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Animal Images in Taming of the Shrew

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Animal Images in The Taming of the Shrew


Many authors, from Orwell in his famous satirical novel Animal Farm to Shaw in his play Candida, have used images of animals to convey character's or, perhaps more accurately, man's internal ideas, aspirations, goals, and actions. In the same way, William Shakespeare, in his comedy The Taming of the Shrew, uses animal references and images to, mostly, provide insight into the complicated balance created in and through the relationship of Petruccio and Katherine.

            From the very first time that Katherine is introduced to Petruccio in the middle of Act II Scene 1 of The Shrew, the use of animal images to show the couple's initial feelings of playful repulsion and capture become apparent. In a continuous one-hundred twenty-five line interaction between the two characters, references to animals are used constantly. Right from the start, Katherine refers to Petruccio as a "buzzard" to which he quickly retorts that as a buzzard, he will carry her away (2.1.204-205). In ...

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