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How are male characters portrayed in the Taming of the Shrew?

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Introduction

How are male characters portrayed in the Taming of the Shrew? Male characters in the "Taming of the Shrew" play a significant role in the play as women in fact without the male characters one can say that the male characters wouldn't react in the manner they do. The characters I have selected are Tranio, Hortensio, Lucentio and Petruchio because I feel they play more significant roles in the play then any of the other male characters due to the fact that three of them are suitors and that one dramatically influences how the play develops. I will do this via textual analysis (by selecting relevant segments of text and giving my detailed opinion on what Shakespeare's intentions are in relation to utilising the text and what ideas he might be trying to convey. Tranio is the most significant servant character in the in the play. If it were not for his wise plotting and scheming Lucentio would be unable to win Bianca or "Achieve" as he puts in act 1 scene 1 line 156. Tranio possesses an impressive arsenal of wit and character. He possesses a persuasive tongue and furthermore has the ability to transform into other personas at any time he sees fit. ...read more.

Middle

it is evident that the likelihood of his dream materialising is very slim because Bianca and Katarina do not feel anything towards him and furthermore Petruchio and Lucentio eclipse him. Shakespeare utilises this to create comedy. This is made evident via the fact Hortenensio is rejected by Bianca, physically assaulted by Katarina and belittled by his widow," He that is giddy thinks the world turns round". He possesses no threat to any other male or female character; to put it simply he is a, "loser" In addition his attitude towards marriage reflects those of the Elizabethan man. He impulsively and irrationally decides he will no longer court Bianca because she has looked at another man and decides to settle for a wealthy widow. Shakespeare does this to demonstrate that he is a fool when it comes to playing the "game of love" it highlights that his main objective is not to secure a life long partner and emotional bliss but however to boost his purse. Although Hortenensio is unlucky in establishing true love for himself he is able to assist Petruchio in, "Taming" Katarina (Scene four act three.) he admires Petruchios techniques "I see she is neither to have cap nor gown" and in addition it is evident that he aspires to be rugged and vigorous like Petruchio. ...read more.

Conclusion

His excuse for this behaviour is that she is marrying him," Not for my Clothes", this clearly suggests that he has a heart and in addition is not materialistic. However I feel that this is an example of Petruchios chauvinistic side. The fact that he is making a mockery of Katrina's wedding day which can be argued is more significant to a women than to a man demonstrates the audacity Petruchio possesses in ruining it for her is quite shocking and in my opinion quite distasteful. In conclusion the male characters are a reflection of characters which one May encounter if you were to, "Go back in time " and explore Elizabethan England. Although these characters are from a different period of time they are not that different to people whom we may encounter in our present day society. Hortensio- The typical unlucky in love "loser" whom everyone sympathises with. Lucentio- The type of guy many girls /woman pine for and men despise. Tranio- The unsung hero whom every one loves and admires for "sticking it to the man without being caught, in addition for being humble he's adored even more. Finally Petruchio the, "Happy go lucky," tough guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's passionate and isn't afraid of anything. One can argue that he embodies everything a man should aspire to be. ...read more.

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