Katherine and Bianca of The Taming of the Shrew


Length: 1386 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



Katherine and Bianca of The Taming of the Shrew

 

        The Taming of the Shrew brings out the comedic side of Shakespeare

where irony and puns carry the play throughout.  In my paper, I will

concentrate on one the irony of the play, the introduction of the two

sisters.  These two sisters begin off with the elder, Katherine, viewed as

a shrew, and Bianca as the angelic younger of the two.  However, as the

play proceeds, we begin to see the true sides of the two sisters and their

roles totally turn around.  I will try to analyze the method in which

Shakespeare introduces the two sisters and how he hints their true identity

and the events for the rest of the play during the first two acts.

 

        Although even her father calls her a shrew, Katherine has a deeper

character than the epithet would imply.  From the beginning we see that she

is continually placed second in her father's affections, and despised by

all others.  Bianca on the other hand, is identified as the favorite,

playing the long-suffering angel, increasing Baptisa's distinction between

the two.  As Katherine recognizes her sister's strategy, her reaction is as

one can imagine how another would react suffering this type of bias for so

many years.  She is hurt and she seeks revenge.  This is seen in Act II,

Scene I, when Katherine sums up her own state: "I will go sit and weep/

Till I can find occasion of revenge" (35-36).  It is an immature response,

but the only one she knows, and it serves the dual purpose of cloaking her

hurt.  The transformation, which she undergoes near the end of the play, is

not one of character, but one of attitude.  At the end of the play, we find

out that her negative attitude becomes a positive one.

 

  The shrew is not a shrew at all beneath the surface.

 

        The play begins introducing Katherine with her father's words of

shame towards her when he offers his eldest daughter to the two suitors of

Bianca.  The audience is then given their first impression of Katherine

from the Gremio, a suitor of Bianca, right after her father's words when he

says: "To cart her, rather.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Katherine and Bianca of The Taming of the Shrew." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Oct 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16685>.
Title Length Color Rating  
The Relationship Between Katherine and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew - The Relationship Between Katherine and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew    William Shakespeare is considered the greatest playwright of all time.  His gift for developing characters is one major aspect that accounts for this lofty acknowledgement.  Shakespeare created various characters from drunks and fools to kings and generals.  The characters are so human and so real that the audience can see aspects of their own personalities represented on stage for better or worse.  Inadvertently, Shakespeare's ability to characterize any type of person demonstrates his holistic education and knowledge of everything from military strategy and open sea sailing to music and religion.  As a...   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1199 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Katherine and Bianca in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Essay - Katherine and Bianca in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew shows two sisters: Katherina and Bianca, as two complete contrasts to each other. He used various techniques to achieve these effects. The same techniques are used for both sisters to show comparisons between their characters. Shakespeare created two different characters by making the outcome of the techniques very different from each other. Shakespeare has used the theme of deception and disguise and based the play on the idea that things are not always as they seem....   [tags: Papers] 1835 words
(5.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
How William Shakespeare Presents Katherine and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew - How William Shakespeare Presents Katherine and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare's comedy "The Taming of the Shrew" shows the two sisters, Katherine and Bianca, as complete contrasts to eachother. He uses various techniques to achieve this effect. Many of these techniques are the same for both sisters; however their outcomes are different, therefore creating two completely different characters. We first see some of these techniques in action in Act I scene 1 when Kate and Bianca are first introduced....   [tags: Papers] 1132 words
(3.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Role of Women in Shakespear's The Taming of the Shrew - Role of Women in The Taming of the Shrew "The Taming of the Shrew" is a great example of Shakespear's use of women. Shakespeare indeed does transcend the stereotypes of his own time. In Shakespeare's, "The Taming of the Shrew" the relationship between the sisters Katherine and Bianca appears to be strained with rampant jealousy. Both daughters fight for the attentions of their father. In twisted parallel roles, they take turns being demure and hag-like. Father of the two, Baptista Minola, fusses with potential suitors for young Bianca and will not let them come calling until his elder, ill-tempered daughter Katherine is married....   [tags: The Taming of the Shrew] 821 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Taming of the Shrew Katherine Essay - The Taming of the Shrew Katherine In William Shakespeare's play, The Taming of the Shrew, the shrew played by Katherine, had a terrible outlook on life and just about everything else. Her negativity was caused by her younger, more beautiful sister Bianca. Bianca wanted to get married. She had all of the men's hearts, Katherine had none. If Katherine got married then Bianca could get married. She truly was a shrew who needed to be tamed. Petruchio came to Padua. Petruchio could tame Katherine for the right amount of money....   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays] 782 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Taming of the Shrew: Petrucio’s Desire for Katherine - The Taming of the Shrew: Petrucio’s Desire for Katherine In the play The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, Petrucio recognizes, respects and desires Katherine’s strength of character. Petrucio is a clever man who sees beyond facades because he uses them himself. (II, i 46) (II, I 283 - 89) He is stimulated by Katherine’s sharp tongue and harsh actions. He proves this many times throughout the play. Petrucio is not in desperate need of money, but comes to Padua to find a rich wife....   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays] 946 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Love and Marriage in Taming of the Shrew Essay - The Taming Of The Shrew:  Love and Marriage                Despite the fact that Shakespeare is mostly known for its tragedian playwrights, yet, in The Taming Of The Shrew, he once again proves that he is capable to write anything - even comedy. The Taming Of The Shrew is a play within a play. However, the play takes place towards the end of the 16th century. Most of the comedy scenes are shifted from the city to the country and back to the city. Therefore, most of the scenes took place in the city of Padua, Italy....   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays] 1698 words
(4.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The War of the Sexes in The Taming Of The Shrew Essay - The Taming Of The Shrew: The Battle Continues in the War of the Sexes              The plot of William Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew is derived from the popular 'war of the sexes' theme in which males and females are pitted against one another for dominance. Although the play has been condemned for the blatant sexist attitude it has toward women, a close examination of the play reveals that it is not a story of how men should 'put women in their place'. The play is, in fact, a comedy about an assertive woman coping with how she is expected to act in society and of how one must obey the unwritten rules of a society to be accepted by it....   [tags: The Taming Of The Shrew William Shakespeare] 927 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Essay - William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew In the beginning of “The Taming of the Shrew”, some say Shakespeare portrays Katherina as a very shrewish figure. Others may argue that she is not shrewish but just a very strong willed person. At the end of the play some people say she is transformed into a very kind and gentle person, while again others will argue that she is not “tamed” but just putting on an act to “show up” her younger sister Bianca, whom has always been more beautiful and charming....   [tags: Shakespeare Taming Shrew Essays] 1161 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Love in The Taming of the Shrew Essay - Love in The Taming of the Shrew Wonder, for a moment, what Shakespeare means when he uses the word “love”, if it really does exist in any of the relationships in this play, particularly between Petruccio and Katherine. Is love not a certainty. Such winds scatters young men through the world To seek their fortunes farther than at home, Where small experience grows. But in in a few, Signor Hortensio, thus it stands with me: Antonio, my father, is deceased, And I have thrust myself into this maze Happily to wive and thriveas best I may....   [tags: Taming of the Shrew Essays] 527 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




She is too rough for me." (Act 1, Scene 1, 55)

From here, Katherine is given the image of a turbulent, "curst and shrewd"

character.  She talks back to her father with total disrespect and shows

her temper to the company around her.  However, understanding her position,

one does begin to sympathize with her as in a public place, where such

passersby as Tranio and Lucentio can easily overhear, Baptisa informs

Bianca's suitors that he will not allow either of them to marry his younger

daughter until a husband is found for Katherine.  In effect, he is

announcing that he wants Katherine off his hands.  He then offers her to

either of Bianca's suitors.  Katherine humiliation at this point mus t be

extreme; she is discussed on a public street like an article of merchandise,

which her father is unable to get rid of, and then offered nonchalantly to

a pair of suitors who have already expressed their preference for her

sister.  Her image as a shrew takes a step back.

 

        Apparently gentle in her behavior, Bianca is an unkind sister and a

disobedient wife.  She fosters her father's attitude of favoritism for

herself and dislike for Katherine by playing the part of a noble victim.

Her disregard for Lucentio's wishes as a newlywed leads to grim speculation

as to what her behavior may be when they have been married longer.

Ironically, as the play ends, she is more of a shrew than her sister.

 

      We first see impressions of Bianca when she 'humbly' takes leave

from the awkward situation of her sister arguing about the preferential

treatment her father gives.  (Act 1, Scene 1 81-84)  She is given this

divine image as bystanders like Lucentio speak words of: "O yes, I saw

sweet beauty in her face, Such as the daughter of Agenor had".  This give

the audience (those that do not know the content of the play) the

misconception that Bianca will be the more glorified of the two and maybe

as an example for he taming of Katherine.  However, as the play evolves, we

begin to see clues to the person under the sheep's clothes as Bianca

constantly takes advantage of her father's favoritism and has no regard to

her sister's feelings and emotions.  She is slowly seen as a witless, yet

cunning person that cares only for herself.  In the first scene of Act 2

where Katherine ties up Bianca, she is oblivious to the intent of

Katherine's anger as she thinks that Katherine rage is due to Katherine's

liking of one of her suitors.  When the flaws begin to appear, the audience

begins to view Bianca differently and slowly their perception of her is

changed.

 

        In Act 2, we begin to see a clearer relationship between the two

sisters and the reasons for such discord.  We are given a slight view of

their relationship in Act 1 where Katherine charges Bianca with the crime

of acting pitiful to gain her father's affection.  In Act 2, the scene with

Katherine tying up her sister, Shakespeare is able to play out the

temperaments of the two sisters more clearly for the audience.  Katherine's

shows her jealousy towards Bianca, as she accuses favoritism with which she

confronts her father, betrays the hurt she feels.  Bianca meanwhile, still

portrays this piteous and innocent character she knows best to attain her

father's liking.  Without much in depth analysis of the situation, it is

easy to tell that the characters of both sisters could very well be

unintentional as they are only molded to that character from the

environment in which they are brought up.  This idea gives the audience the

concept that there is more than meets the eye to the story.  With Baptisa,

the father creating this favoritism between the two sisters, Katherine's

fury and Bianca's 'innocence' is clearly a farce.  When Katherine speaks of

revenge twice in two lines, one can grasp the notion that something

dramatic will emerge to show the true identity of both sisters.

 

        With Bianca's shrew side brought out in the last scene, the play

focuses on how Katherine is slowly transformed back to the virtuous nature

she hinted she had from the beginning.  Petruchio entrance as the main

actor acts as the catalyst to the play's progress and ultimately

Katherine's change.  As Katherine picks up an argument with Petruchio, as

she does with everyone she has spoken to up to this point, Petruchio is

able to voice back at her without having to gang up with someone (Bianca to

Baptisa) or use authority (Baptisa) to put her down.  He counters

everything she says and even when she loses control and hits him (Act 2,

Scene 1, 233), he calmly uses words to check her temper.  The fact that

Katherine from here on down does not use force against anyone she speaks to

anymore, gives a clear indication of the image Shakespeare tries to show in

Katherine. Katherine leaves the scene in pain and frustration as Petruchio

has her tied up and begins the process of controlling her anger.  Although

sh e still has a sharp tongue in every sentence she says, Petruchio has

been able to peer into the rational and composed side of Katherine as she

matures through the play.  This beginning of change starts form the second

act and gives body to the rest of the play as Petruchio attempts to 'tame'

Katherine

 

Conclusion

 

        The contrast of the outcome of the two sisters brings out the humor

of this Shakespearean play.  With so much to detail and scrutinize about

two characters in just two scenes underlines Shakespeare's powerful ability

to bring the characters to life and reality as the audience is caught in a "

Suspension of disbelief".  Although this is a play written in humor,

Shakespeare's imagination is deep and the convincing characters he brings

to the main characters are powerful to show why he has been noted as the

most thorough English play writer of all time.


Return to 123HelpMe.com