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The Taming of the Shrew - Explain the ways that Shakespeare presents Katherine and Bianca.

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Introduction

CW Charlotte Steen 23rd January 2004 The Taming of the Shrew Explain the ways that Shakespeare presents Katherine and Bianca. Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew shows two sisters: Katherina and Bianca, as two complete contrasts to each other. He used various techniques to achieve these effects. The same techniques are used for both sisters to show comparisons between their characters. Shakespeare created two different characters by making the outcome of the techniques very different from each other. Shakespeare has used the theme of deception and disguise and based the play on the idea that things are not always as they seem. One of the techniques used is presentation of the two girls based on their behaviour and speech. The oldest of the sisters is Katherina who is otherwise known as Kate. At her first entrance in Act 1 Scene 1 she threatens to hit Hortensio over the head with a stool: "comb your noddle with a three-legged stool". This is because they have been making snide remarks about her such as Gremio says, "to cart her! She's too rough for me"; meaning that she should be taken in an open cart and ridden down the streets, like a convicted prostitute, because she is not like the ideal Elizabethan woman and people are ashamed of her. ...read more.

Middle

Petruchio woos Kate and she tries to fight back, he says "Twas told me you were a rough cay and sullen, and now I find report a very liar" he tells her that she is beautiful and how she is perfect and all she does is fight back. Petruchio thinks that she should calm down and show a sensitive side he keeps trying to tell her how nice she is "A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen" by this remark he is trying to make her see him in a different way such as marriage. She fights back with insults and so he says "Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour", he tells her that she would be pretty on the inside as well as the outside if only she took the sourness away. As a complete contrast what others think and say about Bianca is very different indeed. There is immense variety of thought as Katherine knows what Bianca is really like but no one else can see that. Baptista is proud of Bianca and says to Katherina "when did she cross thee with a bitter word?" Because the only time that Bianca says anything bitter is when Baptista is out of hearing distance he thinks that she would never say anything out of order or do anything to have an input on an argument-that it is all one sided fights with Kate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Petruchio says "Ay, by gogs-wouns!" when asked if he will marry her-this means yes by gods wounds. He swore so loud that everyone was amazed, when the priest dropped the book and bent own to get it Petruchio hits him back down again when he tries to stand up. The technique Shakespeare is using here is that people are feeling a little bit sorry for Kate; it is manipulating the audience for them to have sympathy for Katherina. After the wedding Kate is begging for food, the more bad things that happen to her the more spiteful Petruchio is getting, but not to her. She has not eaten now for thirty-six hours. She never knew how to beg or plead but she is tired "giddy for lack of sleep" and hungry "starved for meat". She sees that he is doing it out of love for her. The use of language and way that it says it implies that Kate is desperate. As the time goes by Kate is more and more like the ideal woman and this all shows in her final speech. In the speech Shakespeare uses a lot of techniques to make it ironic. He uses references to how Kate was before "scornful glances from those eyes" "muddy, ill-seeming" "and when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour" "what is she but a foul contending rebel" All this is talking about how women should obey and serve their husbands. ...read more.

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