The Taming of the Shrew: Heart of Deceit/Disguise

Length: 5 Pages 1215 Words

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 Continue...


In conclusion, the concept of deceitdisguise is often used in The Taming of the Shrew to make characters disguise as someone else. It seems that even though Tranio is the servant, he is probably smarter in many ways than his master Lucentio. Aside from all group member, the most entertaining and disguised characters are played by Odammani, because she plays the role of Lucentio and Bianca. This not only helped us setup the scene but later on helps to engage the characters of Lucentio and Bianca to standby while Tranio and Hortensio spoke on the other side of the stage. I wear black pants and a black sweater to represent the disguise. So, the end outcome of disguise can be shown as a success and a failure. In the case of Tranio, he uses disguise to help achieve his master's goal to marry Bianca; however, Hortensio becomes Litio to woo Bianca instead he fails. This is an effective technique because it uses color to show ambiguity and character. When eavesdropping on Lucentio and Bianca, Hortensio angrily reveals to Tranio his true identity. To portray this character well, Arati wears layer of clothing to show that she is traveling. In addition Arati's costume, her manner of speaking is also effective in indicating that her character is not of a high class. Hortensio becomes so angry that he refuses to put himself in the same company as men like Cambio. To show deceit through Hortensio, I use bad posture and slouchy body language to portray Hortensio as Litio, a music teacher. The posture and body language are to fully deceive the audience and the characters of the play into thinking that Hortensio is acting as someone else. And in order to portray the concept of deceitdisguise, our group used staging and costuming to our advantage to make the audience understand disguise and deceit.