Books and Movies Reviews

The Taming of the Shrew

Kate and Bianca: More Than Just Sisters
In The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, Kate and Bianca prove to be more than just sisters but also great literary foils for each other.They are also related by the apparent switch of personalities they seem to complete by the end of the comedy.In the start of this Elizabethan era play, Kate is the shrew of all shrews.At the end Petruchio has fulfilled his extremely tough task of taming Kate but Bianca seems to reveal her true self, after marriage, of being a shrew.
Throughout the play, Bianca and Kate's personalities are complete opposites of each other.This is very important for two literary foils because it helps to bring out the characteristics of the other person.In Act I, scene i, Kate and Gremio talk about Bianca using phrases like "A pretty pet!" (I.i.80), and "my sweet Bianca" (I.i.112-13).Saying this gives us the idea that Bianca is a beautiful and obedient woman.Meanwhile Gremio and Petruchio call Kate a "fiend of hell" (I.i.91) and a "lusty wench!" (II.i.177), and Gremio calls her potential husband, if he and the other suitors of Bianca will be able to find one, "a fool" (I.i.127), because he would marry Kate.These quotes give us the vision of two completely opposite women.If you think of them together you might envision Bianca as the Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, and Kate as the Greek mythological character, Medusa.These of course would be huge exaggerations but that is the point of a literary foil, to bring out the main characteristics of a character.
In the last act of The Taming of the Shrew a change in character appears to take place in Kate and Bianca.Kate who before this was the shrew, appears to have been tamed by her husband Petruchio, while Bianca who was the perfect specimen of a potential wife before this final act, has now turned into a shrew.Lucentio appears to say it b…


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