Relationship of Petruchio and Katherina in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

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Relationship of Petruchio and Katherina in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare is a humorous play which focuses on Petruchio and Katherina's relationship. It explores ideas of marriage including the impact of money in surrounding characters lives. This creates ideal opportunities for dramatic impact, which will vary in effect on the Elizabethan, and modern day audiences especially when various dilemmas are presented. Shakespeare uses a range of devices in order to achieve this. Before Petruchio and Katherina meet, the audience is already aware of the characters attitudes towards life and has thoughts of a fiery first encounter between the two. Since arriving in Padua, Petruchio's aim is to "wife and thrive" and thus becoming wealthy. This would come as to no surprise to an Elizabethan audience as they freely accepted that the principal of marriage was often financial. The use of rhyme is suggestive of a jolly mood for Petruchio, which implies he is very optimistic regarding his future in Padua. Some people today would not approve of a male so arrogant and his attitude would not be accepted in today's society as easily. Katherina is described by Hortensio as "intolerable" "shrewd" and "forward" echoing other people's thoughts in doing so. These adjectives provide the audience with evidence that Katherina is very strong willed and she will not accept Petruchio without a fight. This makes the audience eager to discover what will happen when they first meet and creates a sense of excitement and uncertainty. To add to the tension, both characters display many similarities. Bo... ... middle of paper ... ...d with the replacement of equality in most marriages. Petruchio is the victor while Katherina is left to be appreciative and satisfied after eventually collapsing to Petruchios strategy. Mixed and varied reactions emerge from on lookers about the situation. Characters in the play especially Baptista and Bianca, represent feelings of shock and disbelief as their relative has become a new woman almost over night. They find it hard to believe that she has been tamed considering what she was previously like. An Elizabethan audience may accept the outcome as Katherina fits the bill of an Elizabethan wife. And a modern audience would carry thoughts of regret that Katherina should not have given in and lost her fire and aggression so easily and early. The early promise for a conclusive and surprising end has been fulfilled.
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