Essay on Contrasting Couples in The Taming of the Shrew

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Use of Contrasting Couples in The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare's comedy, The Taming of the Shrew illistrates the difficulty of trying to tame a headstrong, stubborn, and a high-spirited woman so that she will make a docile wife. The one attempting to tame Kate, the shrew, is Petruchio. They contend with each other with tremendous vitality and have a forced relationship. In contrast, there is another romantically linked couple who seemingly possess an ideal relationship. These young lovers, Bianca and Lucentio, share a love that is not grounded in reality, but in fantasy. These two sub-plot characters are stock characters and Shakespeare creates the irony of the play through the differences between the two couples. It is through his use of stock characters and irony that the differences between the two couples are revealed.

Bianca and Lucentio are considered stock characters in this play for many reasons. On the surface of things, Bianca is a sweet, mild-tempered young woman. She shows obedience towards her father and fosters his favoritism for herself by playing the part of a noble victim who cannot marry until her shrewish sister is wed. "Bianca is the epitome of a stock character. She is the sweet, innocent girl that all the g...

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...terary Criticism Vol. IX, Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1983.

Shakespeare, William, The Taming of the Shrew New York, New York, Washington Square Press, 1963.

Snider, Denton J., "William Shakespeare" on The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespearean Literary Criticism Vol. IX, Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1983.

Wade, Charles, "William Shakespeare" on The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespearean Literary Criticism Vol. IX, Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1983. Webster, Margaret, "William Shakespeare" on The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespearean Literary Criticism Vol. IX, Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1983.

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