Taming of the Schrew - Study Notes

Essay by eid February 2010

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Introduction1. The argument between Sly and the hostess demonstrates the position of power between them. The hostess is in a higher social standing than Sly, who is merely a drunken tinker. However, Sly refuses to accept this fact and he argues with the hostess because he feels that as a man, he should be in a position of power. The theme of female submission is apparent throughout the play.

2. The Lord's deception of Sly demonstrates the theme that a person's behavior is influenced by his or her surroundings and how he or she is treated. For example, when Sly was convinced that he is a nobleman, he no longer behaves like a beggar. Instead, he behaves as if he was a nobleman, and changes his speech from prose to poetry. Like the lord, Petruchio also duped Katherina by taming her from a shrew to an obedient wife.

3. The page as Sly's wife and Katherina's relationship to Petruchio shows that marriage is something that people use for their own gain and benefit.

The page agreed to become Sly's "wife" only because he wanted to fool him into believing that he is a nobleman. Similarly, Petruchio agreed to marry Katrina only because he wanted to receive her huge dowry. In both of these instances, marriage is not motivated by love, but is driven by self gain.

4. Sly's references to real people and places shows that even though he believes that he is living in a fictional world, he is in fact still stuck in reality. Shakespeare is making a point to the audience that not all things in life are as they seem to be. The distinction between dream and reality is not apparent.

5. Initially, Sly was reluctant to believe that he is a lord. However, when he...