommended activity wise financial outlays. It is reiterated here that for working out budgeted cost of activities, consumption of stores and spares during the financial year is to be considered and inventory variation will be reflected as working capital changes. Similarly, in case of Contractual services spreading beyond one financial year, actual utilization of services during the budget period will be considered while working out the budgeted cost of activities.

Accordingly, phasing of expenditure should be carried out to RE 09-10, BE 10-11 and CBE 11-12 and beyond so that budget outlays and budgeted activity costs are kept at realistic levels. After review and moderations, final budget proposals will be approved by respective Asset Managers/Basin Managers/ Heads of Institutes/chief of Services. After approval by Virtual Corporate, item wise financial budgets under natural heads, corresponding activity outlays and budgeted cost of activities will be submitted to Corporate Budget Cell.


According to Shubin, “A budget is a comprehensive overall plan in which management on the basis of estimated sales volumes and receipts establishes cost and expense allowances for future operations. In this way effectively integrating and directing activities towards carefully determined goals”.

According to Cost and Management Accountants, England “A budget is a financial and/ or quantitative statement, prepared and approved prior to a defined period of time, of the policy to be pursued during that period for the pll1pose of attaining objectives. It may include income, expenditure and employment of capitl”.  A budget is a valuable tool to help plan for upcoming year. It provides a structure to forecast and measure the activities of the organization. Once a budget is approved and implemented, it becomes a standard with which to measure the chapter’s performance on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. In addition, a budget can provide an early warning if adjustments in spending or revenue collection are necessary. Budget means the future plan or estimation.

Budget covers action m the whole of the organization for a definite period of time, being a sum total of all assets, Basins, Services, Institutes and Regional offices put together in case of ONGC. The earlier approach i. e. the traditional or incremental approach:- In the traditional approach, the budget was prepared on the basis of previous year’s figures. The past spending was extrapolated every year. This carried forward the inefficiencies of previous year to current year. This was functionally oriented (by division and department) and accounting oriented (Primary focus was on how-much) the justification was required only for the incremental programmers’.

Because the price rises, increment for inflation was given only on demand by the departments. This approach rarely made an attempt to reconcile or rationalize the budget to long range strategies and objectives. The burden of proof was placed on top management to decide how much should be spent for what and why. The new approach i. e. The Zero Based Budgeting (ZBB) approach:- ZBB is an operating planning and budgeting process which requires each manager to justify his entire budget request in detail from scratch (zero) and decide why he should he spent any money at all. It is a method of budgeting whereby all activities are re-evaluated each time a budget is set.

It is essentially a planning and budgeting mechanism employing cost benefit evaluation of projects and activities to enhance the allocation of resources within the organization into high priority efforts. It is a system whereby each budget item, regardless of whether it is a new or existing, must be justified in its entirety each tie a new budget is prepared. Advantages of Zero-Based Budgeting Efficient allocation of resources, as it is based on needs and benefits. Drives managers to find cost effective ways to improve operations. Detects inflated budgets. Municipal planning departments are exempt from this budgeting practice. Useful for service departments where the output is difficult to identify.

Increases staff motivation by providing greater initiative and responsibility in decision-making. Increases communication and coordination within the organization. Identifies and eliminates wasteful and obsolete operations. Identifies opportunities for outsourcing. Forces cost centres to identify their mission and their relationship to overall goals. Major processes: The development and implementation of the ZBB requires managers and others in the organization to engage in following major planning, analytic and decision making process:

  • Definition of the mission and goals of the workll1g unit.
  • Identification of the decision package.
  • Analysis of each decision package.
  • Ranking of decision packages.
  • Acceptance of three decision packages for allocation of resources.
  • Budget preparation.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation.


ONGC prepared the budgets are as follows: Revised budget estimate (Current year) Budget estimate (Next year) Commitment budget (Next to next year) Broad overview of budget formulation process: In the context of ONGC Ltd. , the Budget can best be defined as a statement of targets both physical and financial, intended to be achieved, in terms of exploration, drilling, production and other allied activities as also connected expenditure vis-a-vis revenue.

Considering the dynamic and complex nature of the organization, budgeting can be identified as the principal tool available to the management for Planning and control of physical operations and financial resources. A vital feature of Budget is the mutual enrichment of function between management and accounting. Projections of Physical targets intended to be achieved during the budget period and decision as to their exact shape and content is the purgative of the management after, of course, careful and in depth consideration of all relevant factors. The Accountant is like a Chief navigator. He provides the log of past recorded fact, allows for variations and gives the answers, in terms finance, about the results of taking specified course of action. He helps the management by converting the Physical Plan into financial figures i. e. the budget.

It has, however, to be noted that Budget is only an aid and not a substitute for managerial judgment. The process of budget formulation, in ONCC is a detailed, exhaustive and voluminous exercise; the exercise normally starts after completion of Annual Accounts in order to have actual utilization of budget and actual cost of various activities. It is envisaged to have the Board approval for the Budget Outlays of RE of the current period and BE for the next Financial Year by the end of September/ October of every year. The budget is prepared initially based on the resources requirements under natural heads and correspondingly financial outlays under various activities are prepared using the budget software.

Financial Outlays corresponding to the approved Physical Targets are prepared based on per unit cost of the inputs required to be used in accomplishing the activities. The budget activities consist of (i) Survey; (ii) Exploratory Drilling; (iii) Development Drilling; (iv) Capital; (v) R and (vi) JV’s. The Asset/Basin level activities are converted into financial outlays taking the unit cost as per rate of contracts or realistic unit cost of the activity. Virtual Corporate Boards (VCB) reviews and approves item-wise budget requirement prepared by respective units under natural heads (Capital, stores, spares, contractual, Manpower and other charges) for submission to CBG within the limits of approved indicative Financial Outlays.

Activity wise financial outlays submitted by Virtual Corporate Boards (VCB) are examined/ reviewed by Corporate Budget Group considering physical work program approved by concerned Director and reasonable cost of activities, availability of resources, etc. Corporate budget Cell (CBC) presents the draft budget proposal to the EC. EC moderates the company wide total financial outlay based on the total internal resources likely to be available during the budget period at global level. The moderation is done without reviewing the unit wise physical activities proposed to be taken up and completed in the budget period. Corporate Budget Cell requests an the units to moderate the budget as per the directives of EC.


To be an effective budgetary control system, we need to provide monthly targets of all the physical plans and the corresponding financial outlays. At the stage of annual budget formulation- at RE and BE, monthly targets would be fixed considering the expected scale and speed of operations, availability of resources (both owned and hired), availability of funds etc. The purpose is two folds

  • efficient resource planning since monthly breakdown is available which calls for drawing up the daily resource deployment schedule including funds planning also;
  • Variation analysis while comparing the budgeted activity with actual completed activity and comparison of cost.

This process will trigger the need for timely corrective action to

  • complete the physical activities in time;
  • initiation/speeding up of cases of procurement of material and services to complete planned activity in time;
  • Re-appropriation/surrender of budget so that the earmarked resources and funds can be deployed for alterative uses;
  • to reduce the cost of activity if the budgeted cost has exceeded.

Presently, as long as the actual expenditure remains within approved budget the SAP allows funds earmarking/release or creation of liability. With monthly budget utilization and review processes, an authorization process will be defined in SAP where in case the unit cost of activity increases even though the total monthly expenditure is within approved monthly budget, the approval would be required at corporate level. This is desirable to contain the cost of activities so that the budgeted physical activities are performed within the limits of budgeted/agreed unit cost of doing the activity.

The monthly utilization would be generated budget activity wise so that budget targets are compared with actual performance. For this purpose, monthly closing of financial accounts would be done at all the locations including closure of all service entry sheets and running of cost cycles. This will also facilitate updating of unit cost. The present system of generating the report of budget utilization on cash basis would be done way and to be replaced by the expenditure on accrual basis. Since the accounts would be closed on monthly basis and location wise accounts consolidated at Corporate accounts level, the budget utilization received from various locations would be reconciled by Corporate Budget from Consol file of CA.

Budget utilization for non procurement items like manpower costs and other charges has to be done with the accrual principle in SAP i. e. budget is utilized at the time of incurring expenditure and liability is provided in accounts even though actual payment may not have been made. Accordingly, budget provisions for such items are made commensurate to the expenses which are likely to be incurred in the respective FY. ? During the budget review process, the open PRs and PO would be reviewed in detail and if required the PR/PO not longer required would be closed so that the funds are available for other activities.

Cases of RE where supply orders have been placed advance purchase action has already been initiated during previous year, such cases should be covered through re-appropriation from overall budget of BE. However, re-appropriation may be made between Plan to Plan and Non-Plan to Non-Plan only. The throw forward cases, for which budget has been revalidated through re-appropriation from the budget of BE are to be shown under throw forward column of the budget software. As per process requirement in ICE, all open POs wherein delivery was falling due in current year but could not materialize will automatically be carried forward through central process in the 4th week of April of next year.

All such carry forward of POs will automatically consume the free budget of BE. However, in some of the commitment items where sufficient free budget (unassigned budget) is not available in BE, the available budget in such cases will become negative and system will stop all further processing of cases in respect of such commitment items with negative available budget. Accordingly, all work centers will be required to review such cases and make funds available through transfer from other commitment items wherever funds are available. As per system designed in ICE, budget utilization for procurement of materials and services takes place at the stage of LIV/ Down Payment.

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