Themes are central to understanding The Taming of the Shrew as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary. Art Imitating Life Shakespeare was always interested in the concept that life imitated art and this theme showed up in many of his plays, including The Taming of the Shrew.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Marriage as an Economic Institution As a romantic comedy, the play focuses principally on the romantic relationships between men and women as they develop from initial interest into marriage.
In this respect, the play is a typical romantic comedy. However, unlike other Shakespearean comedies, The Taming of the Shrew does not conclude its examination of love and marriage with the wedding. Rather, it offers a significant glimpse into the future lives of married couples, one that serves to round out its exploration of the social dimension of love.
Instead, The Taming of the Shrew emphasizes the economic aspects of marriage—specifically, how economic considerations determine who marries whom. The play tends to explore romantic relationships from a social perspective, addressing the institutions of courtship and marriage rather than the inner passions of lovers.
Moreover, the play focuses on how courtship affects not just the lovers themselves, but also their parents, their servants, and their friends.
In general, while the husband and the wife conduct the marriage relationship after the wedding, the courtship relationship is negotiated between the future husband and the father of the future wife. As such, marriage becomes a transaction involving the transfer of money.
Had Hortensio offered more money, he would have married Bianca, regardless of whether she loved Lucentio. The Effect of Social Roles on Individual Happiness Each person in the play occupies a specific social position that carries with it certain expectations about how that person should behave.
For instance, Lucentio occupies the social role of a wealthy young student, Tranio that of a servant, and Bianca and Katherine the roles of upper-class young maidens-in-waiting.
At the very least, they are supposed to occupy these roles—but, as the play shows, in reality, Kate wants nothing to do with her social role, and her shrewishness results directly from her frustration concerning her position.
Because she does not live up to the behavioral expectations of her society, she faces the cold disapproval of that society, and, due to her alienation, she becomes miserably unhappy.
Kate is only one of the many characters in The Taming of the Shrew who attempt to circumvent or deny their socially defined roles, however: Lucentio transforms himself into a working-class Latin tutor, Tranio transforms himself into a wealthy young aristocrat, Christopher Sly is transformed from a tinker into a lord, and so forth.
However, the play illustrates that each transformation must be undone before conventional life can resume at the end of the play. A servant may put on the clothes of a lord, but he remains a servant, one who must return to his place, as we see with Tranio.
Likewise, Lucentio must reveal his subterfuge to his father and to Baptista before moving forward with Bianca. In fact, the primary excitement in The Taming of the Shrew stems from its permeable social boundaries, crisscrossed continually by those who employ a disguise or a clever lie.
In the end, however, the conventional order reestablishes itself, and those characters who harmonize with that order achieve personal happiness.A summary of Themes in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Taming of the Shrew and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between and The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself.
The nobleman then has the play performed for Sly's diversion. Shakespeare is a season of cultural and artistic events across , celebrating four hundred years of Shakespeare, his creative achievement and his profound influence on creative culture across the centuries.
It is the collective endeavour of a consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational institutions in and around London, working . The Taming of the Shrew is a comic play written by William Shakespeare around and first published in Taming of the Shrew is an early play and explores the division of the sexes.
It many ways it makes uncomfortable watching today as the treatment of Kate at the end of the play sees her as 'broken.'. The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between and The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself.
The nobleman then has the play .