The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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In The Taming of the Shrew, why does Bianca change into a "shrew" at the end?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Just to take a simpler route to answer this question all in good fun, I would say that Bianca isn't a shrew at the beginning but becomes one in the end because she is a dynamic character and was designed to be that way by Shakespeare.  Although some critics disagree with me, I think of Bianca as a sort of foil to Katharina.  They go through their dynamic changes directly opposite of each other:  Katharina turning from shrew to loving female and Bianca turning from loving female to shrew.  I have to admit, though, I don't usually describe Bianca as a "shrew" at the end of the play.  Still,...

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suzy555 | Student

yes you are right and that is because Katherine (when she was a shrew ) was learnt how to be tamed by Patruchio her husband... when he married her , he insisted to tame her by making the opposite of what she wanted saying that those deeds were for his love towards her ( like :shouting at the dress and hat makers declaring that their products were not good ones although they were made according to the fashion during that time)

Bianca was believed to be the tamed daughter of Baptista but at the end she proved quite the opposite by refusing to come to her husband when he ordered her to do so on their wedding day thus her husband said :"I wish your duty were as foolish too!The wisdom of your duty,fair Bianca, has cost me a hundred crowns since dinnertime."

So Patruchio was right and Katherine was a good lady and maybe her shrewish character was because she didn't know how to improve it while Bianca's character was a bad one hiding itself behind  untrue  words.

Moral lessons: we must compare between promises and actions ,,, live in peace & love eachother  to lead a quiet life.

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salamon2 | Student

That's a great question. Well if you were to consider the theme that the Christopher Sly Induction introduces to us: that people aren't always what they seem; it completely changes the tone of the rest of the piece. So by this token, we can conclude that Bianca was most likely putting on an act in order to garner the attentions of her suitors and father. Taking this into consideration might explain a bit more of Katherina's interactions with her sister. Katherina sees through her sister's superficial exterior and is frustrated that others--especially her father--do not as well. However the reason why they didn't notice it probably has more to do with the Renaissance belief that those who had beautiful exteriors must also have beautiful interiors as well. Bianca reveals that she isn't in actuality when at the end, after she has achieved the the comfort of a marriage that will last until she or her husband dies, and therefore can afford the luxury to expose her true nature at the end of the play, when before she had to play a part to ensure she could keep her father's favor and get the best suitor she could.

Below are some links which help explain this interpretation further.

 ~Chas

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