Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of theShrew depicts two sisters who differ in their beauty and perception of the duty of a wife. Older sister Katharine and younger sister Bianca must both eventually get married; however, Baptista, the father of the two sisters, states that Katharine must get married before Bianca can accept a suitor. Kate is ill-tempered and no one wants to marry her. Bianca, on the other hand, has many men longing after her. As a result, there is much manipulation and deviation in the play (Smith and Amy 289). Can Katharine, the ill-tempered older sister be tamed into one who is obedient? Perhaps the roles will be reversed after the two sisters marry. Today, we will explore plot, character analysis, the conflicts and resolutions, as well as why Shakespeare wrote his famous play The Taming of The Shew.
The play opens when the student by the name Luciento enters the University at in Padua town. Luciento hopes to pursue his education in this institution by his dreams are curtailed by the love he develops in Bianca, the youngest daughter of affluent Baptista. Bianca must first, however, deal with his other two suitors, the old fool Gremio and the young man Hortensio. In addition, Bianca’s father has vowed that he will not let her get married till the time Katharina, her elder sister whom Shakespear brands as a feisty and irritable shrew, is wed. The hopes seem to die in the trio until Petruchio, a gentleman from Verona arrives. When told of the wealth possessed by Baptista, Petruchio decides to declare that he is interested in making Katharina his wife.
Petruchio conflict the situation when he acts the way he does at the wedding. He acts like a mad man at the wedding by dressing informally and arriving late. By doing so, he enables Katharine to think that she is able to control him because he appears vulnerable. This is actually a strategy by Petruchio. His strategy is to appear vulnerable so that Katharine thinks she is ahead of him and puts her guards down. Once she has done so, he acts one step ahead of her and starves her into submission. For example, he tells Katharine that the food and bed were not fit for her. As a result, Katharine loses sleep and nourishment (Smith and Amy320). Katherine may think that he cares for her, but it is actually quite the opposite. Malnourishment and lack of sleep create the perfect opportunity for taming someone into the perfect, obedient wife.
The Taming of the Shrew demonstrates the differences in Kate and Bianca; two sisters who differ greatly in personalities and values. Amid such differences, both sisters share the commonality of being potential wives that are ready to be wed. However, it is the ill-tempered older sister, the “shrew” Katharine that must get married before Bianca, posing a delinquent problem to the countless men longing for Bianca’s hand in marriage. Thus, each sister experience varying levels of manipulation and deviation on their respective roads towards marriage. In the end, just as the title states, we experience the “taming of the shrew”. Despite her protestations and hesitation, Katharine is eventually “out-shrewed” under the guise of love and kindness, by the despotic Petruchio.
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