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Analysis of The Taming of the Shrew

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Introduction

Analysis of Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew, written by William Shakespeare, features an abundant number of puns and metaphors which are used in several different ways throughout the play. Among the most widely used metaphors and puns in the play are sexual, food, animal, and word play puns and metaphors. (I:i,31-33) "Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, or so devote to Aristotle's checks as Ovid be an outcast quite abjurd". The first sexual metaphor in the play is spoken by Tranio to Lucentio. In saying this to Lucentio, Tranio means he does not want to put aside his emotions and desire, and completely devote his life to Aristotle's teachings while ignoring Ovid's poems. The quote is a sexual metaphor because Tranio is saying although he wants to study, he also wants to have sex and not become deprived of life's pleasures. The largest contributor of sexual puns and metaphors in the play is Petruchio. A vast majority of the sexual puns and metaphors, if not spoken by Petruchio, revolve around him. (I:ii,73-75) "She moves me not, or not removes at least affection's edge in me, were she as rough as are the swelling Adriatic seas." ...read more.

Middle

"You were a moveable." This is a furniture metaphor because Katherine is calling Petruchio a stool. Stools are easily moved for whatever use you need them for and so Katherine is saying Petruchio is easily moved around. As a rebuttal to Katherine's name calling, Petruchio says, (II:i,209) "Come, sit on me." Taken as its literal meaning, Petruchio is telling Katherine to sit on him since she called him a tool but this can also be looked at as a sexual pun. As an offer to sit on him, Petruchio is telling Katherine to have sex with him. Continuing with the sexual puns, Petruchio tells Katherine, (II:i,211) "Women are made to bear, and so are you." In this statement there is a pun because "women are made to bear" can be interpreted several different ways; women are made to be annoying and tolerated by men, women are made to endure the man's weight during sex, and women are made to give birth to children. Taking the pun in its sexual meaning of enduring the man during sex, Katherine returns with, (II:i,212) "No such jade as you, if me you mean." ...read more.

Conclusion

who must learn its keeper's call. Katherine is not actually a wild falcon but Petruchio is metaphorically stating that he is teaching Katherine how to obey his commands. In response to his control and abuse, Katherine states to Petruchio, (IV:iii,109) "you mean to make a puppet of me". Knowing Petruchio is not literally making a puppet out of her flesh, Katherine is metaphorically stating that Petruchio is trying to control her and manipulate her. With the introduction of Petruchio and Grumio, a series of puns on the word "knock" come into play. (I:ii,5-12) Petruchio-"Here, Grumio, knock I say" Grumio-"Knock, sir? whom should I knock? is there any man has rebused your Worship?" When Petruchio tells Grumio to knock on Hortensio's door, Grumio takes it as if Petruchio wants him to hit Petruchio, and therein lies the pun on the word knock. When Grumio continues to fool around with the pun, Petruchio replies, (I:ii,16-18) "Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it. I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it." Telling Grumio that he will hit him if he won't knock on the door, there is a musical metaphor because Grumio will not actually sing the musical scale of sol, fa. By this Petruchio means he will see how loud Grumio will yell when he hits Grumio. ...read more.

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