How Is Sibling Rivalry Explained in the Taming of the Shrew?

Topics: The Taming of the Shrew, Family, Sibling Pages: 3 (1026 words) Published: June 16, 2013
William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most famous writers of all time. His ability to develop such characters from kings to beggars is a major aspect of his achievements and so the audience can see parts of their own personalities represented on stage. As a result of Shakespeare’s authentic characters, the relationship between Katherina and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew is utterly realistic. It shows every bit of the forever living concepts of sibling rivalry such as jealousy, envy and hate. One of the ways that the sisters’ rivalry is explained is the constant humiliation that Baptista, their father, causes in public. Gentlemen, importune me no farther,

For how I firmly am resolved you know;
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.
If either of you both love Katharina,
Because I know you well and love you well
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure. (1.1.48-54)

In simple words, he means that he wants Katherina off his hands as soon as possible but when Katherina is offered to Bianca’s suitors, she is profusely turned away like a piece of rotten meat. Her humiliation at this point is complete; she is discussed in public like scandalous gossip, so Kate tries to reveal her fury to her father, “I pray you, sir, is it your will/To make a stale of me amongst these mates?” She is being publicly humiliated, has no defence for her pride, and reacts with haughtiness to cover her embarrassment that is caused by no other, but her own dear father. To top this, Baptista announces that he is to hire schoolmasters “to instruct her [Bianca’s] youth.” and she is further humiliated through neglect as he makes no mention of Katherine’s studies. Kate then bridles at this and makes her exit, hurt by recurring displays of neglect. Everything is compared with Bianca and Kate realizes the way that her father favours Bianca. So to cover up her shame and embarrassment caused by her father, Kate argues with...
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