Notes on Taming of the Shrew Themes

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Taming of the Shrew Topic Tracking: Loyalty/Obedience

Loyalty/Obedience 1: Tranio advises Lucentio to obey his heart and mind. He must study what he loves and not simply what his father commands. Lucentio's loyalty is therefore divided between that of his father and of his heart.

Loyalty/Obedience 2: Both Hortensio and Gremio are initially loyal to their infatuation with Bianca. They will do anything necessary in order to free her for marriage. They plan to obey Baptista's order and find a husband for Kate, so that Bianca may then marry (hopefully one of them).

Loyalty/Obedience 3: If Petruchio can tame and marry Kate, the men who love Bianca will become forever loyal and indebted to him. Petruchio's successful actions will allow Bianca to marry, and Hortensio, Lucentio, and Gremio will do anything for him if he succeeds.

Loyalty/Obedience 4: Kate complains that her father, Baptista, only swears allegiance and loyalty to Bianca. She is upset that he only seems to obey Bianca's desires and storms off after striking her sister.

Loyalty/Obedience 5: Petruchio informs Kate that he has already spoken with her father. She must obey her father's wishes and mandate and marry whoever her father chooses for her. Petruchio is loyal to his word and intends to tame her and make her into a household wife, a household Kate.

Loyalty/Obedience 6: After their sudden marriage, Kate is shocked to see her husband leave town. She believes he should be loyal to her and their marriage. He believes the same and wisps her away with him. They leave - together - as a couple seemingly loyal to one another.

Loyalty/Obedience 7: Vincentio tries to discover the loyalty behind Tranio's actions, but fails to do so. Tranio is loyal to Lucentio (and not his ultimate master, Vincentio). He does not tell Vincentio the truth and obeys only the absent Lucentio. Vincentio continues to explain to everyone that Tranio is a servant who should be loyal to his master's father, Vincentio. Nobody listens to Vincentio, still viewing him a madman.

Loyalty/Obedience 8: Although he has deceived him in the past, Lucentio immediately shows his loyalty to his father by bowing down to him and making his presence known. Lucentio reveals himself to Vincentio and explains the reason behind his mistaken identity and servile attire.

Loyalty/Obedience 9: The men decide not only to test the shrewish nature of their wives, but also to discover who is the most loyal. They make a wager to discover both of these truths. Petruchio cannot believe that the men would wager so low, in concern to their wives. Loyal to his Kate, he raises the wager from 20 to 100 crowns.

Loyalty/Obedience 10: When Biondello brings Kate to the table, she has proven her newly changed state. She is now fully loyal and obedient to her husband and illustrates this duty by not only coming when he calls her, but also by leaving and bringing Bianca and the widow with her to the table when asked. No one is more surprised at her obedience than her father, Baptista. On the contrary, Bianca and the widow express a lack of obedience and loyalty to their husbands, as they do not come at their husbands' beck and call.

Loyalty/Obedience 11: As Kate recites her final soliloquy, she illustrates her intense loyalty to her husband. As she has learned throughout the play, she must obey her husband and do whatever he desires. She is his for better and worse and cements this fact by not only obeying his every whim, but also by stating in extreme detail and eloquence, how much she belongs to her husband. This statement is the ultimate proof of her tamed nature.

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