Bianca is more Shrew than She. To what extent do you agree with the statement that Bianca is the real Shrew of the play The Taming of the Shrew?

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Bianca is “more Shrew than She”. To what extent do you agree with the statement that Bianca is the real Shrew of the play “The Taming of the Shrew”?

Casual observers of The Taming of the Shrew would most likely interpret the title’s subject- The ‘Shrew’- as an obvious parallel to the play’s protagonist. Katherina, to many, is regarded as the true Shrew of the play- When one observes her temperament and actions and the beginning of the play, this is a reasonable assumption. However, a further analysis of this complex multi-layered play can change the reader’s perspective entirely.

        When I analyse The Taming of the Shrew, I do not believe that Katherina is the Shrew. Of course, her actions in the first half of the play do fit the definition of the word- “A woman with a violent, scolding or nagging temperament”- Take for example, when she drags her sister Bianca violently across the stage as Act II opens, and her general refusal and stubbornness at other’s requests. However, as it is implied in the title, Kate’s temperament changes greatly by the final scene of the play as she is ‘tamed’. Despite her early actions, I would personally believe that the very fact that she was capable of being tamed proves she is not the Shrew of the play. I would argue that the true Shrew is in fact Bianca- She is, to reiterate a phrase: “More Shrew than She (Katherina)”

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        Despite many believing that Bianca is the antithesis of her sister, in terms of virtue, I would disagree- despite her name with its connotations of purity and innocence (“Bianca” is Italian for “white”), Bianca is far from virtuous. She is flirtatious and to a degree vindictive, and is skilled at manipulation. In many interpretations of the play Bianca is shown to have her father wrapped around her finger, and therefore favouring her completely over Katherina.

        From when Bianca is first introduced in Scene 1 she is instantly portrayed as desirable to many men- This is evident from her many suitors ...

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