As You Like It is and The Taming of the Shrew Essay

As You Like It is and The Taming of the Shrew Essay

Length: 1552 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In this essay essay I will look at two of Shakespeare's comedies and ascertain if they are different types of comedy, the plays I will look at are As You Like It and Taming of the Shrew.
To begin with I believe it is important to clarify what I mean by comedy and then see if both plays conform to the conventions of a Shakespearean comedy.

In Shakespearean comedies there is generally a few principles which are similar and appear in most of his comedies for example the following all tend to be the bearings of a comedy: a struggle of young lovers to overcome difficulty, the difficulty usually being presented by the elders in the play, a witty servant, mistaken identity/deception , multiple intertwining plots, a pastoral element and last of all they usually finish with a happy ending1. Hence it could be seen as ritual comedy, however I do not think that all the conventions are mutually exclusive, as what classes as comedy is quite a broad range of ideas. Many different critics define comedy differently, Samuel Johnson in his 1755 Dictionary defines comedy as “a dramatick representation of the lighter faults of mankind” and Sir Philip Sidney in An Apologie for Poetrie (1595) claims that “delightful teaching is the aim of comedy” this also fits in with the idea that comedy is a moralising form it teaches us morals. C.L Barber related comedy to to pre-modern community festive rituals2 which fits in with Thomas Hobbes definition of laughter as an expression of superiority, a feeling of sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves by comparison with infirmity of others, by experiencing the the humiliation of being laughed at , so the idea goes is that the victim is led to recognise his or her soc...


... middle of paper ...


...hen hidden behind different persona's, they also address gender constraints and have assertive women almost directing the flow of the play. There obviously is a difference in the sense that Taming of the Shrew is a farcical play and As You Like It contains more pastoral literary elements to it, however in essence at the core of both plays they follow the same ritualistic plot men and women meet, court and then marry.












Works Cited



Hattaway, Michael (ED.), The New Cambridge Shakespeare-As You Like It, (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Leggatt, Alexander (ED.), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy, ( Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Thompson, Ann (ED.), The New Cambridge Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, (Cambridge University Press, 1984).

Waller, Gary (ed.), Shakespeare's Comedies, (Longman Group Ltd, 1991).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Empowerment of Women in Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and The Taming of the Shrew

- Empowerment of Women in Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and The Taming of the Shrew      In Shakespeare’s comedies, many – possibly even most - of the female characters are portrayed as being manipulated, if not controlled outright, by the men in their lives: fathers, uncles, suitors, husbands.  And yet, there are women inhabiting Shakespeare’s comedic world who seem to enjoy a greater degree of autonomy and personal power than one would expect in a patriarchal society.  Superficially, therefore, Shakespeare’s comedies appear to send mixed signals regarding the notion of female empowerment.  Some women are strong and independent, others are completely submissive, and the behavior...   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
1718 words (4.9 pages)

The Taming Of The Shrew Essay

- The themes in The Taming of the Shrew The taming of the shrew by William Shakespeare is a dramatic play that takes places in a era that women’s rights were not even thought about, writers of the 1500’s used issues taking place in society to describe their stories. The issues addressed were women’s rights due to a system of power exerted over women to control them as respect and submission to the male was the principle requirement. The women were sold to there future husbands by the headman of the family choice....   [tags: The Taming of the Shrew, Marriage, Love]

Powerful Essays
1465 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Taming Of The Shrew

- The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays with characters that are appealing with humor and based on an understanding of human nature. One can see the main character criticized as a shrew, Katherine. Critics and Shakespearean scholars have often questioned about the mischievousness behind Kate 's character. Many inferences behind the reasons of Kate’s shrewd behavior as well as her tameness have puzzled academic scholars for centuries. By attempting to interpret Kate’s shrewd character from the beginning with her father and sister, through the middle with her first meeting of Petruchio, to the finale will help understand why she is finally tamed and not a shrew due t...   [tags: The Taming of the Shrew, Marriage, Humiliation]

Powerful Essays
1646 words (4.7 pages)

Essay about Taming Of The Shrew By William Shakespeare

- The Taming of the Shrew written by William Shakespeare depicts the story of Petruchio a man who takes on the challenge of taming a shrew, a woman named Katherine (or Kate). By the end of the play, it becomes our knowledge that Petruchio has succeeded in taming Kate, because of the fact that she comes to him when she is called (or demanded to), while the other wives do not. The icing on the cake is her final speech which enforces the idea that she has been tamed by Petruchio. But it can also be seen that Kate’s final speech creates the idea that she is a powerful, smart and clever woman who was never truly tamed and instead only acting like she was....   [tags: The Taming of the Shrew, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

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]

Free Essays
821 words (2.3 pages)

William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Essay examples

- William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Over the past 400 or so years since Shakespeare wrote _The Taming of the Shrew_, many writers, painters, musicians and directors have adapted and reformed this play of control and subjugation into timeless pieces of art. In _10 Things I Hate About You_ and Kiss Me Kate from two very different times in the twentieth century, and paintings of Katherina and Bianca from the late nineteenth century, the creators of these adaptations have chosen to focus on the role of the two main female characters in the play....   [tags: Shakespeare Taming Shrew Essays]

Powerful Essays
3143 words (9 pages)

Mistaken Identities in The Taming of the Shrew Essay

- Mistaken Identities in The Taming of the Shrew     Throughout the play "The Taming of the Shrew," William Shakespeare has utilized several ingenious techniques resulting in an effective piece of work.  One of the more unique and creative methods is the use of mistaken identity.  With the use of mistaken identity, Shakespeare has successfully given the play an element of humor from the beginning to the end.   The mistaken identity within the two induction scenes must have been quite humorous for the upper-class noblemen who watched the play.  In Shakespeare's time, the upper-class often found their amusement in the poorer, more unfortunate lower-class.  Christopher Sl...   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays]

Free Essays
912 words (2.6 pages)

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]

Powerful Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

Essay Importance of Masks in Taming of the Shrew

- Importance of Masks in Taming of the Shrew      As a passing traveler in Padua, one could easily make superficial assumptions about the inhabitants. On the surface, Katherina seems like a vicious tiger that is angry at the entire world. Petruchio first appears like the type of man that anybody would like to have as a friend. At first glance, Bianca seems like a heavenly vision of beauty that any man would be lucky to have for a wife. However, after the courtship of Katherina begins, the true personalities of the characters are revealed....   [tags: Taming Shrew Essays]

Powerful Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Essay

- In what ways is ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ an appropriate title for the play. In the play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, characters contribute greatly to the development of the storyline. As one of the main characters Katherina’s shrewish behaviour adds the comical aspect at the beginning of the play and by the end has been diminished with the help of Petruchio’s taming techniques. Shakespeare uses the difference in personality between Petruchio and Katherina to create a sense of tension, but also comedy....   [tags: The Taming of the Shrew Essays]

Powerful Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)