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The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare - Compare and contrast the characters of Katherina and Bianca.

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Introduction

The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare Compare and contrast the characters of Katherina and Bianca The sisters', Katherina and Bianca, are the principal subjects providing the main contrast in the play, The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare. Katherina is the fire-breathing, man-eating, despised, older sister of Bianca, the pleasant, beautiful, younger sister, adored by all. When she first enters the play, Katherina appears to be a very unhappy, volatile young woman. We are told that she scares men when Gremio and Hortensio proceed to tell us: "She's too rough for me"; "No mates for you, unless you were of gentler, milder mould"; "From all such devil's good Lord deliver us!". This suggests that she is so aggressive that she puts off men, however good her looks may be. It is also apparent when she answers to comments like these that she is hot-blooded: "To comb your noddle with a three legged stool and paint your face and use you like a fool". Bianca on the other hand, appears to be the perfect woman. It is as if she lightens up rooms with her dazzling presence. All men adore her and never say a bad word against her. When she first speaks in the play, her words are peaceful and loving: "Sister, content you in my discontent", attempting to calm her sister's fiery mood. ...read more.

Middle

Towards the end of the play, we see how both sisters' attitudes begin to change. After Katherina marries Petruchio and returns to Petruchio's house, we see almost immediately that Katherina's attitude begins to change when Petruchio begins acting in the same way that she normally does. "Patience I pray you, twas a fault unwilling", here we see her fiery temper suddenly disappear when one of Petruchio's servants drops a tray of food and she begs Petruchio not to get angry with him for it. In contrast, we see Bianca's attitude begin to show its other side in Act 3 Sc 1 where she has her first lessons with her new tutor Lucentio. "But learn my lessons as I please myself", here we see that there is slightly more to Bianca than meets the eye. She seems slightly arrogant and stubborn, a side which she does not show people often so as not to displease them. We are used to seeing her as a very pleasant young woman who always does what she is told but now her attitude has completely changed. Bianca still does, however, remain a very pleasnt young woman until the very final scene, where she refuses to come to her husband when asked: "I am afraid sir, do what you can, yours will not be entreated". ...read more.

Conclusion

She is merely just a difficult child, not what I would call a Shrew. In another version of the play (the animated version) Katherina is depicted as a red head, implying her fiery temper, and her attitude is much more like the actual play. Still, 10 Things I Hate About You is an enjoyable modern day version of the play to watch, and I think it is easier to relate to as it is brought down a few levels to make it easier to understand. All in all I think that in the end of the play, Katherina has adopted a new persona and a new outlook on life. This new outlook is much more positive and outgoing, and she has learned the ways of a proper wife during the 16th century. Bianca in contrast has not adopted a new persona but a part of her that had been kept secret has been uncovered and her real attitude towards marriage and husbands has changed, or perhaps the truth of what she originally thought of it all has been brought out. I think her original attitude was a sort of mask persona to impress her father Baptista and other men she came in contact with such as her suitors. by Adrian F 4B ...read more.

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