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Does baptista show honesty, compromise or greed in The Taming of the Shrew?

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flyingfuck | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 9, 2010 at 10:45 AM via web

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Does baptista show honesty, compromise or greed in The Taming of the Shrew?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted January 9, 2010 at 11:09 AM (Answer #1)

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In the play "The Taming of the Shrew" Baptista is the father of Kate, a female who is known for her ill temperament.  He can not get her married off and he can not have his younger daughter marry until Kate is married.  He tells Petruchio honestly of her temperament.

Baptistia's greed is evident by his discussing his daughter getting a good dowry.  He wants to make a good marriage for Bianca. He is a caring father, but he sees his daughter as his hope for additional wealth.  Baptista states to the men who desire his younger daughter's hand in marriage;

"Baptista: "Tis deeds must win the prize, and he be of both, That can assure my daughter greatest dower, Shall have my Bianca's love. "

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 9, 2010 at 11:39 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree with the first part of the first answer, but not with the second part.  I do not think that Baptista is showing greed when he asks for a large dowry for his daughters.  Instead, I think he is showing concern for them.

I believe that when he does this, he is trying to be sure that they get good husbands.  He wants to make sure their husbands have money and he wants to be sure that their husbands come from good families.  To me, this shows concern for them, not greed.

I also think that Baptista shows compromise.  He does not like it when Bianca gets married against his will, but he eventually decides to be okay with it.  He also, for example, doesn't get mad when Petruchio decides not to show up at the feast after he and Kate get married.

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