Different Interpretations of the Relationship Between Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew
The play, "The Taming of the Shrew" is based around the process of
Petruchio attempting to tame Katerina; therefore there is a great
amount of dialogue devoted to the process. The Taming of the Shrew is
performed in many different places to many different audiences, and is
directed by many different directors. These all create a number of
styles in which the play is performed. Certain moments in the play can
seem very different to different types of audiences and the characters
themselves can be portrayed as a completely different kind of person
from one play to the next.
Petruchio had decided before even meeting Katherina that he would
marry her. The first reason for this seemed to be that Kate's father,
Baptista, was wealthy and wealth meant a lot to Petruchio. We know
this because of one line in which Petruchio reveals his intentions to
marry into a wealthy family.
"â€¦come to wive it wealthily in Padua."
This could be taken in either of two ways. The first is the most
obvious, that Petruchio is not interested in love or a happy
relationship and is only in Padua because he believes he can marry a
woman with a large dowry and expensive possessions which was often the
expectation of a man at the time. It could however be taken as simply
a realistic view on his part. Petruchio may still be looking for a
loving relationship, but to keep high standards of living he must look
for a wife whose dowry will be able to support them well. He also
looks to marry 'suitably' and is obviously concerned with having a
comfortable life afterwards.
However, upon meeting Kate, Petruchio realises that Kate is in fact
beautiful and he has already begun to formulate a plan to tame Kate
and make her his wife. Petruchio uses many conventional images of
beauty in his short soliloquy before Katherina enters and before he
has even met her. This seems to be because he now feels that he may be
able to love Kate as well as marry her.
"She sings as sweetly as a nightingale."
The first meeting of Kate and Petruchio is a good example of a key
moment of the taming process and also of how different interpretations
of the play can be formed. Kate begins the meeting with Petruchio in
an angry, shrewish frame of mind but Petruchio, being ready for this
begins the taming process immediately. Their entire conversation
consists of word games and misunderstandings (intentional or
otherwise) and Petruchio manages to infuriate Kate even more by
pretending he hears the opposite to Kate's actual words.
Petruchio: Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour.
Katherina: It is my fashion when I see a crab.
Petruchio: Why, here's no crab, and therefore look not sour.
Kate seems to be...