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." Spoken by Petruchio to Hortensio in regards to Katherine's harshness, Petruchio tells Hortensio even if Katherine were as rough as the Adriatic seas, he would still be able to handle her. The quote is a sexual metaphor in saying even if Katherine's vagina was as rough and moist as the Adriatic seas, she would not be able to remove his erection. (I:ii,96-97) "For I will board her, though she chide as loud as thunder when the clouds in autumn crack." Petruchio tells Hortensio in this quote that he will go after Katherine regardless of the fact that she is as loud as thunder. This quote is a ship metaphor as well as a sexual metaphor because you board ships and boats but taken into a sexual tense, Petruchio is saying that he will have sex with her even though she is incredibly powerful and loud.

        (I:ii,202-212) "Think you a little din can daunt mine ears? Have I not in my time heard lions roar? Have I not heard the sea, puffed up with winds, rage like an angry boar chafèd with sweat? Have I not heard great ordnance in the field, and heaven’s artillery thunder in the skies? Have I not in a pitchèd battle heard loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang? And do you tell me of a woman’s tongue that gives not half so great a blow to hear as will a chestnut in a farmer’s fire?" Telling of his numerous adventures throughout his lifetime, the roars of lions, storms at sea, and fights in battles, Petruchio is explaining to Grumio, Gremio, and Hortensio why Katherine's yelling is nothing louder to him than a chestnut's pop when heated. Petruchio's speech to Gremio and Hortensio can also be seen as a collection of sexual metaphors where he is telling of his many sexual escapades where he experienced women's moans, great orgasms, and sweaty and aggressive sex. The food metaphor used in Petruchio's last sentence tells of how in the heat of sex, Katherine's orgasm will be nothing in comparison to the rest of what he had experienced. At the end of Petruchio's speech he states, (I:ii,213) "Tush, tush, fear boys with bugs". He is telling Grumio, Gremio, and Hortensio that he fears Katherine as much as he fears boys with bugs. As a pun on the word "bugs", Grumio replies to Petruchio's statement with, (I:ii,213) "For he fears none." Taken literally, Grumio is stating Petruchio does not fear insects, but this is also a sexual metaphor in saying Petruchio is not scared of getting diseases from his sexual adventures.        

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        In the conversation between Baptista and Biondello discussing Petruchio's arrival to the wedding (III:ii,73-79), a series of sexual puns on the word "come" is made by Biondello.

Baptista- "I am glad he’s come, howsoe'er he comes."

Biondello- "Why, sir, he comes not."
Baptista- "Didst thou not say he comes?"
Biondello- "Who? That Petruchio came?"
Baptista- "Ay, that Petruchio came."

Biondello- "No, sir, I say his horse comes, with him on his back."

In this conversation, Biondello puns on the word "come" and uses "horse" as a metaphor for women whom Petruchio ride. Biondello tells Baptista that Petruchio has arrived at the church ...

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