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Shakespeare, William: The Taming of the Shrew Batt

le of the SexesIn the play The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, Petrucio recognizes, respects and
desires Katherines strength of character. Petrucio is a clever man who sees beyond facades because he
uses them in addition to a lot of irony himself. (II, i 46) (II, I 283 – 89) He is stimualted by Katherines
sharp tongue and harsh actions. He proves this in many ways throughout the play.
Petrucio is not in desperate need of money, but comes to Padua to find a rich wife. He says To
wive and thrive as best I may, when he is telling Hortensio why he came to Padua. He means that he has
come to find a wife and get richer. From Petrucios response to his friend Hortensio (I,ii 64 – 75), it might
be said that Petrucio came to Padua to make himself richer by marriage no matter how wretched the
woman. I dont believe this is true. He also tells Hortensio that his father has died and that he is out in the
world to gain experiences he cannot at home, and to find a wife secondary. (I,ii 49 – 57) Petrucio enjoys
verbal sport and a non-conventional sense of humor. Petrucio surrounds himself with neither tame nor
conforming people. You can even see this in his servants. His servants like him very much and enjoy his
entertainments. An example of this is when Petrucio and his servant man Grumio get into a disagreement
about knocking on the gate. Reflective of this is Petrucios methods to woo Katherine. His methods are
game like and outrageous. Such as when he beats up Grumio because Kates horse stumbles, or showing
up late to the wedding. While showing Katherine how ridiculous she is about things, he is also making her
feel special, which is something she never felt in life.He also says that This is the way to kill a wife with
kindness. (IV,i 211) This is his courting method of when he makes the wife feel to good for everything
surrounding her. When they eat dinner once he complains Endanger choler planteth anger. since of
ourselves are choleric. (IV, I 177) While Petrucio may not agree with what society has determined to be
proper, he is aware of the importance to conform. He knows the ways of society and that he must
demonstrate this to Katherine, who has no regard for public presentation.
Petrucio is totally taken by Katherines personality as Biancas beauty and coyness takes the other
suitors. It is in Hortensios description of Katherine that Petrucio is captured. He describes her as wealthy,
young, beautiful, properly brought up, intolerably curst, shrewd and forward. (I, ii 85 – 89) Though
Hortensio finds his description of Katherine repulsive, Lucentio finds it intriguing and is he himself possess
some of these qualities and is proud of it. The fact that these qualities are considered negative in Kate, but
not in Petrucio is a reflection of the societal standards of the 1500s. Petrucio claims that she could be As
foul as Florentious love (I, ii 69) It seems that he is turned on by the challenge. Although no one believed
that Petrucio would be able to stand Katherine, he says that he must have her as a wife, and that he was
born to tame her. Gremio asks Who will undertake to woo curst Katherinehave you told them of her
faults? (I,ii 184 – 187) When Katherine is told of the wedding arrangements she says Ill see thee
hangd on Sunday first. (II, I 301) This, or the slap he reaches later does not seem to discourage the
strong willed Petrucio at all.It does not appear that Petrucio does not want to conquer or truly tame Kate.
He is a man who is very confident in himself and does not need someone to boost his ego.

He also seems like he would be disappointed if she were tamed to easily, because he seems to enjoy the
challenge. Petrucio seems to love challenges and constantly surrounds himself with challenging people. It
seems his perfect match would be a woman who could produce a challenge and sharpen his wits. If he had
wanted someone conformed, he would have gone more for someone like Bianca. Even though she claims
it, Kate does no think Petrucio is really insane, which he is not. Peter, one of Petrucios servantmen, says,
He kills her n her own humour. (IV, I 183) Grumio says, by this reckoning he is more shrewd than
she. When people question Petrucio and Katherines relationship he says she still be curst in company,
(II,I 307) but claims that in private she hangs on his neck and kisses him, which is far from true.His
exotic shows show her what she is like, exaggerated. It takes her a while to realize this. When first being
introduced to Petrucio she yells at her father You have shownd a tender fatherly regard, / To wish me
wed to one half lunatic; / a mad – cup ruffian.

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After spending time with her, Petrucio becomes completely taken with Katherine. It seems to all
work out in the end when Petrucio and Katherine prove themselves to be a better match than all of the other
couples. Because they are so much alike, Kate takes to Petrucios games and words of irony. (IV, v 37 –
I feel certain that Petrucio and Katherine will have a great time as a couple, and that Katherine is
not necessarily tamed. I think they will both have their own victories in light of eachother and continue to
shock society. It turns out the Petrucio wanted a women with similar qualities to his own, to challenge him,
sharpen his wits, and keep his interest.


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