HSC Preliminary Advanced English Speech Transcript on Area of Study - Change. Set text is "The Taming of the Shrew" by Shakespeare

Essay by misaHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2007

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One of the great ironies of human life and human history is that the only permanent thing is change. However even our understanding of change itself is not fixed, but depends on context, values and attitudes, place and time. William Shakespeare's play 'The Taming of the Shrew', and William Blake's poem 'And did those feet' both present the need for spiritual and moral renewal, while the late 20th Century film 'Good Will Hunting' deals with change as a process of emotional healing and self acceptance.

Shakespeare's play; The Taming of the Shrew explores moral and societal views of change, where change is necessary to re-establish a social order in line with the existing values and expectations of the Elizabethan Era. Shakespeare's characterization of Katherina, an untamed 'shrew' unwilling to conform to societal expectations of the ideal woman initially establishes this need for change.

The recurring metaphor of the falcon underlines this; "My falcon now is sharp and passing empty" a woman who refuses to 'know her keeper's call".

The gender roles of the Elizabethan Era dictated women to be at their husband's beck and call, and Shakespeare uses Katherina's change to re-assert the social order and patriarchy that was not evident at first.

Katherina's soliloquy in Act 5 Scene 2 outlines the change she had undergone, with her new built 'obedience and virtue'. Much of what she says fits in with the accepted gender roles at that time, emphasized with the use of repetition "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign.", creating a strong and constant rhythm, symbolic of a return to order.

Through this Shakespeare has effectively linked the process of change to moral and social transformation, depicting a rebellious woman's eventual acceptance into acceptable society.

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