The Taming of the Shrew: Heart of Deceit/Disguise

             Two men like the same woman, both pretend to be someone else so they can go out with her. While one is good looking and wealthy, the other is just average and rich. Now the question is which suitor will the girl choose? It is most likely that she would choose the attractive one and she would prefer him to have more money. In William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, among the many concepts, the concept of disguise/deceit plays an important part of how characters portray themselves. In Act IV scene ii, Shakespeare uses the concept of deceit/disguise from one character to another; and the use of staging and costuming helps the audience understand the concept.
             Among the many characters who dress as someone else in the play, is Tranio who disguised himself as his master Lucentio to arrange his marriage with Bianca. Although he is poor and is probably of low class and education, Tranio comes up with different ideas for Lucentio to woo Bianca. In Act I scene ii, Tranio says, “You will be schoolmaster/And undertake the teaching of the maid: / That’s your advice.” Immediately after Lucentio expresses his feelings for Bianca, Tranio comes up with an idea of disguise to woo Bianca. Lucentio being of a higher class and education depends on the advice and instructions of his servant. It seems that even though Tranio is the servant, he is probably smarter in many ways than his master Lucentio.
             Another character who uses disguise is Hortensio, a suitor for Bianca who disguises himself as a music teacher to get close to her. Although his disguise is effective, his method of wooing Bianca fails when he sees that Bianca showed affection to the Latin teacher, Cambio. In Act IV scene ii, Hortensio says, “For such a one as leaves a gentleman / And makes a god of such a cullion.” Hortensio refers to Cambio as an unworthy suitor because he is poor and of lower class. Hortensio becomes so angry that he refuses to pu...

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The Taming of the Shrew: Heart of Deceit/Disguise. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:24, January 22, 2017, from