Sample Essay Outlines
The following theses and outlines are provided to help you construct successful paper topics and to organize essays which reflect the complexity of the text. These outlines can also aid your efforts to review the play’s critical themes and issues.
Many characters in The Taming of the Shrew take on different identities, while the behavior of two characters changes drastically by the end of the play. Describe three to four ways in which The Taming of the Shrew develops the idea that appearances should not be confused with reality.
I. Thesis Statement: In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare develops the theme of appearances versus reality by means of the Induction, disguises, and changes in attitude of the major characters.
II. Appearance versus reality in the Induction
A. The Lord dresses Sly as a nobleman.
B. The Lord’s page, Bartholomew, is presented as Sly’s wife.
C. Crossdressing was used in original performances of Shrew.
1. Petruchio points to Kate as a boy twice.
2. Biondello alludes to Bianca as a boy with his pun on “appendix.”
3. Kate signals that she is really a boy in her long speech.
III. Disguises suggest that appearances cannot be relied upon.
A. Lucentio and Hortensio assume identities below their station.
B. Tranio and the Pedant pretend to be wealthy men.
C. Shakespeare uses the theme of...
(The entire section is 1341 words.)
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