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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding would do little good upon him: (1.2.8)


When Grumio notes that Katherine doesn't have a chance against Petruchio, he lets on that perhaps Petruchio's (future) transformation from an average guy to a domineering bully, who is more of a "shrew" than Kate, is more common than Petruchio lets on. It seems that P has played this game before.

Quote #2

I'll tell you what sir, an she stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face and so disfigure her with it that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat. You know him not, sir. (1.2.8)


When Grumio assures Hortensio that Petruchio will beat Kate in a verbal battle of wits, he suggests that Petruchio's words, his "figures" of speech, have the power to physically alter Kate's appearance. (Like acid might burn and transform a person's face.) This anticipates Kate's transformation from railing shrew to an obedient wife. And though Petruchio never lays a hand on Kate, his taming tactics – starvation, forced sleep deprivation, etc. – do cause Kate to physically suffer, just as acid would.

Quote #3

Young budding virgin, fair and fresh and sweet, Whither away, or where is thy abode? Happy the parents of so fair a child; Happier the man, whom favourable stars Allot thee for his lovely bed-fellow! (4.5.6)


It's no surprise that the moment of Kate's so-called "transformation" (the moment Petruchio breaks her will and tames her) occurs when she and Petruchio transform an old man into a "budding virgin." Part of what makes Kate a new kind of person is her ability to pretend, just like an actor.

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