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"Taming Of The Shrew": Was Petruchio Effective In Taming Kate? Evaluate His Effectiveness. (Persuasive Essay)

1250 words - 5 pages

The play "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare tells a story of love and marriage that takes place during the Elizabethean era. The two main characters of the play are Petruchio and Katharina. To the reader, Kate is depicted as a shrew; a nagging and scolding woman who refuses to abide by the rules of society. Petruchio, a man of Verona weds Kate and takes on the task to change Kate from her feared state as a bad-tempered woman into a kind-hearted gentlewoman. Using clever methods such as bending her will with kindness, matching her shrewish demeanor with quick wit and shrewish behavior of his own and reinforcing his status as a man, Petruchio is able to successfully and effectively "tame" the shrew that Kate is.One might consider that one of Petruchio's most interesting methods to tame Kate would be the strategy he refers to as "killing a wife with kindness". This strategy involves Petruchio treating Kate with kindness and constantly praising her even when Kate doesnot return the favour. In situations where something unkind is to said, he is cleverly ableto manipulate his words to hurt Kate but makes himself look innocent. This becomesevident when Petruchio first meets Kate where he states:Say that she rail, why then I'll tell her plainShe sings as sweetly as a nightingale.Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clearAs morning roses newly wash'd with dew....(II.i.171-174).The purpose of this awkward plan is plainly to get Kate to fall in love with him. He is aware of her shrewish attitude, and it is in his best interest to not knock heads with her.Although Kate does not take to it instantly, it slowly builds up over the days. Notably sowhen the couple first arrives in Verona when they are offered meat for dinner. Petruchioimmediately exclaims, "'Tis burnt, and so is all the meat. / What dogs are these! Where isthe rascal cook?" (IV.i.156-157). To this, Kate replies, "I pray you, husband, be not sodisquiet. / The meat was well if you were so contented." (IV.i.163-164).The sign of desperation from Kate to keep the meat shows how Petruchio is beginning to gain controlover her. Even though Petruchio is starving her, he makes it seem as though the meat is bad and is doing it for Kate's well being. Similarly during the nights, he continues to talk on and on about his love for her. Once again, thought at first glance it seems kind, hisintentions are to cause her misery. Petruchio is able to cunningly execute this strategy to perfection and over time, is able to convince Kate to believe in his ways.It would seem one might conclude without doubt, that the town of Padua brands Kate as a shrew. She was known to be a sharp-tongued and quarrelsome woman without theproper respect to authority.This is because until she met Petruchio, Kate found that that if she behaved in a very loud and obnoxious way, she could get what she wants. WhenPetruchio of Verona comes into the scene, he decides that the way to tame Kate is for him to act "more shrew...

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