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The Taming of the Shrew : The Taming? Of the Shrew?. A Return to the Question of Role-Playing. Who most self-consciously plays a role different from their “real” selves in the Taming ? A) Sly B) The suitors of Bianca, Hortensio and Lucentio C) Bianca D) Petruchio E) Katherine.

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a return to the question of role playing
A Return to the Question of Role-Playing

Who most self-consciously plays a role different from their “real” selves in the Taming?

A) Sly

B) The suitors of Bianca, Hortensio and Lucentio

C) Bianca

D) Petruchio

E) Katherine

sly dressed up and treated as a lord
Sly dressed up and treated as a Lord
  • At first he protests that he is “by birth a peddler, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a bearherd, and now by present profession a tinker” (p. 9)
  • With the sensory “proof” offered by the Lord and his servants Sly accepts he is a lord (p. 11)
  • But he keeps acting like a lowlife: e.g., calls for a “pot o’ th’ smallest ale” (11)
are the disguises adopted by the suitors of bianca reflections of the characters inner identities
Are the disguises adopted by the suitors of Bianca reflections of the characters’ inner identities?

A = Completely  E = Not at all

How do we know?

Disguises are easily doffed:

-see Hortensio, pp. 55, 75

-see Lucentio, p. 99

would you agree with this statement
Would you agree with this statement?:

In the Katherine/Petruchio plot, Kate and Petruchio do not so much don disguises as play or act out "roles" (e.g., shrew, boor) that are more closely connected to their inner selves.

A = Totally Agree  E = Totally Disagree

early evidence of petruchio s and kate s inherently choleric nature
Early evidence of Petruchio’s and Kate’s inherently choleric nature:
  • Petruchio’s opening “knock me here” scene with Grumio (pp. 24-25).
  • in very next scene, we see Kate binding and then striking her sister (pp. 36-37).
  • Gremio’s repeated comments that Petruchio is being too “froward” in the wooing negotiation: “You are too blunt, go to it orderly” (38).
at the same time there is some early evidence that kate does want to get married
At the same time, there is some early evidence that Kate does want to get married:
  • tortures Bianca to find out whom Bianca most favors among her suitors:

Of all thy suitors, here I charge thee, tell

Whom thou lov’st best. See thou not dissemble it (p. 36)

  • expresses fear she will go unwed (p. 37)
  • clearly disappointed when Petruchio doesn’t show up on time for their marriage ceremony (p. 56)
slide9
Why would Kate act like a shrew, which is both socially denigrating and off-putting to suitors if she really wants to get married?
  • The role of shrew challenges societal masculinity (she’s looking for a real man)
  • The role of shrew challenges traditional femininity (esp. idea women should be silent – see p. 37)
  • The role of shrew is a defensive measure (vs. father’s favoritism for Bianca and the treatment of women as objects or goods)
  • All of the above
  • None of the above
the problem of getting locked in a role
The problem of getting locked in a role:
  • See Sarah Badel’s Kate in the BBC film production of Taming
      • the binding scene, 2.1.1-36 (pp. 36-37)
what is petruchio s most effective taming method
What is Petruchio’s most effective “taming” method?

A) Classic brainwashing/intervention strategy

- removes her from her home, and deprives her of food & sleep

B) Treats her “illness” with contraries (Galenic medical theory)

-if she ”rail” “She sings as sweetly as a nightingale” (p. 42)

- bars burned meat because he and Kate are choleric (p. 72)

C) Treats her “illness” with likes (Paracelsian medical theory)

- he acts shrewishly, as in beating his servants Kate defends them (pp. 69, 71); “He kills her in her own humor” (p. 72)

D) Advocates anti-materialism

- comes in motley to their wedding

- destroys Kate’s fashionable dress, making them return home in their “honest mean habiliments” (p. 85)

E) All of the above

by the end of taming kate is
By the end of Taming, Kate is

A) Tamed into being the ideal woman/wife

  • More socialized, if not fully socialized
  • Savvy in the tricks of playing socially acceptable games to get what she wants (as in the sun/moon; virgin/old man game, pp. 92-93)
  • Unchanged
kate s final speech
Kate’s final speech

Two different film versions of the concluding scene:

  • The one played by Sarah Badel (BBC)
  • The one played by Elizabeth Taylor (Zeffirelli)

Which version do you like best?

A) Badel

B) Taylor

in kate s final speech is she
In Kate’s final speech is she
  • Deadly serious
  • Mostly serious
  • Ironic throughout
  • Just playing the role of good wife
  • Mocking
in conclusion i resubmit my sketch of the katherine petruchio plot as follows
In conclusion, I resubmit my sketch of the Katherine/Petruchio plot as follows: