Deception in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

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Deception in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

By | March 2013
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Analytical Essay
Year 10 English

In the Shakespearian play: The Taming of the Shrew, deception is one of the major concepts. A tangled web is created in the play through deception of character behavior and the change between clothing and class. Most of the deception in the play have particular motives behind them and create dramatic irony. Shakespeare has used dramatic irony to create a comedic play.

Character deception in The Taming of the Shrew is used largely, and Lucentio one of the main characters in the play uses deception throughout some of the first few acts. Lucentio, upon seeing the beauty of Bianca ‘falls in love at first sight’ and wishes to conjure a plan to woo her. Tranio (Lucentio’s best-friend) assists Lucentio in his quest by coming up with an idea for Lucentio to disguise himself as Bianca’s Latin Tutor upon hearing that only schoolmasters may see Bianca. “You will be a schoolmaster and undertake the teaching of the maid; that’s your device,” (Act I Scene I; The Taming of the Shrew). Lucentio gladly agrees and disguises himself as Bianca’s Latin Tutor whose name is Cambio.

Another character in The Taming of the Shrew who ‘participates’ in the act of deception is Christopher Sly. Sly is the target of a local lord for a prank and at the time, he is severely intoxicated. The lord’s men find Sly outside of an alehouse and take him to the lord’s estate where he is dressed in the lord’s clothing, and put into the lord’s bed. Once Sly comes around, he is convinced by the lord’s men that he himself is a lord, and that he only thinks that he is a tinker because he has been insane for the past few years. The servants hound him, all taking part in the prank. “Would your lordship prefer some imported wine?”

“Would your honor like to try this dried fruit?”
“What garmet would your Honor like to wear today?” (Act I Scene I The Taming of the Shrew). Bewildered, Sly protests, yet he is finally convinced that he is a lord by his supposed wife;...