Analyzing The Taming Of The Shrew Play English Literature Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The title of the play says exactly what the play is all about. The play is all about how a shrewish woman is tamed. Lucentio, a rich young man arrives with his servant, Tranio, to the Italian city of Padua. Lucentio is excited about the city and his studies at the local university to fulfil his father's dream, but he then changes his preferences, when he sees beautiful Bianca and falls in love with her at first sight. Bianca's father, a rich merchant of Padua, has two daughters, Katharine, and the younger Bianca. Katharine a shrewish woman, has no suitors to wed whereas beautiful Bianca has two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio but she is not interested in marrying either, their father Baptista has declared that no one could marry Bianca until her older sister, the vicious Katherine is married.

Lucentio decides to take action and overcome the problem by changing his identity to gain access to Bianca. Both Gremio and Hortensio plan to find a husband for Katharine so that they can ask Bianca's hand from her father Baptista. Gremio hires Lucentio disguised as a Latin instructor to persuade her to fulfil his desires and for the same reason Hortensio changes his identity to a music teacher. On the other hand Tranio disguised as Lucentio, is planning to discuss with Baptista about marrying his younger daughter Bianca. Meanwhile Petruchio, a young adventurous man arrives in Padua to visit his friend Hortensio. This is where he hears about Katharine from Hortensio. This play suggests that there are certain roles that women are supposed to play in real life. They are supposed to be sweet and quite the same as Bianca.

Baptista is excited about Petruchio's desires for Katharine. This is because Baptista feels that Katharine is a burden to him and is arguing and fighting her sister all the time and at the same time preventing her from getting married. And this is where Katherine feels unhappy of the way her father is treating her, and has continually humiliates her in public, when Baptista, informed Bianca's suitors, Tranio and Lucentio, in public that he will not allow either of them to marry his younger daughter until a husband is found for Katherine, as Baptista wants to have Katherine off his hands at first place. Baptista then promise Petruchio, Katherine's hand, the way Katherine is very demanding and stubborn woma, Petruchio takes the bet, that he can wed her and tame her. Petruchio a self-confident man announces his wedding day on the spot. This is where Katharine is unenthusiastically waits the wedding day.

Petruchio has announced to everyone that he will wed and tame the vicious Katherine; Petruchio assumes that Sunday is the day he will win a part of his bet. On the wedding day Petruchio arrives late with a ridiculous outfit and leaves immediately after the ceremony, with his new wife Katharine, who is known for her temper and so violent that none could dare to approach her and she is now married to Petruchio unwillingly. After arriving to Petruchio's place, Katherine is not treated well by Petruchio and even by his servant, Grumio. This is where Petruchio starts to tame the shrewish woman, Katherine. Petruchio does not allow her new clothes, or sometimes foods and sleep. After spending sometimes with Petruchio, Katharine starts agreeing and pleasing her husband, and she has been tamed. When Katherine accepts all Petruchio's conditions, Petruchio promise her to take her to visit her father Baptista. On the way back to Padua, Petruchio tries to test Katherine's behaviour, Katherine who has already been tamed, and has been told to accept anything your husband says. She then even agrees with her husband that the sun is the moon and the old man is the beautiful young maiden. The way Petruchio was speaking to Katherine was very bold and aggressive, that clearly indicate that he feels that he is in charge.

The modern interpretation of this play is that what are the roles for men and women in a society in particular, in a relationship to each other, the question raises here for Petruchio that is he bullying Katherine, telling her the same staff every day and force her to accept her husband's view on every issue, the way Petruchio mentioned about Sun, and Katherine was forced to accept that the sun is the moon, However In Shakespeare time the play suggests that women are forced to give in to a society that dominates and controlled by men, and let a woman for limited self-expression.

On the other hand Baptista has already declared to Bianca's suitors that the one with more wealth will then marry Bianca. Tranio assures Baptista that he has more wealth and possession than Gremio and Hortensio, But Baptista wants his father must personally assure him, on the other side Lucentio wins Bianca's heart by spending more time with her teaching her music, while Hortensio makes the same attempt but failed to encourage Bianca. Hortensio who always wanted to marry Bianca, for her wealth, then marry a wealthy widow.

Tranio, who helped Lucentio for marrying Bianca, then secures Baptista's approval for Lucentio to marry Bianca by proposing a huge sum of money, Baptista agrees but says that the sum must be confirmed by Lucentio's father before the marriage could take place. Both Tranio and Lucentio still in their disguises, decides to find an old man to play the role of Lucentio's father, to persuade Baptista for Lucentio and Bianca's marriage. Tranio finds an old man. One the mean time Lucentio real father is on the way to Padua, where he finds out that Tranio, disguises as Lucentio. At last Vincentio, Lucentio's real father and Baptista finally agree for the marriage.

At the banquet, following Hortensio's wedding to the wealthy widow, everyone is shocked to see that Katherine is behaving as respecting his husband, Petruchio. And she obeys everything that Petruchio says. When three men, Hortensio, Lucentio and Petruchio, stage a contest to see, which of their wives respect the most her husband, this is where everyone expect Bianca, as a sweet and quite woman to win. Bianca and windows refuse to come when summoned by their husbands, on the other hand, Kate, not only comes when summoned, but also lectures the other two wives, the way their duty is to obey their husbands. Katherine wins and proves she is the one who always obeys her husband on any issue. Everyone one at the banquet is amazed of seeing Katherine's transformation, this also suggests here that the battle between Petruchio and Katherine has over now, and it's the beginning for other couples.

Katherine a shrewish woman, with ill-tempered and sharp tongued at the start of the play, has now transformed in to a sweet and quite woman, Katherine at the beginning of the play who was unhappy of the way her father was treating her sister Bianca and as well as the way she felt that she may never find a man to win is now the one gave lecture to other wives, to obey their husband and agree on whatever they say. Katherine's final speech in the play, has different analysis of her transformation from her life before marriage and her life after marriage, an argument on Petruchio's side would be that he has helped Katherine to transform from a vicious woman to a sweet and quite woman, as he used some taming method to make her obey her husband as an ideal woman of the 17th century, However this could also suggest that after marrying Petruchio, she is a simply broken woman, who no longer has a self-expression and is completely controlled by her husband in a male dominated society. The change in Katherine's behaviour at the end of the play also proves that people can change. It also shows that certain people can bring out the best in somebody. Whereas in this case Petruchio brought out the best in Katherine after taming her and make her an obedient wife.