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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.

-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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