Explore the significance of the aspects of dramatic comedy in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.

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Dramatic comedy is that which shows humans as worse than they might be portrayed in reality. It highlights all of the many flaws that may encompass certain characters, or people in similar situations, in order to draw them out for comedic purposes. The hope is that, in the end, the flaws are remedied and the characters are all the better for having their flaws exposed or thrown in their own faces. This is the whole point in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." Katherine's "waspish" (eNotes eText II.i.214) attitude at her first meeting with Petruchio plays out in physical violence, which can be construed as funny because women don't usually hit a suitor upon first meeting him. Petruchio threatens to "cuff" her if she strikes again (line 225) which presents stage directors with many possibilities for physical roudiness between the two leads. Physical comedy is one of the elements of low comedy under the umbrella of dramatic comedy. One of the worst things that can happen in a marriage is physical abuse, but here, even before the two are married, they are slapping or constraining each other rather than holding hands and getting to know each other. The comedy and irony of the situation sets the scene for the audience to root for Petruchio to win Kate's heart and for them to live happily ever after.

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