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The Taming of the Shrew - How far would you agree with the statement that Petruchio is a purely farcical character?

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Introduction

How far would you agree with the statement that Petruchio is a purely farcical character? In this essay I intend to discuss the statement "Petruchio is a purely farcical character" and far I agree with it. I intend to explore Petruchios character further to determine whether he has other side to him apart from his comical side whether he is a purely farcical character. The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy, a farcical play with a lot of the humour being about the war between the sexes, which is shown in the major theme of marriage, and men trying to tame their women. Petruchio plays a big part in this with his wooing and marriage to Katherine. Petruchio is the main character in the play aswell as Katherine and he is also one of the main farcical characters who is often witty and farcical in his speeches is portrayed as a clown with a lot of comic scenes. ...read more.

Middle

But he can't be as he keeps informing them of his plans to deceive Katherine, so he obviously is not the man he portrays himself as. In the presence of his friends he is quite humorous as again with the scene where Petruchio and Grumio have the comical misunderstanding. With his friends he is more himself and is honest about what he wants, married, happy, and wealthy in Padua. I believe he is a comic character and this part of him is true of himself but he is also a very self-centred character. He comes to Padua to marry and be wealthy as he says, "I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; if wealthily, then happily in Padua" (I.ii. 72-73). He is solely concerned with money and plans to woo the first girl that Hortensio mentions purely because her father is wealthy. He puts all his effort into deceiving her and wooing her into marriage, but marriage can't be the only thing he wanted as he continues to tame her after the marriage itself. ...read more.

Conclusion

53-62). Curtis then says "by this reckoning he is more shrew than she". But as I have shown in the small extract above he can also be nice about Katherine. He is a very hard character to understand. His character is quite complex and he often hides behind his disguises, farce I think being one of them. He uses it to play the fool so not to show his true feelings, as with his wedding outfit. He is very money orientated but with perhaps alittle feeling coming through for Katherine towards the end of the play perhaps he met his match in Katherine and we then sometimes see little glimpses of a softer side. In this essay I have discussed whether I agree that Petruchio is purely a farcical character. In conclusion I don't agree with the statement. Petruchio is indeed a farcical character but he is not purely so, he has other sides to him, he is quite a complex character and you really have to look beyond his humour to see Petruchio true self. DAWN LAWSON ...read more.

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