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The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, find an example of a rhyming couplet in Act 2, scene 1.

In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, find an example of a rhyming couplet in Act 2, scene 1. Rhyming couplets are used in this scene from Petruchio and Baptista. A rhyming couplet is a pair of lines that have the same number of syllables, with stress on every other syllable; and end with a rhyme.

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In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare is writing a great deal of his dialogue in iambic pentameter. This means there are ten syllables per line, with a stress on every other syllable; so that each line then has five stressed syllables.

Often times Shakespeare also uses a rhyme scheme, where the end of one line rhymes with a word at the end of another line. However, in Act Two, scene one, this rhyme scheme is not present. A rhyming couplet also uses rhyme to connect two lines that are next to each other.

Two lines--the second line immediately following the first--of the same metrical length that end in a rhyme to form a complete unit.

In Shakespeare's poetic verse, he also uses something called "near rhyme" also known as "slant rhyme" or "half rhyme." An example would be "soul" and "all." Usually rhyme falls to the sound of similar vowel sounds, but in near rhyme, it is simply that—"almost." When searching for rhyme, keep this kind of rhyme in mind. There are examples of near rhyme in this scene. (E.g. "mean" and "thee" in lines 204-205.)

The best examples of rhyming couplets are two lines with rhyming found in the last word of two adjacent lines. The following pair of lines create a rhyming couplet:


Nay, hear you, Kate: in sooth you scape not so. (245)


I chafe you, if I tarry: let me go.

As long as your instructor does not require that the two lines be from the same speaker, this is an especially good example. There are ten syllables per line, with stress on the second syllable, and this has— what I call—"true rhyme."

Another example is found with these lines from Petruchio to Katharina:

We will have rings and things and fine array;

And kiss me, Kate, we will be married o'Sunday. (330)

Baptista delivers a rhyming couplet as follows, without iambic pentameter:


Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant's part,

And venture madly on a desperate mart. (332-333)


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