Taming of the Shrew   View Details   Create a Copy

Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

"Taming of the Shrew" is technically a play within a play. In the beginning a rich Lord decides to play a prank on a drunken tinkerer named Christopher sly. While Sly is outside of a bar intoxicated the Lords men pick him up and bring him back to the Castle where they clean him up and dress them up. When he awakes they tried to convince him that he is actually a Lord, they even have a young man dressed up as a woman to play his wife. They tell an elaborate story of how the Lord has been mentally ill for years and that is why he cannot remember who he is. Just before he tries to get in bed with his wife the servants announce that a troop of actors have come to perform a play for him entitled "Taming of the Shrew."

Like most Shakespeare’s plays this comedy begins with a nobleman and his two friends fighting for the love of a beautiful and rich woman. In the Italian city of Padua there lived two sisters, Bianca and Katherine, born to a wealthy family. Many men wished to court Bianca however, their girls father would not allow her to enter into a marriage proposal until her older sister Katherine was married first. This was a problem because Katherine was a shrew: an ill tempered scolding woman.

While the men dress up disguised as various people to get close to Bianca the problem of Katherine persisted until, a friend of Horensio comes to town looking for a rich wife. Petruchio claims he does not care what the woman looks like as long as she will bring him fortune. Thus the men marry Katherine off to him. Meanwhile Bianca has fallen in love with Lucentio and run off to be married. Meanwhile Petruchio had taken Katherine back to his country home where he starves her and forces her to obey his every command.

When all return to the home of Baptista, the father of Katherine and Bianca, the husband’s devise a bet; they all summon their wives and the first wife to return to their husband is the winner. At first everyone expects Lucentio to win because of Bianca’s pleasing nature however it is Petruchio who wins when Katherine comes immediately, thus showing that he has tamed the shrew.

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