Meaning Of The Shrew In William Shakespeare's Play

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Kate is the maiden daughter of Baptista Minola. She is widely believed to be a “shrew” by many. A “shrew” is a label given to hot-tempered, aggressive women. Shrews tend to have quite the tongue. Early on in this play, the audience witnesses constant insults directed towards the male characters around her. She also performs physical acts of anger against the men who provoke her. Kate does not act like a shrew because that is who she is; she acts like one because she is unhappy and desperate. Her father treats her younger sister, Bianca, seemingly better. Other men seem to also favor Bianca, which could lead to jealousy and further unhappiness. Kate verbally rejects the thought of marriage in the opening acts. This only frustrates her father; …show more content…
Petruchio deserves a lot of the credit for this; an argument could be made that Petruchio was better at playing the game than Kate was. By this, it is meant that he was an even bigger shrew than she was. He threw huge fits, where plates would be tossed. He showed up to the wedding in a poor selection of clothes. Other notable things include the deprivation of sleep and verbal shaming. The most significant thing Petruchio did that really urged Kate to change was how he communicated to her how just he views her. Hearing the truth about who she appears to be as a person and witnessing how it looked in person helped Kate realize just how horrible this false personality she had been putting on as a disguise was. It was like looking in the mirror, when she was with Petruchio, and being forced to acknowledge just how unattractive such a personality was. Signs of submission to such a transformation could be noted as early as the horse incident in act four. Katherine fell off of her horse, and the horse landed on her. Petruchio reacted by wanting to beat up Grumio for allowing such an incident to happen, but Kate broke it up before it even had a chance to start. The old Kate, pre-transformation, would have entered and engaged in the fight herself. This new, post-transformation Kate, however, avoided an unnecessary encounter. Furthermore, this incident shows a sign of compassion that exists in Kate, something the audience is not familiar with. In the beginning of the play, who would have thought a “cold soul” like Kate would protect Grumio, a man who had openly expressed his personal distaste of Kate in the

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