The Taming of the Shrew Essay

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Contradictions between appearance and reality constitute a central issue in The Taming of the Shrew and figure in many discussions of the play's other themes and of the development of its characters. In 1963, Cecil C. Seronsy, in an essay excerpted below, asserted that its structural unity derives from the playwright's ingenious development of the theme of "supposes." Petruchio, the critic contended, succeeds in transforming Katherina by "supposing" that her appearance of shrewishness does not represent her "real" nature. Seronsy links this theme of transformation in the main plot to the string of deceptions in the subplot and the failure of the other bridegrooms to effect similar transformations in their brides. Four years later, Irving Ribner examined the play's use of contrasts between appearance and reality as 'part of his argument that in the play Shakespeare critiques two common Elizabethan views of courtship and marriage. In this essay, also...

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This section contains 4,141 words
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The Taming of the Shrew from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.