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Remind yourself of Act 3.1. What do you find interesting about Bianca in this scene and in the play as a whole?

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Introduction

Remind yourself of Act 3.1. What do you find interesting about Bianca in this scene and in the play as a whole? Bianca is the youngest daughter of Baptista. At the beginning of the play, all the action centres on the wooing of Bianca, however this is not the case as Petruchio soon becomes the dramatic focus when he appears. There are many faces to the character of Bianca, as on the surface she is portrayed as being sweet and innocent, however, as her character develops and w learn more about her, we begin to see another side of her character. Although the plot of this play involves the taming of Katherina, the sub-plot of the play involves Bianca and the reversal of roles she has with Katherina. In Act 3 Scene 1, we see the wooing of Bianca, which is in sharp contrast to the wooing of her sister Katherina. Here Cambio and Litio do not really have the upper hand, although they worked hard to exert themselves. Inspite of the fact that she is idealised by her suitors as a perfect, modest maiden, there are clear signs that Bianca possesses a strong will. For example, in her first 2 lines there is a suggestion that she will make her own decisions: "Why, gentleman, you do me double wrong/ To strive for that which reseth my choice". ...read more.

Middle

We learn a lot about the character of Bianca through her relationship with other characters in the play. The relationship between Bianca and Katherina is crucial to show her character clearly. Elements of Katherina can be seen in Bianca's character, for example, it is clear from her actions in Act 3 Scene 1 that she will do as she likes and will not have anyone ordering her around. Katherina is the 'shrew' in this play. She is named this for her foul temper, fluctuating moods and short fuse, "reknowned in Padua for her scolding tongue". She is brought up as best becomes a gentle woman and her only flaw, although it is of a relative size, is "that she is intorable curst". This remark about Katherina was made by Hortensio, one of Bianca's suitors, so the remark may be of a biased view, because of the spiteful contempt that Bianca has to endure from Katherina, results in Bianca's hatred for her, also people who see Bianca as a good, virtuous maid, "for beauteous modesty" also dislike Katherina. Katherina is merely known as Bianca's sister, not as a person in her own right. Bianca knows that she feels jealous towards her "is it for him you do envy me so?" She knows that she has many reasons to feel like this which include the fact that she knows that Bianca has her fathers love, male attention and intelligence which she has a chance to excel. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bianca's character develops largely and rapidly through the play. She is involved with the subplot of the play. Shakepeare seems to insist that the scold can be brought into line in the taming plot, the opposite is true in the subplot. To begin with she is the silent, obedient maiden whom suitors flock to worship, however towards the end of the play she is no longer obedient as she does not obey her husband's orders, which results in shaming him. She is at first perceived as a sweet and gentle person, a false precept, devoting herself to her studies and never wanting anything else out of life. Yet once she achieves her goal, to be married, her true self appears. She becomes quarrelsome and apathetic, not coming out at the call of Lucention, or accusing him of simply hunting her, not at all caring for her. She becomes almost like her sister was. This is the opposite to what happens to Katherina, as she becomes 'tamed' after marrying Petruchio, and obeys his orders. From early on, the playwright hints that Bianca will please herself, although she initially appears to be a victim. Like Katherina, she is mewed up and thwarted at home; but this female rebels by seeming to conform. By cultivating a silent and demure exterior, Bianca dupes others. It is noticeable that she says more, and speaks more assertively as the play progresses, providing a point of contrast with her sister, who is becoming less vocal. ...read more.

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