Act Two Scene One in The Taming of the Shrew

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Act Two Scene One in The Taming of the Shrew

The scene that I will be analysing in this piece of coursework, Act

two Scene one, is an important scene in the play as a whole as it is

the first time that we see the two main characters together. The

characters Petruchio and Katherina have been developed separately

until now; the audience has noticed similarities in their

personalities such as use of physical strength and good use of words.

We know that Petruchio is set to woo Katherine and all the tension

that has been building up in anticipation of their meeting is about to

be released.

This scene contains a soliloquy from Petruchio in which he tells us

about his plan to tame Katherina, this is important as it gives the

audience a clue about the whole basis of the play.

This section is also important as there are many references to women's

rights, one of the main themes that run through the whole play.

The scene is set in Baptista's house; at the very beginning of this

scene the audience is thrust into a situation where Katherina has tied

up and is tormenting her sister, demanding to know which of her

suitors she likes best. This is where we see her at her worst. Her

violent behaviour is supposed to show her shrewish nature, the sense

of sibling rivalry between the two for their father's affection is

shown also. We have seen from past scenes that their relationship is

not very good; this only exaggerates that idea as she has used

physical strength and tied her up just to ask her a few questions:

'……I charge thee tell

Whom thou lov'st best.'

The immediate impression the audience gets from this incident is that


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...he stage

at different exits, another visual indication that they are not a


In Elizabethan times, Daughters were literally given away as if in a

business deal. This play expresses this issue often and especially in

this scene. They often had little say in the matter whether they liked

their future husband or not. Fathers showed little regard for the

feelings of their daughter, the only thing that mattered was wealth

and prosperity. We can see from this scene the relationship between

Petruchio and Katherina is not romantic, but he can use his cunning to

work around that in order to reach his goal, not the bride, but the

money. Although it seems at this stage in the play that they dislike

each other, they have so much in common that it would be hard not to

predict their attitudes towards each other changing.
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