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The Manliest Man in "The Taming of the Shrew"

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In the play The Taming of the Shrew, men do quite absurd things to get what they desire. Petruchio, Lucentio, Hortensio, and Gremio all derive schemes to win the heart of the woman they choose. Throughout the play many characters create alternate personas to woo the one they love. However, one man, Petruchio, prefers to pursue his soon to be wife ingenuously. All of the ideas the men concoct are in hopes that Bianca or Kate might fall in love with them, whether or not they do fall in love is due to how well their suitors perform their acts of love.

Lucentio is a suitor to Bianca. In the beginning of the play, Lucenito is portrayed as the cliché “love at first sight” type of person. He must do everything in his power to get Bianca to wed him. He devised a plan in which he will become ‘Cambio’, a Latin tutor that will teach Bianca, while at the same time he will win her heart. While Lucentio is capturing the heart of young Bianca, Tranio is doing the dirty work and winning the approval of her father and deceiving the other suitors of Bianca into thinking Lucentio is not interested in her. Lucentio is very witty when he starts to tutor Bianca. At first, Bianca is naturally attracted to him but Lucentio does not stop there. While doing their Latin lesson he confesses his true identity and intentions and she agrees to elope with him. Lucentio was not the most manliest when it came to expressing his feelings. He took an old, overused approach to win Bianca’s love. “Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio, If I achieve not this young modest girl.” (1:1:155-156) He fell in love with her mild behavior and beauty which is actually, not true love like he says it is. Once he is married he discovers this as Bianca executes shrewish behavior...

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...shrew could be tamed. He proved it to everyone at Lucentio’s and Bianca’s wedding dinner. The way Petruchio treats Kate does fit into the standard gender roles of society in that time but he does not want to crush Kates spirit but only make her do as he pleases.

There were many different tactics used in the play to win over a woman’s heart. The most popular idea was secrecy. In the end however, secrecy didn’t turn out as successful as it should have been. Instead Petruchio and his open courtship for Kate dominated everyone else’s efforts in trying to find true love. In a way, Petruchio did love Kate he just came about it in a different way. Petruchio was in no comparison the manliest of the suitors. Love and affection can only get you so far, until dominace and submission becomes everything in a relationship.

Works Cited
Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
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