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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

Language and Communication Quotes Page 3

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Quote #7

For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack. (2.1.11)

When Hortensio warns Petruchio of Kate's unruliness, Petruchio speaks as though Kate is a ship to be raided (boarded) by him. This suggests that Petruchio sees Kate as a conquest to be taken by force and violence.

Quote #8

Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife; your dowry 'greed on;
And, Will you, nill you, I will marry you. (2.1.39)

Petruchio's insistence that Kate has no choice in her marriage speaks to Kate's utter powerlessness. Despite the fact that Baptista says Kate must agree to marry Petruchio, the two men have already reached a decision about the engagement. Petruchio's play on the term "nill" is also pretty menacing. Literally speaking, Petruchio implies that whether Kate likes it or not, he's going to marry her. "Nill" can also be a play on "nil" (meaning non-existent). In this way, Petruchio implies that he'll either marry Kate or "nil" her (take her life). This is one of several creepy allusions to Kate's death.

Quote #9

PETRUCHIO
It shall be seven ere I go to horse:
Look, what I speak, or do, or think to do,
You are still crossing it. Sirs, let't alone:
I will not go to-day; and ere I do,
It shall be what o'clock I say it is.
HORTENSIO
[Aside] Why, so this gallant will command the sun. (4.3.19)

Hortensio admires Petruchio's ability to "command the sun," a metaphor for the way Petruchio controls how Kate will spend her time. In doing so, he elevates Petruchio's control over his marriage to a godlike state.

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