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The Taming of the Shrew Coursework

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Introduction

The Taming of the Shrew Coursework The scene that I will be analysing in this piece of coursework, Act two Scene one, is an important scene in the play as a whole as it is the first time that we see the two main characters together. The characters Petruchio and Katherina have been developed separately until now; the audience has noticed similarities in their personalities such as use of physical strength and good use of words. We know that Petruchio is set to woo Katherine and all the tension that has been building up in anticipation of their meeting is about to be released. This scene contains a soliloquy from Petruchio in which he tells us about his plan to tame Katherina, this is important as it gives the audience a clue about the whole basis of the play. This section is also important as there are many references to women's rights, one of the main themes that run through the whole play. The scene is set in Baptista's house; at the very beginning of this scene the audience is thrust into a situation where Katherina has tied up and is tormenting her sister, demanding to know which of her suitors she likes best. This is where we see her at her worst. Her violent behaviour is supposed to show her shrewish nature, the sense of sibling rivalry between the two for their father's affection is shown also. ...read more.

Middle

We hear what happened from Horsentio and learn that Katherina has a short temper on top of everything else. Again the audience waits with baited breath for the meeting of Petruchio and the shrew as another addition to her ill-tempered character has been put forward. Despite all warnings, we learn that Petruchio is still determined to tame Katherina as he continues in his regime of a game of opposites, after all, that is all he sees this situation as; a game. Petruchio's soliloquy is an important part in this scene. It is the first time that he confirms our expectations that he is using the 'opposite technique' to tame Kate: 'If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks As though she bid me stay by her a week.' The audience are the only ones apart from himself who know his plan and now we can look at the character from two points of view; the charming side to him, and the cunning side. We can certainly see from his speech that he is confident that he can tame Katherina: 'And woo her with some spirit when she comes!' His words can be interpreted as genuine eagerness to meet Katherina, or Shakespeare could just be aiming for laughs by adding a sense of humour to Petruchio's words. Petruchio knows that a tussle will emerge between them and knows he will win. The soliloquy adds to the anticipation that the audience will be feeling about seeing the first meeting of the two main characters. ...read more.

Conclusion

Why does Baptista trust this man that he barely knows over his own daughter? I think that again he is too delighted that he can finally marry her off that all common sense has disappeared. Petruchio's persuasive personality has a lot to do with Baptista believing him also. Although comical, the audience can't help but sympathise for the passive victim of Petruchio's plan. Katherina is helpless now as no matter what she does, her father will think she is just acting; this certainly was a cunning plan hatched by Petruchio. Baptista does not even ask her about their meeting, once again hinting at the role of women in those times to play a background character in such affairs as marriage. The two 'lovers' exit the stage at different exits, another visual indication that they are not a couple. In Elizabethan times, Daughters were literally given away as if in a business deal. This play expresses this issue often and especially in this scene. They often had little say in the matter whether they liked their future husband or not. Fathers showed little regard for the feelings of their daughter, the only thing that mattered was wealth and prosperity. We can see from this scene the relationship between Petruchio and Katherina is not romantic, but he can use his cunning to work around that in order to reach his goal, not the bride, but the money. Although it seems at this stage in the play that they dislike each other, they have so much in common that it would be hard not to predict their attitudes towards each other changing. ...read more.

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