Multiple Heroes In The Taming Of The Shrew
Multiple Heroes in The Taming of the Shrew
Throughout Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, it is easy to see that a great
responsibility is put on Petruchio for his efforts in having to tame the shrew, Katherine.
With this responsibility also came admiration when his goal was finally achieved. Because
of this admiration for taming a shrew, Petruchio is the character most looked upon as a
hero in this play. However, I believe that although Petruchio can be looked upon as a
hero, Katherine and Bianca also have good arguments as to how they are heroes also
because of the drastic ways they changed as people. In my eyes, The Taming of the
Shrew has more than one hero, in fact, there are multiple heroes.
The most obvious hero in this Shakespearean play is Petruchio. Petruchio, upon
setting foot in Padua, has announced that he has come Happily to wive and thrive as best
I may (Dolan 63). He is looking for a wife, and feels like he has much to offer.
Hortensio jokingly tells Petruchio about Katherine, the shrew, which immediately sparks
Petruchio's interest in the wealthy, fiery woman. After Petruchio and Katherine's first
meeting in Act II, Scene I, Petruchio says this: For I am he born to tame you, Kate, And
bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate Comformable as other household Kates....I must and
will have Katharine to my wife (Dolan 83). This is where the story begins.
When the story comes to an end, in the last few scenes, it is obvious that Katherine
has now been tamed. Petruchio has accomplished what he has set out to do by taming her
the way he would tame a pet falcon. He says in Act IV, Scene 1, in reference to treating
her like a falcon, This is the way to kill a wife with kindness; And thus I'll curb her mad
and headstrong humor. He that knows better how to tame a shrew, Now let him speak.
'Tis charity to show (Dolan 107). By starving Katherine, not letting her sleep, and
torturing her with new clothes that are not good enough for her, Petruchio has shown
that he is a hero. He did the impossible when he married and tamed Katherine.
Even though some people, women in particular, are likely to say that Petruchio
isn't a hero because that is not a decent way to treat a human being; a person can't argue
with the fact that by the end of the play, Katherine is a different person. She is no longer
rude, obnoxious, or disobedient. In fact, she is a well-respected, well-mannered woman,
who is capable of having ...