Darla Flynn Play Analysis for The Taming of the Shrew

**** I watched the BBC version off of Amazon, I am not sure if this is the one everyone else did but this is what my Play Analysis is going to be based on.***

Context- The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works. It was written between 1593 and 1594 and it is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies. In the Elizabethan era, there was a huge demand for new entertainment, and The Taming of the Shrew would have been produced immediately following the completion of the play.

Playwright – The most influential writer in all of English literature, William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to a successful middle-class glove-maker in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare attended grammar school but had no further formal education. In 1582 he married an older woman, Anne Hathaway, and had three children with her. Around 1590 he left his family behind and traveled to London to work as an actor and playwright. Shakespeare eventually became the most popular playwright in England and part-owner of the Globe Theater. Wealthy and renowned, Shakespeare retired to Stratford and died in 1616 at the age of fifty-two.

Plot – The plot for the play was to get the older meaner daughter married off so that several of the other suters could vie over who would marry the younger more beautiful daughter

Diction – From what I could tell the play used a lot of early modern English.

Music – There was very little music in this version.

Katherine – The shrew of the play’s title, Katherine, or Kate, is the daughter of Baptista Minola, with whom she lives in Padua. Her hostility toward suitors particularly distresses her father. But her anger and rudeness disguise her deep-seated sense of insecurity and her jealousy toward her sister, Bianca. She does not resist her suitor Petruchio forever, though, and she eventually subjugates herself to him, despite her previous repudiation of marriage.

Petruchio – Petruchio is a gentleman from Verona. He wishes for nothing more than a woman with an enormous dowry, and he finds Kate to be the perfect fit. Disregarding everyone who warns him of her shrewishness, he eventually succeeds not only in wooing Katherine, but in silencing her tongue and temper with his own.

Bianca – The younger daughter of Baptista. The lovely Bianca proves herself the opposite of her sister, Kate, at the beginning of the play: she is soft-spoken, sweet, and unassuming. Because of her beauty and her mild behavior, several men vying for her hand. Baptista, however, will not let her marry until Kate is wed.

Baptista – Minola Baptista is one of the wealthiest men in Padua, and his daughters become the prey of many suitors due to the substantial dowries he can offer. At the opening of the play, he is already desperate to find her a suitor, having decided that she must marry before Bianca does.

Lucentio – A young student from Pisa, the good-natured Lucentio comes to Padua to study at the city’s renowned university, but he is immediately sidetracked when he falls in love with Bianca at first sight. By disguising himself as a classics instructor named Cambio, he convinces Gremio to offer him to Baptista as a tutor for Bianca. He wins her love, but his impersonation gets him into trouble when his father, Vincentio, visits Padua.

Tranio – Lucentio’s servant. Tranio accompanies Lucentio from Pisa. Wry and comical, he plays an important part in his master’s charade”he assumes Lucentio’s identity and bargains with Baptista for Bianca’s hand.

Gremio And Hortensio – Two gentlemen of Padua. Gremio and Hortensio are Bianca’s suitors at the beginning of the play. Though they are rivals, these older men also become friends during their mutual frustration with and rejection by Bianca. Hortensio directs Petruchio to Kate and then dresses up as a music instructor to court Bianca.

Grumio – Petruchio’s servant and the fool of the play”a source of much comic relief.

Biondello – Lucentio’s second servant, who assists his master and Tranio in carrying out their plot. The two themes I noticed was how they used marriage as an economic institution, and the effects of social roles on an individual’s happiness The Spectacles in the play help me understand where and when the play occurred. I can tell by the clothing who is wealthy and who is poorer. Judging from the clothing I can tell that they are from the English part of the word several hundred years ago.

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