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Animal Imagery in Taming of the Shrew.

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Animal Imagery in Taming of the Shrew Many authors, from Orwell in his famous satirical novel Animal Farm to Shaw in his play Candida, have used animal images, comparisions, similies, and metaphors to convey characters's, or perhaps more accurately, man's internal idea's, aspirations, hopes, goals, and actions. The notable German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, in his essay entitled The Gay Science, wrote that "people are animals - as the mad animal, as the laughing animal, as the weeping animal, and as the unhappy animal" Nietzsche realized that, especially though his actions, man is a lot like the rest of the animal kingdom - we laugh, we cry, we get angry, and we become sad. But, more than that, we sometimes treat each other just as animals in the wild treat their own kind. In the same way, William Shakespeare, in one of his earlier comedies, The Taming of the Shrew, uses animal references, images, similies, and metaphors to provide insight into a characters physci, as well as the complicated balance created in and through the relationship of Petruchio and Katherina. Also, through William Shakespeare's use of animal imagery, we get a picture of Elizabethian leisure activities such as hawking and falconery. The title of the play is doubly metaphorical: "taming" is a word used of wild animals and is here applied to a woman; a "shrew" is a tiny mouselike animal with a quite undeserved reputation as venomous and ferocious. ...read more.


Act 2 Scene 1 Line 214 " Yours, if you talk of tales, and so farewell " (Katherina) Act 2 Scene 1 Line 215 In this Exchange Katherina is forced to change the subject. " Well tane, and like a buzzard " (Katherina) Act 2 Scene 1 Line 206 " O slow-wing'd turtle, shall a buzzard take thee ? " (Petruchio) Act 2 Scene 1 Line 207 " Ay, for a turtle, as he takes the buzzard " (Katherina) Act 2 Scene 1 Line 208 " Come, Come, you wasp " (Petruchio) Act 2 Scene 1 Line 209 In this exchange Petruchio is forced to change the subject. This interaction and use of animal images in the first scene of the second is where Shakespeare illustrates the beggining of Petruchio's plan for taming the shrew Katherina. He will make constant quotations such as the one where he and Katherina make references to the wasp, which reveal his initial hopes for taming Katherina and acquiring the dowry. His intentions are made obvious through his use of animal imagery, metaphors, and similies. The same is obvious for Katherina, whilst her intent is to oppose Petruchio, and keep up her fiery and aggressive fasard. Whilst he uses imagery like the buzzard carrying away the turtle dove, she use imagery like the wasps sting. " Come, come, you wasp ! ...read more.


Not only that, but it also gave us an insight into the sport/art of Falconry, and into the leisure/work activities of Elizabethian people, both peasant and noble alike. Sometimes the relationship of tamer to animal is a key male- female image. Hortensio can't "break" Katherina to the lute, referring to the breaking of a horse. Both Bianca and Katherina are called "haggards": hawks caught in maturity and therefore needing to be mastered. Petruchio's strategy with Katherina is explicitly modeled on the "manning" or taming of a haggard. " Why then, thou canst break her to the lute ? " Act 2 Scene 1 Line 146 " Another way I have to man my haggard, to make her come and know her keeper's call, " (Petruchio) Act 4 Scene 1 Line 175-176 Petruchio; even in light of his treatment of Katherina, especially during the period he is attempting to tame her; is a loving partner. He seeks to bring out the real Katherina, he see past the aggressive fasard. Nevertheless he does still treat her as one would treat a family pet. In an anonymously-written play titled The Taming of a Shrew that was penned during the same time as William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew the treatment of Katherina as an animal by her partner is even more apparent and dramatic. Ferando, Katheriana's husband in A Shrew, tames Katherina by teating her like a crazy wild animal. For example, he offers her meat impaled on the end of a dagger. This is something Shakespeares Petruchio would never have done. ...read more.

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