Concepts of love in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew

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In Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew”, the audience becomes aware of a variety of different love concepts. Such as romantic and rational love, mature and immature love, intimate and reserved love, paternal love and the love of a daughter. These concepts are represented by the different characters and are contrasted with each other. I will sum up the play and furthermore elaborate on the contrast between the conventional and social accepted love and the unconventional love, which is looked down upon by society. Summary of the play . The comedy consists of an induction and five acts. The play ends with a short scene, which one might call an epilogue. The induction and the “epilogue” serve as frame for the real comedy.

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Rohrsen refers to Lucentio’s speech to Tranio and points out, “Mit den wenigen Lyrismen in glattem Zeilenstil ist Lucentio als typischer ‘romantischer Verliebter’ kenntlich gemacht; in dieser Rolle verbleibt er bis zum Ende des Stücks, …” . Hortensio and Gremio use equally poetic language when talking about their beloved Bianca. For example, Hortensio calls her “the jewel of my life” (I.ii.117), and Gremio uses the same imagery as Lucentio does. For she is sweeter than perfume itself (I.ii.151). Apart from Petrarchan language, the wooing of Bianca’s suitors is marked by another characteristic that is the fact that “In the courting of Bianca deception dominates.” Lucentio disguises as Cambio, Tranio as Lucentio and Hortensio pretends to be Litio. While Hortensio uses music to mask his wooing, Lucentio uses Latin. This shows that they neither wants to reveal their nature nor do the want know Bianca’s, that is why their love remains superficial and does not include real intimacy. Bianca’s suitors’ reactions to Katherina’s assumed wildness (cf. I.i.105-133) show that they “prefer the compliant woman to the defiant one who seeks to preserve her individuality” .

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Secondary Literature . II.1 Monographs . Hillegass, L. L., The Taming of the Shrew – Notes (Lincoln, Nebraska, 1971), Cliffs Notes. Schomburg, Elias Hugo, The Taming of the Shrew – Eine Studie zu Shakespeares Kunst (Halle a. S., 1904). Dash, Irene G., “Challenging Patterns – The Taming of the Shrew”, in: Wooing, Wedding and Power: Women in Shakespeare’s Plays (New York, 1981), pp. Hehl, Ursula, “Die narzißtische Symptomatik als Reaktion auf die Diskriminierung der Frau in der patriarchalischen Gesellschaft – The Taming of the Shrew“, in: Manifestationen narzißtischer Persönlichkeitsstörungen in Shakespeares romantischen Komödien (Trier, 1995), pp. Rohrsen, Peter, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in: Die Preisrede auf die Geliebte in Shakespeares Komödien und Romanzen (Heidelberg, 1977), pp. Tillyard, E. M. W., “The Taming of the Shrew”, in: Shakespeare’s Early Comedies (London, 1965), pp.

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