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The Taming of the Shrew

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Introduction

The Taming of the Shrew In the play ' The Taming of the Shrew' Shakespeare uses many different characters to provide a variety of relationships to display the way his dramatic purpose is shown. In this essay I will be looking at the first two acts of the play. In some form the many relationships contribute to the coming together of the main joinment between the two main characters, Petruchio and Katherine. The Taming of the Shrew is mainly concerned with a few subjects. There are two sisters Katherine and Bianca living with their father in sixteenth century Italy. Their father wants to find his daughters suitors and have them get married. Many suitors desire his younger daughters hand in marriage, but order to do this he must find a husband for his eldest daughter first. The play also concerns the suitors for the daughters, and how their relationships develop with them selves, the father Baptista, the daughters, and their own servants. The first relationship I'm going to investigate is the one between Lucentio and his servant Tranio. Lucentio is to become a potential suitor to Bianca. They have a unique relationship, which is actually quite unlike a normal master - servant relationship. Tranio advises Lucentio what to do. ...read more.

Middle

They fall out over this, Petruchio hits Grumio and they have to be split up by Hortensio. Petruchio is not very friendly towards his servant, as he picks him up by the ears and is violent towards him. This I believe represents a more stereotypical view of what people think masters and servants act like and do. But this is not necessarily true as Tranio and Lucentio represent a different and unique servant-master relationship. The father, Baptista and his daughter Bianca have a strong father-daughter relationship. In fact Baptista tends to favour Bianca over his elder daughter Katherine. Bianca seems to get on well better with him, as Bianca could be said as 'daddy's little girl'. Baptista, following tradition, will not let Bianca get married until Katherine is married, but this could be harder than it seems. Baptista does not get on as well with Katherine, he does not want her to depend on him all her life so he wants to marry her off, also so that Bianca can get married. He says this: 'Gentlemen, importune me no farther, For how I am firmly resolved you know. That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter Before I have a husband for the elder.' Bianca and Katherine are antagonistic towards each other as shown in the play. Katherine actually ties Bianca's hands up and chases her around the room. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the end of their confrontation Petruchio says to her father: 'I must and will have Katherine to be my wife' This shows that Petruchio is determined but whether this is good or bad from the point of view of Katherine we do not know. Shakespeare's dramatic purpose in presenting a variety of relationships is to compare them to the main relationship of the play. The way he has constructed the play is that it leads up to Petruchio and Katherine with sufficient information on their backgrounds and past relationships to see whether the audience think that the relationship will work out or not. For example, Petruchios' past relationship that we have seen has been with his servant Grumio. This was not a very close or trusting relationship, so will Petruchio be able to obtain this with Katherine or does he want to? I do not know the answer to the question yet, but it will prove to be very interesting to find out. The same can be said with Katherine as her relationship with her father and her sister have not been very stable or trusting either, the audience must be wondering how on earth the two will co-exist. This is the dramatic purpose that Shakespeare wanted and it has worked very well so far. Scott Castell 10.72E 1 The Taming of the Shrew ...read more.

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