Bianca and Lucentio and Kate and Petruchio are quite memorable couples in Shakespeare’s classic tale, The Taming of the Shrew. Bianca and Kate, total opposites, are pursued ardently by their suitors for totally opposite reasons. Lucentio falls in love at first sight with the beautiful and modest Bianca, while Petruchio begins his courtship of Kate with a slightly more mercenary motive. In The Taming of the Shrew, Kate and Bianca are successfully wed and their marriages, which begin completely differently, travel a path through the course of the play which alters the individuals, the couples, and their marriages in different ways.
Upon arriving in Padua to set upon “a course of learning and ingenious studies” (Act I, scene 1, line 9), Lucentio spots the lovely Bianca. Lucentio immediately falls in love with the young and fair lady and cannot resist pursuing Bianca for his wife. As he says to his servant, “I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio, if I achieve not this young, modest girl” (Act I, scene 1, lines 150-151). Since Baptista, Bianca’s father, has decreed that Bianca’s shrewish sister, Kate, must be married first, Lucentio develops a complicated plan to disguise and present himself to Bianca’s father as an instructor for Bianca. This will allow him secretly to woo Bianca while Tranio, pretending to be Lucentio, tries to convince Baptista that Lucentio will be the perfect husband for Bianca. The plan falls flawlessly into place, and Lucentio and Bianca run off to be happily married though without the initial acceptance of Signor Baptista. When they return, all disguises and deceptions are revealed. Signor Baptista is shocked and embarrassed but eventually accepts their marriage. Thus, the relationship of Bianca and Lucentio begins with immediate infatuation, or love at first sight, when Lucentio accidentally spies the lovely Bianca, and their courtship revolves around an elaborate deception. They elope under the cloud of that... [continues]
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