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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Taming of the Shrew

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The play (including its title) is full of animal imagery, especially as it relates to the training and domesticating or hunting of birds and beasts. In the Induction, the Lord refers to Sly as a "s...

Setting

The InductionThe Induction scenes take place in the English countryside – first in front of a tavern, where the drunken Sly is literally plucked from his low-brow world and deposited at the L...

Genre

The Taming of the Shrew is most definitely a "Comedy" – a generic category that has a few basic rules and operating principles: a light and humorous tone; clever language and witty banter; de...

Tone

Shakespeare's ability to make fun of his characters, his audience, and theater professionals (including himself) gives The Taming of the Shrew a playful quality. The play is introspective and invit...

Writing Style

The Taming of the Shrew is famous for its fast-paced and witty dialogue – playful banter between characters is often full of clever punning, plays on words, and a lot of bawdy humor. The clea...

What's Up With the Title?

Everybody knows The Taming of the Shrew is not about the domestication of an actual "shrew" (the mammal Sorex araneus). Rather, the play's title refers to the way Petruchio breaks the will of the "...

What's Up With the Ending?

Kate's final speech (the longest one in the play) at the end of Shrew has perplexed critics, audiences, and students for centuries. We know that Kate has outwardly transformed by the time she finis...

Tough-o-Meter

We know that Shakespeare's language can be intimidating at first, but you'll get used to it. (Nobody pops out of the womb being fluent in Elizabethan poetry.) It's true, too, that keeping track of...

Plot Analysis

Kate's shrewish behavior and attitude leave her with zero marriage prospects and a difficult relationship with her family. Petruchio is looking for a rich wife.Poor Bianca can't have boyfriends or...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Comedy

Kate behaves like a shrew and has no marriage prospects.According to Booker, Katherine's shrewishness places her in a "dark" state. Not only does she behave badly, she fails to recognize that her s...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Kate's shrewish behavior has isolated her from her family and she has zero marriage prospects. Petruchio comes to town looking for a rich bride and agrees to marry Kate despite her shrewishness.Kat...

Trivia

John Fletcher, a contemporary of Shakespeare's, wrote a sequel play in response to Taming of the Shrew. The play is called The Woman's Prize or, The Tamer Tamed. It's about a guy who gets remarried...

Steaminess Rating

If you ever catch a performance of Taming of the Shrew your mom won't make you cover your eyes, but she might make you cover your ears. There's no nudity and definitely no sex on stage, but there a...

Allusions

Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy (Induction.1)John Fletcher, A Woman Pleased (Induction.1)Ovid, Metamorphosis (Induction.2)Ovid, Art of Love (1.2.)Gascoigne, George, The Supposes (Induction.2) Erasm...
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