The Taming of the Shrew is one of acclaimed playwright, William Shakespeare’s, earliest plays. However, despite the fact that it was written around 1592, in the Elizabethan era, the Taming of the Shrew is still widely read and appreciated today, over 400 years later. One of the primary reasons for the continued attraction of this play is our fascination with its main character, Katherina, daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola, and sister of much adored Bianca. She is seen at the start of the play to have shrew-like characteristics, but as the play progresses, she is turned “from a wild Kate to a Kate conformable as other household Kates” (2.1.270-271). Not only is Katherina relatable, she also provides responders with insights into their context and themselves. The themes Katherina represents and the circumstances she faces throughout the text make Katherina very easy to relate to. Transformation is the most strongly illustrated theme in the Taming of the Shrew and, although it’s reflected dramatically through other characters disguising themselves, the major transformation is portrayed through Katherina as a result of her ‘taming’. Katherine is transformed from a forceful, stubborn character believing no one should control her, to an obedient, loyal, wife. This demonstrates one’s capacity to change, something responders can easily relate to as change is a part of human nature. The theme of family relationships is also reflected upon through Katherina. Not only is the husband-wife relationship explored, but also father-daughter relationships and sibling rivalry, interactions most responders would have a strong connection to. These relationships are explored through Katherina’s contrast with her sister, Bianca. Bianca is the youngest and favourite daughter of Baptista Minola. When we first encounter her, she is surrounded by her doting dad who “will ne’er love thee (Bianca) less (than Katherina)” (1.1.97), her jealous sister, and a group of...
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