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Explore the Ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of falconry in The Taming of the Shrew

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Explore the Ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of falconry in The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare's play, The Taming of the Shrew, contains many themes that raise questions within the audience's mind. The theme that I will focus on is the theme of falconry. The image of falconry is used in the play as a metaphor for the characters Petruchio and Katherina, who are the two characters that are focused on the most in the play. This shows us as the audience that the image of falconry is an important aspect in the play. The theme of falconry is first introduced in the induction scenes. In these scenes, the character Christopher Sly is being made to believe that he is a lord when he is in fact just a pitiable, drunken man. This relates to the rest of the play as Sly is being tamed just as Katherina is. The way in which the other characters convince Sly that he is lord is to dress him like a lord and treat him like a lord. They ask him, 'Dost thou love hawking?' ...read more.


We as the audience also expect with full confidence that Katherina will not be tamed easily from what we have seen of her behavior previously in the play. For example, in act 2 Scene 1 we see Katherina striking her sister Bianca as Bianca will not tell Katherina which man she likes the most. We hear Katherina say, 'Minion, thou liest.' Minion in this context is taken to mean a lower person. This example shows us Katherina's violence and anger at the beginning of the play, before she meets Petruchio. Before a falcon is trained, it is lacking in any kind of quality that would enable it to contribute to anything. The characters Katherina and Sly are like an untrained falcon in this way at the beginning of the play. As their wild behaviour means that they do not contribute to society. For example, in the induction scenes, we first see Sly causing trouble to a hostess who says, 'I know my remedy, I must go fetch the third borough.' By this she means that she must fetch a policeman to deal with Sly. This shows us that not only does the character Sly not contribute to society, but he is also a trouble maker. ...read more.


I believe that Shakespeare uses the image of falconry in the play as the end result of falconry is much like the idealistic view of a relationship between a man and wife in the time that the play was written, the man in control and caring for his wife while the woman takes instructions but all the while each respecting the other and cooperating well together. Also, at the time that the play was written, when the monarchy was more in power, falconry would have been a popular sport that the majority of people would understand making it easier for people of the time to understand the play and what Petruchio was doing and why. Shakespeare presents the image of falconry as a metaphor for all relationships between any two types of people. For example, parents and children, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters or even just friends. I think that Shakespeare is trying to say that no relationship can be completely mutual, that there is always one person in a relationship that holds more power and control than the other. The image of falconry shows this well as it is a clear representation of one half of a relationship being completely in control of the other. ...read more.

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