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The Taming of the Shrew Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #1

O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies!
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man. (Induction.1.35-37)

The Lord's decision to punish Sly, by transforming him from a "beast" to a "nobleman," anticipates the way Petruchio will force Kate to change from a "shrew" to an "obedient wife." Both of these forced metamorphoses raise Kate and Sly to more acceptable social roles, but Shakespeare calls into question whether these changes are permanent or even genuine.

Quote #2

I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman.
I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
When they do homage to this simple peasant. (Induction.1.136-141)

Part of the Lord's elaborate plot to turn Sly from a "swine" into a nobleman involves the transformation of his servants (and himself) into role-playing characters, a reminder that all actors (including Shakespeare) undergo transformations each time they set foot on stage.

Quote #3

And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
I promised to inquire carefully
About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca,
And by good fortune I have lighted well
On this young man, for learning and behavior
Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
And other books—good ones, I warrant you. (1.2.165-172)

Gremio has no idea that the tutor he hired for Bianca is really Lucentio, a young man who has fallen in love Bianca. In the play, physical disguises are modes of deception that suggest all forms of transformation are temporary and not to be taken at face value.

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