The Taming Of The Shrew

Decent Essays
Jude Brooks-Benham, The Taming of the Shrew
Shakespeare 's The Taming of the Shrew focuses not only on the roles of the sexes, but also plays with the varying social roles found in society from head of the house to foot of the house. Tranio finds himself at the bottom of this social ladder, a servant to Lucentio. However Tranio employs his wit and cunning to raise his status at the expense of his master. Tranio is a manipulative intellectual who uses persuasive rhetoric and wit to distract Lucentio and climb the social ladder to a higher social class. Upon their arrival in Padua, Lucentio with his “trusty servant”, Tranio, declares his desire to “haply institute A course of learning and ingenious studies.” (The Taming of the Shrew I.I.8-9). It is clear that Lucentio aims to impress his father and pursue knowledge in order to be a deserving heir to Vincentio’s wealth. Tranio, however, has a very different agenda for spending his time in Padua. Tranio pulls Lucentio’s attention away from meticulous learning, as he was paid to provide, and offers an extremely unorthodox path to knowledge. In order to sway the mind of his master, Tranio employs complementary rhetoric starting with “Mi perdonato, gentle master mine.” (I.I.25). Tranio methodically butters up Lucentio with reinforcements to Lucentio 's “resolve to suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.” (1.1.27-28). These words of Tranio’s serve to convince Lucentio that Tranio truly does serve his ‘good master’s’ best interest.
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