Archetypes in Taming of the Shrew

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Taming of the Shrew is a romantic comedy written by William Shakespeare in the 1500’s. It takes place in the city of Padua, presumably during the Italian Renaissance. The major conflict of the play is ‘taming’ a hot-headed woman named Katherine and to overcome the rule her father holds on his two daughters where the eldest marries first. The script brings up a lot of attention in the feminist theory. But, Shakespeare’s play reflects on the archetypes of characters, situations, and symbols. These connections are made in the play to make the audience familiar with the text and provide a deeper understanding.

The first form of archetypal theory that will be expressed on is the character archetypes found throughout the story. Petruchio is a gentleman from Verona. Very loud, eccentric, and frequently drunk, he has arrived in Padua looking for love. All he wishes for is a woman with an enormous dowry. The Jungian character archetype chose to describe Petruchio is the Hero. Petruchio is considered a Hero because of his ways to woo and tame the shrew, thus making Bianca available to marry. Before even meeting Kate, thinking she’s the perfect women to match his love, he sets his plans for her on how he’s going to tame. (II.i.186-199)

Pet. I pray you do; I will attend her here
And woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say that she rail...Say that she frown, I’ll say she looks as clear As morning roses newly washed with dew...Then I’ll command her volubility, And say she uttereth piercing eloquenece.
If she do bid me pack...As though she bid me stay by her a week; If she deny to wed, I’ll crave the day
When I shall ask the banes, and when be married.
Bianca is the younger daughter of Baptista and sister of Kate. At the beginning of the play, she proves herself to be the opposite of her sister, a soft-spoken, sweet, beautiful woman. Bianca comes across as a women figure archetype, the Temptress. Bianca is proven to be a temptress after Lucentio says he found...
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