The impact of Shakespeare's induction in Taming of the Shrew thematically on the rest if the play

Essay by charlwoodHigh School, 12th gradeA, February 2004

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Zoë Charlwood

Topic 1 - The impact of Shakespeare's Induction in Taming of the Shrew thematically on the rest of the play.

Introduction. In the play Taming Of The Shrew, set in the 16th century, its author William Shakespeare tells a story of a shrewish unmarried woman, Katherine. She is courted, and married by a man attracted by her money, who then sets out to tame her. The induction, which precedes the main play, introduces one of the main themes of the play, the attempt to change and improve a character's personality by changing her material circumstances. It uses humour to make a number of points for the audience to reflect on in the play proper. In the induction Sly is to be persuaded that he is infact a lord, and that he has been in a deep sleep for the past 15yrs. A play is to be performed that night, which is were Taming of the Shrew begins.

This scene and the one that follows it form the framework of the drama itself, so it is infact a play inside a play.

The relevance of the induction to the main play is not immediately obvious, as none of the characters actually follow through into the play. But it does approach the theme of character change. The induction is a role reversal of the theme of the main play. Sly is given all the things that Katherine has taken away from her by Petruchio. In doing so, a change occurred in Sly's circumstances, but his personality remained the same. He still likes the same old things, even though he has accepted he is a lord, " I am a lord indeed...And once again a pot o'th'smallest ale" (Ind.2.ln.70). Katherine is also put in a similar situation but under different...