The Taming of the Shrew Education Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.
What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher
Sly, old Sly's son of Burtonheath, by birth a
pedlar, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a
bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? (Induction.2.3)
This passage does a lot to demonstrate the formal education divide in the play – as it is today, formal education in the play is indicative of social class and power. Its distribution between the haves and the have-nots becomes clear when Sly reveals a laundry list of low-level trade jobs.
Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy;
And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute. (1.1.1)
Lucentio arrives in Padua with good intentions – he believes his commitment to his studies will please his family. This plan is quickly abandoned, however, when Lucentio falls in love with Bianca and decides to dress up as a "tutor," an ironic twist. Bianca, however, is the one who teaches Lucentio a lesson when she turns out not to be the silent and obedient woman Lucentio expects her to be.
Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
Or so devote to Aristotle's cheques
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have
And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysics,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
In brief, sir, study what you most affect. (1.1.1.)
Tranio's insistence that Lucentio study "Ovid" is actually a clever way of promoting the relevance of real–life experience – falling in love. Critics point out that Shrew tends to agree with Tranio's point of view. Formal education is often usurped by worldly learning.