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Lecture 4 The Taming of the Shrew Act 1, Scene 2 Lecture Focus Sources of Conflict in Drama, Women in Literature, and Shrew Additional background critical considerations in relation to Act 1, and Plot Highlights of Act 1, Scene 2, Dramatic presentation of character The threefold Structure: Induction; Main Plot; and Sub-Plot Dramatic Techniques Dramatic Effects Theme of Appearance and Reality Think of sources of Conflict? Money; property; Women, especially young, beautiful women; Love; eros; romance; sexual desire; Other men; especially men of wealth, power, and influence; ambition; competition Masculine Power, and power disputes; Male-Female rivalry; The battle of the sexes; and how women contest male power, domination and control [Paper 5 Concerns] Conflict arising from ourselves; inner conflict Conflict between Appearance and Reality; Disguise Women in Literature / Drama How female experience is portrayed in Literature? Dramatized in Drama? How is female experience portrayed in Shakespeare? More particularly in Shrew? Was Shakespeare a chauvinist? Sexist? Shakespeare put language into the mouths of many of his male characters that nowadays appears sexist, given its uncomplimentary references to women; Consider Petruchio’s ‘chattel’ speech Petruchio speaks of his wife, Kate: ‘She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My house-hold stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything.’ [Act 3, Sc 2] Students need to balance such evidence against Shakespeare’s portrayal of his female characters; Explore different ways of speaking Petruchio’s lines; Critically consider how serious is he? Or is it all intended not to be taken seriously? As a joke? Is this one of Petruchio’s disguises? What of other women characters in Shakespeare? Shakespeare’s plays are filled with resourceful, self-confident women Who create their own space, and achieve or represent a spirited independence; Lady Macbeth, Gonerill and Regan; Cleopatra; Beatrice; and Katherina Some feminist literary critics interpret his plays as sympathetic to feminism; Others see Shakespeare as supportive of patriarchy. (Through reasoned argument) Patriarchy, Eros and Sexuality Just as sexuality has always been constituted within the parameters of a male bodily order So the feminine and eros have been constituted within a masculine economy of pleasure and power; A culture where men govern the nature of all erotic, amorous, and sexual experience; Consider these perspectives in relation to your Paper 5 concerns in your set texts. Many of Shakespeare’s plays concern themselves with the nature of women, their position / place in society and their treatment; In The Taming of the Shrew, Katherina has to be ‘taught’ obedience before she can be deemed suitable to become a wife in marriage. Marriage is seen as the foundation of a happy and orderly life. Bianca Katherina Gentle Rough Good Impatient Sweet Disobedient Obedient Bad-tempered Respectful Rebellious Silent; mild Violent ‘Beauteous modesty’ ‘Scolding tongue’ Recalling Kate’s first speech [Sc 1] It is vulgar, and thick-sown with proverbs; She threatens to ‘comb’ her suitor’s ‘noddles’ with a three-legged stool; It is all very scolding and violent And appropriately expressed in a low style (as opposed to a high style) Her choice and form of more vulgar language reinforces this shrewish impression of her character Exposition (Delay and Integration) The title creates an expectation of conflict between a man and his wife Induction presents us immediately with a dispute between the Hostess and a Beggar (Tinker) Followed by a long episode in which a Lord and his train plan to deceive the sleeping Beggar that he too is a lord; This is interrupted by the arrival of the actors, after which the Lord’s plot is seen in operation, With Sly deceived for over a hundred lines until the actors come to perform their comedy; The play-within-the-play then begins with the sub-plot— with Lucentio, along with his servant Tranio, arriving in Padua to pursue a course of study and then meeting Baptista, his daughters and their suitors; Up to this point in the play there has been no hint of a shrew Main Plot and Sub-Plot At Act 1, Scene 1, 48 The main plot and sub-plot are linked by Baptista’s initial announcement: ‘Gentlemen, importune me no further, For how I firmly am resolv’d you know; That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter Before I have a husband for the elder.’ It is from this decision of Baptista that all the intrigue of the sub-plot flows with Hortensio, Lucentio and Gremio, pursuing their various schemes to win over Bianca; The contest for Bianca is also a parallel to and a reversal of the contest between Petruchio and Katherina; In both plots, courtship is seen as a struggle, a conflict Shakespeare signals this by the way in which after Act 1, Scene 1, the plots interweave. The two plots are reversals of each other. Moving on to Scene 2 of Act 1 Petruchio comes to Padua in search of a rich wife; He is introduced in a low comedy style with his servant, Grumio With great flourish, he proclaims his intention to marry for money; (Marriage as a market) He agrees to court Katherina Action initially takes place outside Hortensio’s house Lazzi, and Dramatic, Comic Effects Petruchio is introduced in a low comedy turn with his servant Grumio Commedia depended for most of its comic effects on gags known as lazzi, largely surplus to the actual plot In this scene, there is the classic ‘Knock me here’ gag, which depends on Grumio not understanding a clear instruction he must realistically have heard many times before The upshot of this failure of understanding on Grumio’s part The stage direction directing Petruchio: < He wrings him by the ears > Once again the servant is abused Does this action have thematic relevance? It signals to the audience Petruchio’s potential for physical violence; NOTE: Actors and directors have to choose how comically these scenes are performed Plot Contrast in Characterization Lucentio’s rapturous passion in Act 1, Scene 1 is contrasted not only with Petruchio’s realistic and pragmatic declaration ‘I come to wive it wealthily in Padua’ Watch out for these contrasts re- both plots; As they comment ironically on each other; Critically explore direct comparisons and contrasts between Petruchio and Lucentio as the principal wooers Petruchio is superficially direct, simple, overbearing, and businesslike; Do you agree? Lucentio is lovesick, yet devious; Yes or No? Why say he is devious? Any supporting textual evidence? Recall he employs Tranio to adopt a disguise in order to do all his real work for him Petruchio [lines 62-73] Effects? [Signor Hortensio, ’twixt such friends as we Few words suffice, and therefore, if thou know One rich enough to be Petruchio’s wife— As wealth is burden of my wooing dance— Be she as foul as was Florentius’ love, As old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd As Socrates’ Xanthippe or a worse, She moves me not, or not removes at least Affection’s edge in me, were she as rough As are the swelling Adriatic seas.] [I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; If wealthily, then happily in Padua.] Dramatic Techniques? Modulation of stress patterning to produce particular effects; Altering line length, and inserting pauses; Interplay between lines, and sentences Enjambment, and End-stopping Rhetorical figures of speech (techniques of persuasive language); E.g. Anaphora and Hyperbole Metaphorical techniques; Imagery Effects? Show how they are achieved? Conveys a sense that he an invincible, unstoppable force; nothing stands in his way; No nonsense; A man to be reckoned with; we are impressed A typical audience will react with amused admiration for his egotistic, bravado, macho spirit and energy; Comic effects arise from the inflated and exaggerated rhetoric; (very masculine, muscular discourse) It will arouse suspense as the audience awaits in eager anticipation of an encounter between the so called Shrew of Padua, and this newcomer, Petruchio For further dramatic effects Compare and contrast characterization and events in the sub-plot with that of main plot Contrast Petruchio’s speech with Lucentio earlier on in Scene 1 of Act 1 — ‘I burn, I pine, I perish…/ Counsel me, Tranio / Assist me, Tranio…’ Note the dependence on his servant! Effects arising from the Induction In the Induction, there are portrayals of a Lord and his huntsmen; First Huntsman and Second Huntsman, and references to aspects and elements of hunting, ‘Dost thou love hawking? / Or wilt thou hunt? / Say thou will course, thy greyhounds…’ There is a sense in Petruchio’s speech of the metaphor of the hunt; of hunting; Petruchio as a fortune-hunter Towards end of Act 1, Scene 2 By the end of this scene Petruchio is already thinking and talking about Katherina as if she were his possession already: ‘Sir, sir, the first is for me; let her go by.’ Effect? (dramatic / theatrical) We can see how determined and decisive he is in his pursuit; in his fortune-hunting! Conflict: Appearances and Reality The Induction compels us to question the boundaries between appearance and reality; So what’s real? Thus warning the audience of the ambiguity of belief; And in doing so, it foreshadows the use of disguises and performances in the sub-plot, and main plot; Creating much dramatic irony in the play; But does Petruchio disguise himself? Is he not more upfront, more direct about his motives and intentions, even with Kate? But then is not Petruchio an actor? Does he not set out to act and play different parts, adopting different personas? Is he not putting on a false front? So how is Kate to gauge him? And the audience?