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Thomas Oldroyd

Mrs. Heyer
Honors English II
Trickery, Deceit, and Deception.
Honesty. Honesty is one of the most important abilities a human can have. Honesty can lead to
great things and is definitely better then lying. Or is it? The Shakespearean comedy, The Taming of the
Shrew, does not portray the characters using honesty to get what they most desire. Most of them
either use trickery, deceit, and even deception to get their way. Disguises and clever trickery all add to
the dramatic irony Shakespeare so ingeniously created into his comedy, The Taming of the Shrew.
The comedy starts off with a cruel trick played on the man named Christopher Sly, a poor, drunk
man who always yells at the maids. The local lord has just come back from a day of hunting and finds
Mr. Sly drunk and passed out on the ground. Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man, says the Lord.
(Induction, Scene 1, Pg. 47, 32). The Lord decides to then play a trick on poor Christopher Sly by
ordering servants to take Sly to the Lords room and lay him in the Lords bed. When Sly wakes up, he will
think he is the Lord, thus start acting like one. While Sly is being the Lord at this time, he starts to watch
a play performed by a group of traveling actors. So far, the Lords trick has succeeded, even if Sly does
not like the play.
As the play starts, there seems to be two main characters. Lucentio, a nobleman, and Tranio,
Lucentios servant.

Lucentio and Tranio arrive at Padua to see Baptista, the father to Bianca and

Katherina, arguing with his daughters and Hortensio and Gremio. Lucentio sees this, but he also sees
the beautiful Bianca, love at first sight. Hark Tranio! Thou mayst hear Minerva speak. (Act 1, Scene

1, Pg. 75, 84). Lucentio then has the great plan to switch clothes with Tranio so he can pretend he is a
school tutor to get closer to Bianca just so he might have the chance to get closer Bianca. This plan will
surely trick Baptista and will almost certainly let Lucentio marry Bianca.
However, the only way for Bianca to get married is for her older sister, Katherina, to get married
first. Katherina is, undoubtedly, a shrew. She likes to speak her mind and shout at people who try to
tame her, but there was a man who succeeded in turning her into a loving wife. Petruchio, a man who
only wanted to marry someone who had a great amount of wealth, manages to tame Katherina with
clever trickery. Petruchio had ordered a dress and a cap for Katherina to wear for the trip to her dads
house. Petruchio thought the clothes were horrendous, but when Katherina said she would wear the
cap and the dress, he would not allow it. When you are gentle, you shall have one too, and not till
then, said Petruchio. (Act 4, Scene 3, Pg. 223, 71-71). Petruchio would never let Katherina get her way
which would slowly turn her into a loving wife.
Trickery, deceit, and deception seem to be a good thing in this Shakespearean comedy. The
Lord got to trick Christopher Sly by making him think he was the actual Lord. Lucentio got to marry the
young and beautiful Bianca by trading clothes with Tranio. Finally, Petruchio managed to turn the
shrew, Katherina, into a loving wife who Petruchio soon learned to love as much as he loved money.
Despite all of the characters using this art for their own gains, there would not be a story without it. The
Taming of the Shrew definitely revolves around trickery deceit, and deception.