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The character of Baptista Minola plays a pivotal part in Shakespeare's, The Taming of the Shrew.

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Introduction

Disclaimer: While I have no control to the extent which you use this work, I ask you to RESPECT MY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY and NOT DIRECTLY COPY THIS ESSAY. Feel free to use aspects of it in your work or use it as a basis for any work you may need to do, but once again don't plagiarize my work! Baptista Minola The character of Baptista Minola plays a pivotal part in Shakespeare's, The Taming of the Shrew. He is the wealthy father of Kate and Bianca and plays a large part in their lives, ultimately deciding who their husbands will be. While the actual part of Baptista is fairly minor, he is not a character to be underestimated in value and without him the work would be greatly diminished as it is Baptista's actions that lay the groundwork for the rest of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Even though this is the case, it is also noticeable that he favors Bianca over Kate, because of her submissive and gentle manor which is in stark contrast to Kate's shrewishness. This favoritism can be seen at the start of Act2 when Baptista discovers his daughters fighting "Why, how now, dame, whence grows this insolence? Bianca, stand aside. Poor girl. She weeps. Go ply thy needle, meddle not with her. For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit. Why dost thou wrong her that did ne'er wrong thee? When did she cross thee with a bitter word?" This quote shows Baptista's automatic assumption of Bianca's innocence and ultimately his favor over her however after he says this and his children depart the room, he feels emotionally torn up inside saying "Was ever a gentleman thus grieved as I?". Baptista's character is strong and fatherly and while he is not at all aggressive he usually manages to command the respect of those around him. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is inevitable that contemporary reactions to Baptista will vary, depending on what train of thought the viewer takes. Personally, I saw Baptista as a fairly average father, comparable to a father in a modern day society. He wants what he feels is best for both his daughters and loves them both even if he does, seem to favor Bianca. Even though he treats his daughters as property and makes them marry, not out of love but out of wealth, society at the time permitted him too and I feel that this behavior, while not acceptable in our society was perfectly acceptable back in 16th century Europe and should therefore not be critically analyzed by a modern day audience. Others, however, will view these misogynistic qualities critically and their whole opinion of Baptista will change to mine. One thing that cannot be dismissed, however, is the importance of Baptista to the progression of the story and no matter how you view him, the play would not have been possible if he wasn't there. ...read more.

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