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The Taming of the Shrew
        In Shakespeare's comedy, "The Taming of the Shrew," one of the 
main ways that the theme is shown is by mistaken identity.  The main 
theme of this play is that what a person is really like is more 
important than how they appear to be.  This is shown by Petruchio's 
relationship with Katherine;  the changing roles of Tranio, Lucentio, 
and Hortensio; and the true characters of Bianca and Katherine.  All 
three of these situations help to enrich the theme.
        The first predicament that supports the theme is Petruchio's 
relationship with Katherine.  When we first meet Petruchio, he is only 
after the money of Katherine, and accepts her harshness as simply a 
goal he must overcome.  He is mistaken for a person who is only after 
 money, not love at all.  Yet when he meets Kate, he begins to fall 
for her.  While he still argues and attempts to train her, it is for 
his own benefit.  He wants her to be less harsh so she can fall in 
love with him. Petruchio ends up truly caring for and loving Kate, 
despite the front he puts up having his true identity revealed.  As a 
result of this Katherine, whom we thought would never love anyone, at 
the end of the story is the only wife who comes when she is beckoned. 
 The other wives only make up excuses.  This shows how Kate has a 
mistaken identity becuase she appears rude and insolent.  This 
situation is one of the ways Shakespeare uses mistaken identity to 
display theme.  
        Another part of the theme is that when a person changes 
outfit's and roles, their personalities and attitudes stary the same. 
 The first and most prominent role change is the one between Lucentio 
and Tranio.  Lucentio, in order to marry Bianca, exchanges outfits 
with his servant Tranio in order to become a tutor for Bianca.  
Although Tranio appears to be a nobleman, he is really just a simple 
servant.  His identity did not change despite the fact that his outfit 
did. In the same fashion, Lucentio becomes Cambio, the tutor. His true 
self is as a nobleman, but due to his love of Bianca, he tries to 
change himself.  Just like Tranio, despite the change of outfit, 
Lucentio's real personality is not altered.  Hencefoth came Hortensio, 
the least successful prenteder.  He too becomes a tutor for Bianca, 
but is rejected by her.  Before the changing of clothes, Hortensio is 
in competition with Lucentio for Bianca, and still is despite the 
change in clothing.  What Shakespeare is trying to convey is that 
although you can change your clothes, you can't change the person who 
wears them.
        The most effective way Shakespeare demonstrates this theme is 
through Bianca and Kate.  On the outside, Kate appears harsh, cruel 
and frightening to all of the characters.  Even her father is scared 
of her monsterous temper, begging anyone to marry her.  Yet as her 
relationship with Petruchio grows, her true identitiy emerges.  She 
becomes much less of a shrew, her mistaken identity, and begins to 
become a benevolent person, her true identity.  This overcomes her 
other self and shines through.  Despite all of her outward 
appearances, she is truly a good person in her heart.  Yet Bianca's 
scenario is different .  She is perceived as a sweet and gentle 
person, a false precept, devoting herself to her studies and never 
wanting anything else out of life.  Yet once she achieves her goal, to 
be married, her true self appears.  She becomes quarralsome and 
apathetic, not coming at the call of Lucentio or accusing him of 
simply hunting her, not at all caring for her.  She becomes almost 
what her sister was.  Furthermore, to find out what Kate and Bianca 
are really like is the conflict of the play.  On one level, it is 
Petruchio's conflict to tame Kate or live with a shrew the rest of his 
life.  To tame Kate is also to reveal her actual personality.  With 
Lucentio, he is after Bianca, and to fall head over heels in love with 
her.  To fall in love with someone can also be to find out about them 
and see who they really are in their heart. The main theme being 
conveyed is displayed through these two sisters and their alter egos.
        Mistaken identity is the main conflict of this play, yet it 
also serves to tell the reader or audience what the theme is.  Through 
appearance changes, character relationships, and inner personalities, 
the theme is displayed, the theme being that what someone's real 
identity is more imprtant than what they seem to be.  This is proved 
by superb manipulation of characters and plot with examples 
illustrating the theme masterfully and with great emphasis.

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