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Copy of Figurative Language in Taming of the Shrew
Transcript of Copy of Figurative Language in Taming of the Shrew
Such an arrangement that one element of equal importance with another similarly developed and phrased.
Petruchio: It shall be moon, or star, or what I list.
Parallel structure helps to organize ideas, making a text or speech easier to understand. Parallel structure can also create a satisfying rhythm in the language an author uses like in the above quote stated by Petruchio.
Figurative Language in The Taming of the Shrew
By: Jessica Habashy, McCall Phillips & Logan Strobeck
Use of Litosis:
Definition: A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which all affirmative is expressed by negating its opposite.
Petruchio: Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds
Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
Petruchio poses questions about himself that negate their opposites. He asks if he has not heard lions roar, which serves as an understatement to reveal that he indeed has encountered a lions roar as well as all other events that he lists. His speech characterizes himself with a different personality using this specific literary device.
Use of allusions:
a figure of speech that makes brief reference to a historical figure, event, or object.
Petruchio: She is my goods, my chattels. She is my house,
My household-stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything
Importance: Shakespeare alludes to the Ten Commandments in the Bible by the quote stated above. Petruchio isn't being serious in these lines. He is actually speaking with self-conscious irony.
Use of of anaphoras:
One of the devices of repetition, in which the same expression (word/words) is repeated at the beginning of two or more lines.
Petruchio: Kate the curst...but Kate the prettiest Kate in Christendom.
Importance: Anaphoras are significant because it shows that the author is trying to emphasize a certain point. Shakespeare is trying to bring whatever they're repeating into the reader's attention.
Figurative Language in The Taming of the Shrew
Use of stichomythias:
A form of repartee developed in classical drama and often employed by Elizabethan writers, like those imitating Senecan Tragedies.
Kate: He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage.
Make friends, invite them, and proclaim the banns,
Yet never means to wed where he hath wooed.
Now must the world point at poor Katherine
And say, "Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,
If it would please him come and marry her.
Importance: Kate and Petruchio share a witty repartee back and forth describing the use of a stichomythia because both parties are at the same level of intelligence. Their balanced wit and ability to wield caustic parrying remarks, further proves the equality present between Kate and Petruchio. “Shakespeare’s contemporaries often talked of both the man and the woman choosing a spouse. For both, the proper grounds were commonly said to be affection coupled with being well-matched in rank, age, temperament, and religious conviction” (Young 37-38).
Use of anastrophes:
Inversion of the usual, normal, or logical order of the parts of the sentence.
Petruchio: Will you give thanks sweet Kate? Or else Shall I?
Anastrophes are used to add emphasis and this reversed order creates a dramatic impact and lends weight to the description offered by the adjective just like how the quote above does.
Use of malapropisms:
An inappropriateness of speech resulting from the use of one word from another, which resembles it.
Sly: Marry, I will, let them play it.
Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold, or a tumbling trick?
Importance: Sly switches the word "comedy" with "comonty" which is a malapropism because it is the incorrect term. Shakespeare uses this in numerous of his plays including this one to have a humorous utterance.
Use of inversions:
the placing of a sentence element out of its normal position, usually adjective after a noun.
Kate: But sun it is not when you say it is not,
And the moon changes even as your mind.
What you will have it named, even that it is,
And so it shall be still for Katherine.
Inversion is used by Shakespeare to achieve emphasis on specific lines spoken by each character. In Kate’s speech, she is emphasizing her will to be his will and nothing else by the reversal of the normal word order. One can finally see the defeat of Kate by her statements to Petruchio.
Use of antanaclasis
Repetition of a word or phrase whose meaning changes in the second instance.
Katherina: What is your crest- a coxcomb?
Petruchio: A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.
The speaker takes up the words of the interlocutor and changes their meaning to the speakers own advantage. Petruchio clearly does this by manipulating Katherina's words and swithcing the meaning.
Use of asyndetons
A condensed form of expression in which elements customarily joined by conjunctions are presented in a series without conjunctions.
Kate: Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign.
Importance: The power, force, and intensity this device infuses into any writer's, or speaker's, work can be commendable. The rapid effect while keeping the audience hooked on to the edge is what an asyndeton statement does. By Kate stating this it adds a lot of intensity for she was believed to be a rotten shrew but turned out to be a beautiful and obedient wife at the end.
How does the use of figurative language contribute to the atmosphere of the play?
The use of figurative language contributes to the atmosphere of this play by adding a comedic mood with a whimsical tone. Most of the figurative language in this play provides readers with an atmosphere that one cannot help but laugh at. Petruchio used figurative language to get Kate under his control and in act V scene I when Biondello fails to recognize the real Vincentio from an imposter when Vincentio comes to visit Lucentio.
"The Taming of the Shrew." Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michelle Lee. Vol. 87. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
"The Taming of the Shrew." Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 77. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
Henze, Richard. "Role-Playing in The Taming of the Shrew." Southern Humanities Review 4.3 (Summer 1970): 231-240. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Mark W. Scott and Sandra L. Williamson. Vol. 9. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
Schneider, Gary. "The public, the private, and the Shaming of the Shrew." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 42.2 (2002): 235+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
Holman, C. Hugh, and William Flint Thrall. A Handbook to Literature: Based on the Original Edition by William Flint Thrall and Addison Hibbard. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Education Pub., 1980. Print.
Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. The Taming of the Shrew. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.
Use of puns:
a play on words based on similarity of sound between two words with different meanings.
Kate: Yours, if you talk of tales. And so farewell.
Petruchio: What, with my tongue in your tail?
Nay, come again,
This figurative language allows Shakespeare to liven his characters by adding human qualities such as wit and attitude to characters like Kate and Petruchio. This monologue is the first encounter between Kate and Petruchio and by the way Petruchio counters Kate’s every argument in a joking manner reveals him as an equal match in character.
Use of Irony:
a broad term referring to the recognition of a reality different from the appearance.
Kate: Let’s each one send unto his wife;
And he whose wife is most obedient
To come at first when he doth send for her,
Shall win the wager which we will propose.
Irony is used for numerous reasons throughout the entire play to establish important messages and advancements of characters. It is ironic in this scene that Kate wins this wager because no one, other than Petruchio, would have ever thought that she would be the obedient one. The audience experiences dramatic irony due to the knowledge of Kate’s transformation that her family was unaware of.
-These elements of figurative language emphasized Shakespeare's diction in the play.
-Used mainly for comedic humor
-Keeps the audience entertained
-Give readers a sense of imagery
-Figurative language portrays peoples emotions more acutely than in a literal situation which subsequently helps the reader find out more about the characters.