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The Taming ofthe Shrew

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THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Can the shrew of Act 1, credibly be tamed into the loyal wife of Act 5? How does Shakespeare make the transformation of Katherina believable? How could language and staging be used to convey this? The Taming of the Shrew is a play that is written by William Shakespeare and that is set in the 16th century. At the beginning of the play is an Induction where we get told how wives should act with their husband. We get told that wives should carry out anything their husband commands and they should obey them. They should be dutiful, humble and faithful to their husbands. Katherina does not display any of these traits. She is rude, disobedient, temperamental and shrewish. Throughout the play, many of the characters know of her as this but they wonder whether it is because she wants to be like this or whether there is a reason behind it. It does not seem believable that a person could change from being so shrewish to such a tamed woman and so we wonder whether she had merely been looking for a way out. Many of the characters know of her as shrewish and classify her as being shrewish and she gets called many things. Some of the things she gets called are a "fiend of horror", a "curst" and a "wildcat." These things show her nature clearly. We are also told that she has an "impatient devilish spirit" and that she has a "scolding tongue." The person who Katherina is exceptionally rude to is her father and this, in the 16th century, would be sinful as a daughter should respect her parents, especially her father as he is the man. She repeatedly shouts at him and constantly defies him. She is also vulgar towards her sister, she ties her up. Not only does she disrespect her family but others too. ...read more.


She says, "Gentlemen, forward to the bridal dinner," and Petruchio agrees with her. He says, "They shall go forward, Kate, at thy command," however, he carries on saying that, "My bonny Kate, she must with me," forcing her to go with him. He tells everyone that she belongs to him and that they are thieves, even though they did not say or do anything. Everything Petruchio does at the wedding, he does to prove a point. He is not like that really, he is just acting. He is doing it for Katherina's well being, to show her how she is and why it is bad. When Bianca is asked what she thinks of her sister, Bianca replies, "That being mad herself, she's madly mated." Since Petruchio and Katherina have met we can already see a change in Katherina. Before, if her father tried getting her to marry someone she would have complained but she showed no sign of protesting against the marriage. This is the first sign of her changing in to a tame, domestic Kate. On Petruchio and Katherina's way back, Petruchio took the longest way back. We then get told, by Grumio, of what happened on their journey. We get told that Katherina's horse fell on top of her and how she was covered in mud and then, Petruchio, instead of helping her up, left her under the horse and went to beat up Grumio for letting her horse stumble. This would've been what Katherina had done if she was in that situation but "she waded through the dirt to pluck him off." This is the second sign of her changing. It is showing that she is considering other people's feeling and is beginning to see that shrewish behaviour is not right. When Katherina helped Grumio, Petruchio swore as this is what she would have done before. When Petruchio and Katherina return home, to his country house, Petruchio acts shrewish just as she would have done. ...read more.


It is clear that her father loves Bianca more and so, perhaps, Katherina felt so unloved that she didn't see the need to be nice to anyone as whenever she was nice to her father, she still never got the same attention as Bianca. Shakespeare made the transformation believable by making her change gradually. She did not change from being shrewish overnight; it was a long and slow process. He made it believable my making her see how it was for other people to see someone acting like that and I think that by seeing it, it would have made her want to change. It helped that she had a person who was motivated to make her change and someone who was adventurous, brave and who didn't give up easily. Language could be used to convey the transformation by the way in which they say things. When Katherina is a shrew she should talk with anger in her voice and should therefore talk quite loudly. She should talk as though she has something on her mind and I think she should be snappy and should give quick remarks. I think that at the beginning she should speak in short sentences and talk with irritation in her voice. Gradually, as she becomes less shrewish her tone of voice should become softer and gentler. Staging could be used to convey the transformation by their body language. Katherina, at the beginning, should display anger in her movements. She could do this by moving loudly, stomping around and she should make fast, agitated hand movements. Once, she is tame she should have more soft hand movements that express what she is feeling more. She would move around quieter, more lady like and more daintily. At the beginning, her facial expressions should be very noticeable. She should give evil looks to everyone and she should look moody and miserable. At the end, she should be smiling and happier. She should move around with more of a bounce to show that she is joyful and no longer constantly temperamental. Rahee Suchak 10A Page 1 of 6 ...read more.

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