An explanation of Shakespeare’s presentation of the taming of Katherina with reference to Shakespeare’s use of form, structure and language. Shakespeare presents the taming of Katherina in a wide variety of ways through different aspects of the text, its language, structure and form. Katherina’s tamed nature at the closing of the play can be looked at from various points of views and angles, the various views might involve the decision to accept the fact that Katherina has been tamed by the very masculine Petruchio, while others might lean more to the view that she is putting on an act and manipulating him in order to get what she wants, which is a better life.From all the meanings and connotations that can be gathered and assessed from various aspects of the text, I believe that Katherina is in fact putting on an act and hasn’t been tamed by Petruchio.
Shakespeare presentation of Katherina’s taming is done, through the language that is used in the play. The tone of the language enables the reader or audience to decipher various emotions in the character speech which allows them to understand better, the response that particular character is looking for, such as Petruchio’s repetitive use of the word “tush” in one sentence, which shows us his emphasis on the fact that he requires remorse from the audience he is scolding. Katherina’s language varies with the structure of the play, this plays a role because it shows her character development, which means the audience and readers can understand her more. For example when her character is first introduced into speech her language is monosyllabic and masculine, it is also harsh,” A pretty peat! It is best put finger in the eye and she knew why”. The alliteration of ”Pretty Peat” emphasises the force of her tone which can be said to be scathing, this enables the reader to understand Katherina’s meaning, and in this situation the reader or audience can tell she is annoyed or aggravated.
This again reinforces her masculinity before Petruchio is introduced. Katherina can safely be assumed to be the ultimate play driver, due to how exertive and masculine she is. This dominates most of the other characters and the language used by Katherina underlines her control over all things surrounding her.An example of her controlling language is seen when she states; ” of all thy suitors here I charge thee tell”. Katherina’s use of the word charge shows her control over the character which she is communicating with.
At this point Katherina’s language is wild and untamed. Shakespeare’s presentation of Katherina’s taming can once again be viewed again in multiple ways, this is because she still possesses some degree of control over Petruchio, and this is displayed in Act 4 scene 5 from lines 1 to 5, Katherina agrees with Petruchio in order to get her own way, it can be assumed that at that particular point in time she may have perfected a technique which would see her harness some power over Petruchio. In the same Act and scene there is further evidence of Katherina’s ”taming”; Act 4 scene 5, from lines 36 to 37, “Young budding virgin, fruit and fresh and sweet Wither away or where is they abode”.This particular type of language used by Katherina can only strengthen the belief in the view that Katherina has been tamed, but this can all be seen as an ironic depiction.
Katherina is clever; this is shown in her speech type which is iambic/pentametre which is generally used by Shakespeare to display the mental capability of a character. With an idea of Katherina being intelligent her coerced and subdued behaviour can be seen as her adhering to what Petruchio wants her to be, hence giving her more control over her own life.The overall structure of the play that is presented by Shakespeare displays Katherina in different ways at different times of the play. The structural presentation tends to lead the reader and audience to believe that Katherina is tamed, due to the chronological order of events. In Act 1 Katherina uses harsh and decisive language; “A pretty Peat, it is best put finger in the eye, and she knew why”.This further shows the large link between language and structure, In further acts and scenes Katherina’s tone and language changes as the structure and plot develops, this can portrayed as how she advances in ways of dealing with different situations. An example of her language is shown in Act 5 scene 2 line 100, “What is your will sir that you send for me?” The visible change in Katherina’s language is obvious.
This is a display of Katherina’s intelligence, to the extent that she uses manipulative language to get what she wants from Petruchio, her language can be seen as manipulative because it is totally out of her characteristic form to speak like that.