Essay- The Taming of the Shrew
In William Shakespeare's play, The Taming of the Shrew, the shrew played by
Katherine, had a terrible outlook on life and just about everything else. Her negativity
caused by her younger, more beautiful sister Bianca. Bianca wanted to get married.
She had all of the men's hearts, Katherine had none. If Katherine got married then Bianca
could get married. She truly was a shrew who needed to be tamed. Then Petruchio came
to Padua. Petruchio couldtame Katherine for the right amount of money.
Before Petruchio's arrival, Katherine, the terriable, untamed shrew, caused
problems with everyone. All that knew her hated her. She felt very jealous of her beautiful
sister Bianca, because of her suitors and her beauty. Katherine tries to start fights with
Bianca all of the time. She even hit Bianca. No one wanted to marry Katherine until
Petruchio arrives in Padua to find a wife. "I come to wives it wealthy in Padua; If wealthy,
then happily in Padua" (ShakespeareIii76-77). He and one of Bianca's suitors, Luciento
had a conversation. As a joke, Luciento mentioned to Petruchio marry Katherine.
Petruchio though of the profit and thought it could be great. "Petruchio can have no
illusions about the fabled shrew, Katherine, for others are quick to tell him quite frankly
what to expect"(Vaughn27). Petruchio and Katherine's father meet and decide that
Petruchio will get twenty-thousand crowns if he weds Katherine. Petruchio and Katherine
meet and they do not start off on the best of terms. But Petruchio decides they should get
married anyway and he sets a date. Petruchio then leaves to get ready for the wedding .
The wedding day arrives and Petruchio arrives at the wedding in ridiculous clothing and
drunk. During the ceremony he hits the priest. During their own reception Petruchio
demands that they shall leave, now the taming begins.
Now the taming begins.Once they leave the wedding and are en route to
Petruchio's home in Verona, Kate has to ride a burrow through the rain while Petruchio
rides a horse. During their trip back many bad things happen to Kate. When they arrive at
Petruchio's home Katherine could not fufill her needs of sleep and food with Petruchio's
excuses of the food not being good enough and the bed not being good enough for her.
That just the starts the taming. Petruchio and Katherine are preparing to go back to
Padua for Bianca's and Lucientio's wedding. When Petruchio tells Kate that a tailor will
be making a new outfit for her for the wedding, she gets excited. When she comes to see
her new outfit Petruchio tells her that the fabric isn't good enough for her and that she will
have to wear her old outfit.Petruchio's hateful behavior teaches Kate obedience. "Kate
learns obedience but more importantly she learns to see herself as others see
her"(Vaughn30). On their journey to Padua Petruchio demands that Kate call the sun the
moon and an old man a young virgin. Kate says what Petruchio tells her to say. This
proved that Petruchio has tamed Kate.
The final test occured at the reception of Lucientio's and Bianca's wedding.
Lucientio, Hortensio and Petruchio discussed their wives. Petruchio has become assured
that Kate has been tamed. The other two think their wives are most obedient. The men get
into a small argument and they decide to settle it with a wager of two hundred crowns.
They bet to see whose wife will come to them when called upon. Lucientio and
Hortensio call upon their wives and neither of them come. But when Petruchio calls upon
Kate she arrives, showing that she has become obiedient. "Kate's final speech chastising
Bianca and the widow for their disobedience and catologueing their duties that a wife
owes her husband creates a different moment on the stage today"(Vaughn30). This shows
that Katherine has been tamed and no longer acts as a shrew. Bianca has an outburst
which proves Bianca to be truly the shrew. "Is a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed
so" (ShakespeareVii214-215). Now everyone knows the real Katherine.
The significance of the change in Katherine's behavior at the end of the play
proves to be very important. It shows that people can change. It also shows that certain
people can bring out the best in somebody. In this case Petruchio brought out the best in
Katherine after taming her and making her an obedient wife.
Bibliography-The taming of the Shrew
Vaughn, Jack A. Shakespeare's Comedies.
New York: Fredrick Ungar Publishing Co. 1980
Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew.
New York: Washington Square Press
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