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The Taming Of The Shrew Play Within A Play Baruch College / English Essay

855 words - 4 pages

Cherry on top of the cake
It doesn’t really matter what genre author is going to present to audience, what really matters is setting up a proper mood for the reader. It might be some critical final moment or some totally out of context situation – in both cases intro atmosphere is what can create or demolish further experience in any reading, this is what makes a story believable. Shakespeare was aware of this trick and perfectly used induction with the character of some casual drunken beggar Christopher Sly and alehouse scene to let his audience know that whatever they will see or read further should not be taken too serious but rather casually and for personal pleasure. Induction in The Taming of the Shrew gives plenty of hints on what larger topics will be presented later as the story develops, it sets up the comedy mood created by Sly’s language and Lord’s “evil” plan to trick this random guy Sly just for fun. Let’s be honest – you can’t expect some epic drama after realizing that rich Lord suddenly decided to play a little game with passed out drunk tinker.
In most the cases we are used to laugh or make fun of drunk people, their language and actions. Here Shakespeare introduces us to Christopher Sly who almost simultaneously enters the play and falls asleep after having too much beer in local alehouse: “Third, or fourth, or fifth, I’ll answer him by law. I’ll not budge an inch, boy. Let him come, and kindly” (Ind.1.13-15). This scene creates a true comic atmosphere that is developed right away by Lord. Miserable and foolish character of Sly is treated as a toy, his loosen mind and real identity problems are easily used directly against him. The moment where Lord notices Sly and says: “What’s here? One dead or drunk? See doth he breathe” (Ind.1.31-32) predicts that Christopher Sly will be treated as a fun game object or some real-life experiment and nothing more. The following development of the story around Sly and all the play created to fool him and change his mind can clearly be traced to the taming and transformation process of the Kate’s character. Both (real Sly and fictional Kate) are targets of similar mind tricking game – taming. I can’t really say that Kate was tamed or fooled to the same extent that happened to Sly, but overall the idea of playing with persons mind in different ways and forming one’s identity as you wish was successfully executed in induction...

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