The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew is a comic play written by William Shakespeare. The entire story is depicted as a play presented to Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker.  A mischievous nobleman tricks Sly into believing him as a nobleman. He is said that he was insane for the past few years and is the lord actually. The men introduce a troupe of actors ready to present a play for the lord. The play that Sly watches is the Taming of the Shrew.

About the Author :

Shakespeare, the English national poet, is the greatest dramatist. His conventional writing style includes rhetorical phrases and elaborate metaphors. Most of his plot and characters depict histories, tragedies, tragicomedies, and romance. Some of his notable works include Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, As You like it, The Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night.

Summary :

The play takes place in the Italian city of Padua. Lucentio is a rich young man, who arrives at the city with his servants, Tranio and Biondello. Lucentio comes to begin his studies at the local university. Meanwhile, he sees Bianca, a beautiful young woman and falls for her instantly. His love encounters two major problems. Firstly, he has to tackle two other suitors of Bianca – Gremio and Hortensio. Secondly, Bianca’s wealthy old father, Baptista Minola, has announced to marry Bianca only after her sister, Katherine is married. However, contrary to Bianca, Katherine is a vicious, ill-tempered woman.

Lucentio decides to win Bianca’s heart in the first hand. He disguises himself as her Latin tutor and spends time with her. On the other hand, Hortensio, for the same reason, disguises himself as a music teacher. Meanwhile, Tranio dresses up as Lucentio and starts consulting Baptista about marrying his daughter.

The suitors are relieved when Petruchio, a friend of Hortensio arrives from Verona searching for a rich wife. He is a brash young man, and so does no care of what Katherine is up to, as long as she brings him wealth. Without even seeing Katherine, he agrees to marry her. When he arrives at Baptista’s house to meet Katherine, they encounter an awful duel of words. Soon after the insult, Petruchio tells her that he will marry her no matter what she thinks. He meets Baptista and falsely mentions Katherine’s consent for the marriage on Sunday. On knowing this, Katherine becomes strangely silent, and the marriage is all set.

On the wedding day, Petruchio arrive late, making Katherine fear for becoming an old maid. He arrives in a ridiculous outfit on a broken-down horse. Soon after the wedding, he forces Katherine to leave before the feast and they both travel to his country house. He furiously announces everyone that she is his property and he can do anything with her. After reaching his house he starts taming her in his own way. He deprives her of sleep and food, in the name of love and care.

Meanwhile, in Padua, Lucentio woos Bianca and wins her heart. Hortensio’s attempt to woo her fails and he marries a wealthy widow. Tranio gets the approval of Baptista for giving Bianca to Lucentio, for a huge sum of money. However, Baptista agrees to it but mentions to give his daughter in marriage only after he gets the confirmation from Lucentio’s father. With no other choice, Tranio and Lucentio try to find an old man to act as his father. Tranio takes the help of an old pedant to speak to Baptista, but Bianca and Lucentio complicate the situation by eloping.

Meanwhile, Katherine arrives in Padua with Petruchio. On the way, Katherine is forced to agree with everything Petruchio says. When Petruchio meets Lucentio’s father, Vincentio, he declares him as a woman to which Katherine agrees. And when he mentions he is a man, she apologizes to Vincentio. His ‘taming’ of his wife worked well such that she agrees the sun as the moon when Petruchio says so.

They reach Padua where Vincentio discovers Tranio masquerading as Lucentio. Finally, Bianca and Lucentio arrive to announce their marriage. Both Baptista and Vincentio agree to it. Later a banquet is arranged for Hortensio’s wedding and everyone is shocked to find a ‘tamed’ Katherine. She is kind obeying everything that Petruchio says. The three newly wedded grooms plan a contest to test their wife’s commitment by sending a servant to call them. To everyone’s surprise, Petruchio wins as Katherine obeys and arrives immediately after his word. The couple leaves the banquet happily while everyone astonishes how Petruchio has tamed the shrew.​

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