The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, list two non-traditional things Petruchio does for his wedding, and what message he is sending Kate. Besides wearing old clothes—in Act Three, scene two

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In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, in Act Three, scene two, Petruchio acts in a non-traditional way by doing several things. First, he does not get dressed up for the wedding. Second, he arrives very late. He is so late, that Baptista feels his behavior has shamed him.

...this is the 'pointed  day

That Katherine and Petruchio should be married,

And yet we hear not of our son-in-law.

What will be said? what mockery will it be,

To want the bridegroom when the priest attends

To speak the ceremonial rites of marriage!

What says Lucentio to this shame of ours? (1-7)

Katharina believes he will not come at all and she will be embarrassed by being left waiting at the alter.

I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,

Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behavior:

And, to be noted for a merry man,

He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,

Make feasts, invite friends, and proclaim the banns;

Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd.

Now must the world point at poor Katherine,

And say, ‘Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,

If it would please him come and marry her!’  (12-20)

Last, he does not stay for the wedding feast, though Kate really wants to. Although she thinks she will order him about, he makes the decision to leave and is very firm about it.

But for my bonny Kate, she must with me.

Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;

I will be master of what is mine own:

She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,

My household stuff, my field, my barn,

My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing;

And here she stands, touch her whoever dare;

I'll bring mine action on the proudest he

That stops my way in Padua.  (227-235)

The message that Petruchio is sending to Kate in doing these things is that he is the husband and he is in control. Although Kate has bullied her sister and father for ages, has had tempter tantrums that have made her infamous throughout the town, has beat up would-be suitors, and has generally done things her way based on her wishes, Petruchio is letting her know that things will be done the way he wants them done. In essence, he is giving her fair warning that she should not expect to act the same way as she has in the past with him.

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