Taming of the Shrew Paper

Taming of the Shrew Paper - Paul Markakis AP English Period...

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Paul Markakis Period 6 AP English The Taming of the Shrew William Shakespeare’s use of figurative language is found throughout his play The Taming of the Shrew. With the combination of metaphors, puns and hyperbole, Shakespeare connotes completely different ideas than those that he literally says within the context of the story. For example, in Petruchio’s first meeting with his wife-to-be Katherine, their argument is full of sexual puns. Petruchio: “Thou hast hit it. Come, sit on me.” Katherine: “Asses are made to bear, and so are you.” Petruchio: “Women are made to bear, and so are you.” (II: i, 209-211) In this instance, Petruchio suggests to Katherine that she come sit on him because she likened him to a stool. Her response implies that he is a donkey, solely made to carry weight. More importantly, the connotation of this line is that he is a worthless man of very few uses. Petruchio retorts that women are meant only to bear either children or the weight of a man during intercourse. His implication is that Katherine is a purely sexual object and only good for sex. Petruchio’s use of sexual puns in this argument does not stop here. At one point, he alludes to cunnilingus by saying, “What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, good Kate. I am a gentleman.” (II: i, 231-232) Due to the fact that Kate is human and thus cannot have a tail, Petruchio obviously is referring to his tongue being in her vagina. He also refers to being a “gentleman” by giving her multiple orgasms. Ordinarily, a man feels his job is done by causing one orgasm. In Petruchio’s opinion, though, the gentlemanly thing to do would be to cause Katherine to “come again.” Petruchio and Katherine are not the only characters that sexually pun throughout the course of the play. As the story progresses, Bianca partakes in alluding to more lewd ideas than
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those which she literally denotes. “Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush, and then pursue me as you draw your bow,” she questions (V: ii, 48-50). The literal translation of this line would be that Bianca is a bird being chased by Petruchio, who is in turn compared to a hunter. However, the connotation is completely different. Bianca questions whether Petruchio will attempt to sleep with her now that he has had sex with her sister. The “bush” is the entrance to her vagina whereas the “bow” being drawn is Petruchio’s penis. Towards the end of the novel, Katherine again says something that is dripping with sexual undertones. In Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 177-178, she states: “I am ashamed that women are so simple to offer war where they should kneel with peace.” This is a reference to women choosing to argue instead of performing fellatio on their husbands. In this case, the offering of war is the arguing and the kneeling with peace is the fellatio. Women do not literally attempt to go to war with their husbands. The Taming of the Shrew
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course ENGLISH 100 taught by Professor N/a during the Fall '11 term at Johns Hopkins.

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Taming of the Shrew Paper - Paul Markakis AP English Period...

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