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Explain the ways that Shakespeare presents Katherine & Bianca.

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Introduction

Shakespeare Explain the ways that Shakespeare presents Katherine & Bianca. Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew" shows the two sisters, Katherine and Bianca, as complete contrasts to eachother. He uses various techniques to achieve this effect. Many of these techniques are the same for both sisters; however their outcomes are different, therefore creating two completely different characters. We first see some of these techniques in action in Act I scene 1 when Kate and Bianca are first introduced. Our perception of the sisters is formed by what the men say about them and to them. Baptista, Kate and Bianca's father, tries to persuade Gremio and Hortensio, Bianca's suitors, to woo Kate, as she has no suitors yet. Gremio's first comments on Kate paint a picture of her in our minds, "To cart her rather! She's too rough for me". Already we have a bad first impression of her and it becomes worse when Hortensio insults her, "No mates for you unless you were of gentler, milder mould". These nasty comments show that the men are scared of her and obviously don't think she is marriage material. ...read more.

Middle

We don't only see a change in Bianca's character but also Kate's. We believed before that Kate didn't care what anyone thought of her but now this may not be the case, "What will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see she is your treasure". This shows Kate may actually have feelings under her hard strong independent exterior, as Kate is upset that Baptista favours Bianca. Kate is wooed by Petruchio later in act II scene 1. Once Petruchio's character is established in detail he goes off to woo Katherine the Curst. There is a verbal battle between them, "Asses are made to bear, and so are you". Kate's witty, raucous, sexual, aggressive side is shown here. Kate wins the battles between them but ultimately loses the war as Petruchio reveals to Kate that her father has already agreed the dowry (sum of money) needed for their marriage. Bianca is wooed in Act III scene 1. She quickly takes charge, "I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times", and allows Lucentio and Hortensio to woo her, "here sit we down". She allows this even though her father forbids it. We see a few new attributes come through in Bianca's character. ...read more.

Conclusion

While Bianca speaks in a way that would have shocked the Elizabethan audience, "The more fool you for laying on my duty". Lucentio's attitude also changed due to his embarrassment, "But a harsh hearing when women are forward". Shakespeare is using the same techniques in this scene as he did in the opening scene to present the two sisters, however this time Bianca is seen as the shrew whereas Kate is seen as the "perfect" wife. Now at the end of the play Kate is perceived as the ideal woman; she is obedient, fetching her sister, and submissive, she comes when called. Her language is also much more polite and refined which nicely complements her calmer personality. Bianca is now much more shrewish than she was at the start of the play. The deception and disguise through out the play has played a big part with Bianca as now we see her "true colours". She also appears to have no conscience for what she has done. Shakespeare has used techniques like how the sisters behave, speak and react to show their characters but also he's used other people's perceptions of the sisters to round up their full characters, therefore effectively presenting Katherine and Bianca. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sam Mulholland 25/01/04 ...read more.

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