Taming Of The Shrew Criticism Essay

The clothes you wear can never fully hide the person beneath them. These disguises are central to the plot of the play as well as to the tone and the general entertainment. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew is not a play about passion and true love.

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The first argument is given by Lise Pederson and simply questions if the means would really produce the end. The disguises are important in this play because they allow the characters to go between the social barriers and also set up two questions; do the clothes make the man and can you judge a book by its cover? Each of the characters are temporarily successful with their disguise but eventually all falls apart. When talking about Petruchio’s treatment of Kate and the techniques he uses to “tame” her, Pederson implies that Shakespeare’s play does not comply with reality because “it asserts that the example of bad-tempered, uncontrolled behavior can only bring about behavior of the same kind in the learner, not a change to the sweet-tempered reasonableness such as Kate exhibits. Other critics, such as John Bean, seems content with the transformation seen with Kate and are not bothered by the means of producing the transformation either. John Bean reasons that “we can perhaps see that Kate is tamed not in the automatic manner of behavioral psychology but in the spontaneous manner of the later romantic comedies where characters lose themselves in chaos and emerge, as if from a dream, liberated into the bonds of love. In Bean’s eyes, Kate has transformed into a good woman and therefore the change must be for the better. Originally I had to agree with Pederson on this issue, partially because I feel that Bean’s argument is lacking a basis. Also, being a woman, I feel like being strong-willed in a man’s world is an asset that should be retained, neither to be beaten out of or lost by a woman. The final and most controversial theme in The Taming of the Shrew is transformation. ” The Authority of Experience: Essays in Feminist Criticism. An online dictionary defines transformation as “A marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better. The lord convinces the poor man that he is actually a lord himself and that the troop of actors that have arrived are there to perform a play for him.This play that the troop of actors performs is the story of Petruchio, who wants to marry for money, and Katherina, the shrew.


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