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Write a Brief Assessment Giving Your Views on the Purpose of the Induction of 'The Taming of The Shrew'.

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Write a Brief Assessment Giving Your Views on the Purpose of the Induction of 'The Taming of The Shrew'. There has been much speculation and debate over the necessity and purpose of Shakespeare's Induction to 'The Taming of the Shrew'. The Induction can be interpreted in various ways and a common view is that it is not essential to the play. Indeed, the play alone would suffice without it; as has occurred in various performances of 'The Taming of The Shrew'. Personally, however, I feel that the purpose of the Induction is to frame the play and introduce themes and issues that develop in the play, to the audience. The Induction could be considered quite light and a painless approach to the otherwise darker aspects of the play. ...read more.


For example, Christopher Sly undergoes a dramatic and difficult transformation in the Induction, which is not a world away from the conversion Katherina must make for her husband, also in the play. Both characters, Sly and Katherina, are taken into powerfully male dominated, patriarchal, worlds where they must change to suit and be accepted. A drunken tinker must change to fit into the comfortable surroundings of a Lord whilst a rebellious maiden must become a suitable surrounding for her husband, Petruchio. At the end of the jest Sly returns to his natural state, however in the play Katherina's transformation is permanent because of the belief that the way she was before was unnatural and the intolerable behaviour is beaten out of her. In the Induction, the woman's roles and behaviour are constructed by a male playwright and the solitary female is played by a young man. ...read more.


What is odd is that the Induction is not completed at the end of the actual play and we never find out what happened to Sly and the Lord. Perhaps this was because Shakespeare found that by the end of the play the Induction had done its job and now we are left with the appropriate theme and that comedy was not fitting after Katherina's Capitulation. It was not uncommon for Shakespeare to downplay the bleaker aspects of his drama with humour to make them more entertaining - 'Much Ado About Nothing' is a classic example of this - but in this play Shakespeare may have wanted to make a point and leaving us with Sly, which was a very effective opening, would not have presented the audience with quite the same thoughts and reflections in its conclusion. Eleanor Richens 01/10/04 ...read more.

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