The Taming of the Shrew Essay

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Critics have long noted the play's emphasis on role-playing; in 1839, for instance, Hermann Ulrici asserted that both the Induction and the main action of The Shrew dramatize the principle that people should accept the roles in life "which nature has assigned" them. More recently, Charles Brooks (1960) suggested that Katherina learns to play the role of the obedient wife not only as a way to ensure domestic harmony but also as a means by which she and Petruchio can amuse themselves at the expense of others. Richard Henze, in a 1970 article excerpted below, interpreted The Shrew as "a dramatic exploration of the nature of role playing in comedy and in life." Under Petruchio's expert direction, the critic argued, Katherina learns to playa variety of parts so proficiently that her role in her marriage becomes indistinguishable from her role in life. Two years later, Ralph Berry proposed that while the...

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This section contains 3,328 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.