In The Taming of the Shrew it's nearly impossible to talk about language without discussing power. In the play language is often synonymous with physical violence and, in some cases, speech acts are more harmful than combat or physical means of torture. Even when witty arguments are used as a device for comic relief or functions as a stand in for sexual foreplay, its relationship to power and hierarchy is undeniable. Language also goes a long way to characterize various figures in the play. As in any text, one's rhetorical skill can reveal a character's social standing, motivations, fears, and attitudes.
In the play, characters often demonstrate their power by controlling other people's speech.
The Taming of the Shrew often portrays language as though it is capable of causing physical damage.