The Taming Of The Shrew: Theme Analysis

Average Overall Rating: 5
Total Votes: 140

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's most famous comedies.  The story revolves around two main ideas.  The first one is that men try to court the younger of two daughters, and they avoid the eldest because she has a bad personality.  The desperate men dress up, switch identities, and make up elaborate stories just to have the chance at one girl. 
Like many of Shakespeare's comedies, The Taming of the Shrew is a love story but also an example of real life.  The two couples, though one has its problems initially, do fall in love and the reader is lead to assume they live happily ever after.  The ways in which their eventual love relationships come about are very different however.  Petruchio and Katherine represent much of the society in which Shakespeare lived where people did not marry for love, but learned to love each other over time.  Lucentio and Bianca are the opposite of that in they married each other for love that they initially felt, though it was love at first sight for only Lucentio.  In today's world, the majority of society marries only for love and not for money or titles as people back then would have. Also different today are that the methods in which Petruchio uses to "tame" Katherine would be considered abusive, but at the time, provided a wealth of entertainment for Shakespeare's audiences. 
Like life in his time, Shakespeare's play also illustrates the importance of money to the upper class families.  Money is the reason Petruchio married Katherine- though their undesirable personalities made them perfect for each other- and the reason Lucentio won Bianca's hand from Sir Gremio.  Though Gremio loved the girl, and had known her longer, it was in the end his inability to compete with the rich Lucentio which lost him Bianca's hand. 

Quotes: Search by Author

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z