Act Five Scene One Taming of the Shrew

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In act 5 scene 1 how would you direct the characters use of body language, facial expressions and vocals to create a comical response from the audience? Outline your casting decisions.

* Merchants worry ‘’what’s he that knocks as he would beat down the gate * Merchants shock ‘’ay sir so his mother says if I may believer her * Vincentio’s worry ‘’O he hath murdered his master * Tranio’s exaggeration ‘’sir, what are you that offer to beat MY servent’’

In act 5 Scene 1 of Taming of the shrew comedy is created in Shakespeare’s usual way; through confusion and deception. The characters creating the most comical responses for the audience are the merchant, Vincentio and Petruchio who I will direct to over exaggerate their body language and facial expressions to create a comedic response; in fitting with Shakespeare’s aims to create a play of a comic genre. I will cast the Merchant as an extremely poor man, therefore creating comedy due to the irony he is nothing like the man he is impersonating, and create Vincentio as an extremely wealthy and tall man (giving him power through levels); creating comedy through contrast with his supposed ‘’lookalike.’’

At the beginning of Act five Scene one the audience instantly see the actor playing the merchant, placed on an apron stage (to keep the historical nature of the piece) overcome with worry. As the actor playing the merchant says the line ‘’what’s he that knocks as he would beat down the gate’’ I will direct the actor to pace ridiculously quickly around the stage whilst running his hands rapidly through his hair; over exaggerating the merchants worry and stress. I will also direct him to speak with an overly fast pace, extremely high pitch and quiet volume; conveying the merchant is stressed about being found out. I will also ask him to sigh in an over exaggerated fashion whilst darting his head around in a worried fashion; to convey the merchant is nervous about being found out (he thinks if he’s...
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