Essay on Taming of the Shrew

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A principal theme throughout Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is the battle of the sexes. The battle primarily focuses on the relationship between Petruchio and Katherine, otherwise known as Kate. They each struggle for supremacy in a classic confrontation between male and female until Kate succumbs to Petruchio's dominance for the first time during Act IV, Scene V when she states "What you will have it named, even that it is. And so it shall be so for Katherine." In this first act of deference to her husband it remains unclear if Kate simply decides to play along and behave as the traditional Elizabethan wife so they can continue on their travels, or if she has an epiphany and realizes her preordained role in the traditional …show more content…
Bianca, Kate's sister, engages in her own battle of the sexes, both with her suitors and her father, with a very different end result. Bianca is portrayed as the antithesis of her sister Kate. In Act I, Scene I, the first time Bianca speaks, a foreshadowing of her supposed behavior is presented: "Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe." Bianca continually presents herself as the ideal wife possessing beauty, obedience, respect, mild behavior and sobriety. However what this presentation possesses in appearance it lacks entirely in substance. Bianca is deceptively manipulative in undertaking her battle for superiority; she lies, deceives, and misleads at every opportunity, even sneaking away with Lucentio to be married. In the final scene of the final act when Bianca learns the reasoning behind their being summoned her response reveals her understanding of her role as a wife: "Fie, what a foolish - duty call you this?" This validates that Lucentio and Bianca have been incapable of striking a balance of power in their relationship and they have differing ideas on the role each partner should play.

The last couple to wed, Hortensio and the nameless widow, has the least developed relationship of the three couples. Once the widow is introduced as a character vital to the play, in the final act, she makes an immediate impression on the others. The widow's

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