Katharina and Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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Katharina and Petruchio from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

My two favourite characters from the play, The Taming of the Shrew,

which was written by William Shakespeare, are Katharina and Petruchio.

I find them extremely interesting, not just because they are the main

characters, but because of their contrast, chemistry and similarity

between them. They go from hating each other at the beginning of the

book and by the end, Katharina is obedient, the taming is complete and

they are married living happily together.

Petruchio has one of the main parts to play in the book as 'the tamer'

while Katahrina is alongside him as 'the shrew', which in turn makes

up the title of the story. Katharina is very argumentative,

disagreeable and violent with all her suitors and indeed Bianca, for

example the stage directions say that,

"Katharina with a whip stands over Bianca, who crouches by the wall,

her hands tied behind her." (Act 2, Scene 1, Stage Directions)

This shows that she is extremely violent and willing to beat a

confession out of anyone. Because Katharina is this way, no man wishes

to marry her, although many of tried. But Petruchio comes along and he

finds a challenge and, of course, a fair amount of money to profit

from the venture. He is interested in the money from the dowry in

particular because he enquires,

"Then tell me - if I got your daughter's love, what dowry shall I have

with her to wife?" (Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 119 - 120)

This shows he is probably more interested in the dowry than in

Katharina. Now we know that Petruchio is greedy as well as rich!

A good scene to show as an example of both Petruchio and Katharina in

conversation is Act 2, Scene 1. While Petruchio is in...

... middle of paper ...

... none shall eat; Last night she slept not,

nor tonight she shall not." (Act 4, Scene 1, Lines 182 - 183)

This shows us that Petruchio is starving Katharina of her food and

also depriving her of sleep. Hopefully this will turn her into a good

person! Petruchio mentions one last thing near to the end of his

second soliloquy, which tells us exactly why he is doing this:

"This is a way to kill a wife with kindness." (Act 4, Scene 1, Line


In conclusion I think the two make an entertaining pair, which make

the story thoroughly enjoyable for many people. The 'tamer' and 'the

shrew' are amazingly similar in different ways and in the end

Petruchio and Katharina bonded. Katharina becomes extremely well

behaved and obedient even more so than Bianca, the total opposite to

what she used to be. The taming of the shrew is complete and thus, the

story ends.
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