19 Jul 2009

Essays on The Taming of the Shrew

Many examples of classic literature have come under fire over the years as social mores and values have changed.  Books such as Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have come under fire as “racist” due to their use of what is now considered politically incorrect language.  Others, such as William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew have found their way into the censorship scopes of modern feminists.  Yet when properly viewed in their original context, the classical nature of these works is easy to reveal.

Few can spin a yarn like the Bard.  Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is an unmatched tale of love and deception.  In Padua there lives the fair Bianca who is being secretly courted by three young men against her father’s wishes.  He has declared that none may court Bianca until her vicious older sister Katherine has been married.  Lucentio, a recent arrival to the city falls in love with Bianca and joins Gremio and Hortensio in disguise in an effort to get close to Bianca.

Lucentio disguises himself as Bianca’s Latin teacher in order to spend time with her.  Hortensio assumes the role of her music teacher for the same purpose.  Lucentio’s servant assumes his identity and begins talks with Binaca’s father in an effort to secure a marriage.  The whole mess is taken care of when Hortensio’s friend Petruccio arrives and declares that he will marry a rich woman, irrespective of what she looks like.  Naturally Bianca’s suitors are delighted and quickly arrange for him to meet Katherine.  She and Petruccio get into a nasty little fight and brash young Petruccio tells her that she’ll marry him whether she likes it or not.  The rest of the story details Petruccio’s fight to win over Katherine through sheer dominance.  In the end she does learn to submit to her husband’s will.

Lucentio and Bianca marry.  Eventually Hortensio marries a wealthy widow and late in the tale all are gathered around his wedding feast a contest is held to see whose wife will obey the quickest when summoned by their husband.  All are surprised when Katherine arrives immediately.

Like many of Shakespeare’s plays, The Taming of the Shrew incorporates the conflict between traditional obedience to one’s parents and one’s quest for love.  Describe how this is reflected in this play and explain how it influences the course of the play.

In the above summary, mention is made of the “contest” during the third man’s wedding celebration.  Explain why the men might be surprised at Katherine being the first to obey and why she might have had motivation to do so.

Many of Shakespeare’s play are centered on the concept of love.  Love can be a confusing topic and with Shakespeare’s habit of throwing multiple players into the arena, writing about Shakespearian plays can be very much like writing articles about soap operas.  With the plays containing culture-related references at every turn, it can be a complicated situation for students to write about.  Our professional writers can help by fulfilling the student’s academic needs.  All they need is your order.

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