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Jealousy in Taming of the Shrew

  • Date Submitted: 10/19/2010 12:49 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.2 
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Jealousy in “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Jealousy is a common and reoccurring theme throughout Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” The emotion is showcased in more than one character and causes each of these individuals to act wicked or deceitful in some way. The most obvious of jealousy is evident in Katherine; her shrewdness is directly related to the envy she feels towards her sister Bianca. A few of the men in this play including Hortensio, Gremio and Lucentio are also touched by the feeling of jealousy during their pursuit for the fair Bianca.   Jealousy within “The Taming of the Shrew” induces these characters to act out of the ordinary causing for an intriguing and dramatic plot.
Jealousy in Katherine’s case is what causes her to be so wicked, not only to her sister but to everyone around her.   The beginning of Act II clearly defines Katherine’s jealousy and its source when Bianca states, “Is it for him you do envy me so?”(2.1.18). Even though Bianca is speaking of a specific man, it is clear that Katherine is jealous of any attention Bianca receives. It pains Katherine to know that she will never receive such attention. The jealousy is also carried over to the relationship between Bianca and Baptista.   Katherine believes that even their father shows a level of favoritism towards Bianca and this is an even stronger cause for her to envy her own sister. Katherine rants:
What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see
She is your treasure, she must have a husband.
I must dance barefoot on her wedding day
And, for your love to her, lead apes in hell. (2.1.31-34)
Katherine realizes her sister is favored even in the eyes of Baptista and her jealousy grows in fathoming that Bianca will be wed before her, leaving Katherine an old maid. Katherine’s jealousy gets the best of her and causes her to act in such wicked ways. Jealousy in the case of the gentlemen in “The Taming of The Shrew” once again revolves around Bianca.   The rivalry between Gremio,...

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