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Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Katherina and Petruchio (in The Taming of the Shrew) and the nature of their relationship. Focus on their particular scenes in Act two and Act five and compare the difference between them.

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Introduction

Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Katherina and Petruchio and the nature of their relationship. Focus on their particular scenes in Act two and Act five and compare the difference between them. At the beginning of Act 2 Kat is very violent towards her sister Bianca. This act of physical violence is to show how uncontrollable Kat is. The view of a 16th Century audience towards Kat's actions would be shocked. For the story to be successful Shakespeare allows you to see Kat at her worst so when she changes the change will make a bigger impact on the audience. A 16th Century audience would be so shocked that this would engage the audience. Kat has lots of built up inside feelings of frustration and anger. Kat lets hers feeling out and unleashes them by striking Bianca. The hitting of Bianca by Kat foreshadows her hitting Petruchio. Kat is nicknamed a "devilish spirit". Baptista and Hortensio call her "a devilish spirit". Shakespeare uses imagery related to hell and evil to reflect how wild the men think she is. A 16th Century audience would be shocked by this as the name "devilish spirit" would have been a very strong use of language at that time and for a women to be called it would have been even worse. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that although he is in control of her, she has angered him. Shakespeare uses the physical act of Kate just like the beginning of the play when she hits Bianca so when she changes it is very noticeable. Petrucio gives a speech of how women should be as in like Bianca. But he then uses animal imagery saying how he will turn her from a wild cat to a house cat. Petrucio says they will marry on Sunday but Kat replies how she would rather be hanged on Sunday first. Kat is unwilling to marry as she is not decided and she tries to put up a fight. Petrucio talks to Babtista about how Kate has won him over. "She hung about my neck and kiss on kiss". Kat is waiting for Petrucio and is kept waiting. Kat feels rejected and feels worse even though she is used to feeling rejected and unimportant and the fact she is angry. This shows how the wooing is working and Kat has allowed herself to ruin her message of being strong against Petrucio and she therefore feels humiliated. ...read more.

Conclusion

The big question though is if she is silenced or has she transformed, but for her to be transformed this would be too hard a possibility but there is no real answer. The audience therefore has to make their own mind up. Kat uses hyperbolic language as she has been with Petrucio for a long time and she sounds like him because he uses hyperbolic language. Katerinha also lectures Bianca and the widow saying they should give in to their men. At the end of play Kat gives an exaggerated speech, which is in verse as it is more formal. She states how women need to obey men and women are weak and feeble towards men. She speaks ironically similar to sarcasm. A 21st Century audience thinks she is playing the game and she has learnt to do so, so she can get what she wants. She has been accepted which is more than being independent to her. Also being accepted means she not only gets the basics but luxuries as well. She has lossed her old self and her aggression. She also now uses much better language in her speech. Her controlled speech shows her control over herself and her controlled developed manner. Alex Willson ...read more.

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