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Essay/Term paper: The taming of the shrew: katherine

Essay, term paper, research paper:  The Taming of the Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew: Katherine

In William Shakespeare's play, The Taming of the Shrew, the shrew played
by Katherine, had a terrible outlook on life and just about everything else. Her
negativity caused by her younger, more beautiful sister Bianca. Bianca wanted
to get married. She had all of the men's hearts, Katherine had none. If
Katherine got married then Bianca could get married. She truly was a shrew who
needed to be tamed. Then Petruchio came to Padua. Petruchio couldtame Katherine
for the right amount of money.

Before Petruchio's arrival, Katherine, the terriable, untamed shrew,
caused problems with everyone. All that knew her hated her. She felt very
jealous of her beautiful sister Bianca, because of her suitors and her beauty.
Katherine tries to start fights with Bianca all of the time. She even hit
Bianca. No one wanted to marry Katherine until Petruchio arrives in Padua to
find a wife. "I come to wives it wealthy in Padua; If wealthy, then happily in
Padua" (ShakespeareIii76-77). He and one of Bianca's suitors, Luciento had a
conversation. As a joke, Luciento mentioned to Petruchio marry Katherine.
Petruchio though of the profit and thought it could be great. "Petruchio can
have no illusions about the fabled shrew, Katherine, for others are quick to
tell him quite frankly what to expect"(Vaughn27). Petruchio and Katherine's
father meet and decide that Petruchio will get twenty-thousand crowns if he
weds Katherine. Petruchio and Katherine meet and they do not start off on the
best of terms. But Petruchio decides they should get married anyway and he sets
a date. Petruchio then leaves to get ready for the wedding . The wedding day
arrives and Petruchio arrives at the wedding in ridiculous clothing and drunk.
During the ceremony he hits the priest. During their own reception Petruchio
demands that they shall leave, now the taming begins.

Now the taming begins. Once they leave the wedding and are en route to
Petruchio's home in Verona, Kate has to ride a burrow through the rain while
Petruchio rides a horse. During their trip back many bad things happen to Kate.
When they arrive at Petruchio's home Katherine could not fufill her needs of
sleep and food with Petruchio's excuses of the food not being good enough and
the bed not being good enough for her. That just the starts the taming.
Petruchio and Katherine are preparing to go back to Padua for Bianca's and
Lucientio's wedding. When Petruchio tells Kate that a tailor will be making a
new outfit for her for the wedding, she gets excited. When she comes to see her
new outfit Petruchio tells her that the fabric isn't good enough for her and
that she will have to wear her old outfit.Petruchio's hateful behavior teaches
Kate obedience. "Kate learns obedience but more importantly she learns to see
herself as others see her"(Vaughn30). On their journey to Padua Petruchio
demands that Kate call the sun the moon and an old man a young virgin. Kate
says what Petruchio tells her to say. This proved that Petruchio has tamed Kate.

The final test occured at the reception of Lucientio's and Bianca's
wedding. Lucientio, Hortensio and Petruchio discussed their wives. Petruchio has
become assured that Kate has been tamed. The other two think their wives are
most obedient. The men get into a small argument and they decide to settle it
with a wager of two hundred crowns. They bet to see whose wife will come to
them when called upon. Lucientio and Hortensio call upon their wives and
neither of them come. But when Petruchio calls upon Kate she arrives, showing
that she has become obiedient. "Kate's final speech chastising Bianca and the
widow for their disobedience and catologueing their duties that a wife owes her
husband creates a different moment on the stage today"(Vaughn30). This shows
that Katherine has been tamed and no longer acts as a shrew. Bianca has an
outburst which proves Bianca to be truly the shrew. "Is a wonder, by your leave,
she will be tamed so" (ShakespeareVii214-215). Now everyone knows the real

The significance of the change in Katherine's behavior at the end of the
play proves to be very important. It shows that people can change. It also
shows that certain people can bring out the best in somebody. In this case
Petruchio brought out the best in Katherine after taming her and making her an
obedient wife.


Vaughn, Jack A. Shakespeare's Comedies.
New York: Fredrick Ungar Publishing Co. 1980

Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew.
New York: Washington Square Press


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