How does Pertruchio show that he is even more shrewish than Katherina in Act IV scene 1 of The Taming of the Shrew?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In this hilarious scene, we actually see that Petruchio has so successfully out-shrewed his wife that she takes the role of being reasonable and trying to calm his anger and rage against the servants. Note how, when they arrive, Petruchio is quick to berate his servants for not attending him and his new wife properly. He insults them, calling them "knaves" and "loggerheaded and unpolished grooms" and berates them for their lack of duty. As Petruchio strikes a servant for spilling some water, it is Katharina that tries to calm him, saying "Patience, I pray you, 'twas a fault unwilling." In addition, when he complains that the meat was burned, Katharina again says "I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet." Petruchio shows that he is deliberately and successfully out-shrewing his wife, forcing her to assume the role of a reasonable person and perhaps reflecting her own excesses back to her, so that she can experience what her former attitude was like to put up with.

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