Taming of the Shrew

In the Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio recognizes, respects and
desires Kate\'s intelligence and strength of character. He does not
want to conquer or truly tame her. He is a man who is very confident
in himself and does not want or need someone to massage his ego.

Petruchio seems to me to be a man of sport and challenge and likes to
surround himself with witty, challenging people. He wants in a mate
what Kate has - fire.

From Petruchio\'s response to his friend Hortensio (I.ii.64-75),
it might be said that Petruchio came to Padua to make himself richer
by marriage, to any woman, no matter how wretched. Petruchio is not
in desperate need of money (I.ii.56-57). He tells Hortensio
(I.ii.49-57) that his father has died and that he is out in the world
to gain experiences he cannot at home and only secondarily to find a
wife. Also, immediately before this declaration, is the scene of
misunderstanding between he and his servant Grumio about knocking on
the gate (I.ii.5-43). I see this exchange as demonstration of his
enjoyment of verbal sport, a good example of Petruchio\'s sense of
humor and his appreciation of things non-conventional. Though

Petruchio may not agree with what society has determined to be proper
and dignified, he is aware of the importance of appearing to conform.

In what he says to Hortensio, I feel he is simply extending this sport
and humor into the ironic.

It is in Hortensio\'s description of Kate that I believe

Petruchio\'s interest is captured. Hortensio describes Kate
(I.ii.85-89) as wealthy, young, beautiful, properly brought up
intolerably cursed, shrewed and froward. Though Hortensio finds the
last three traits negative characteristics, Petruchio appears to be a
man who also posses, and is proud of, these negative qualities. That
the qualities are considered negative in Kate and not Petruchio is a
reflection of the societal standards of the fifteen hundreds. It was
okay for a man to be that way, but not a woman. Petruchio is the kind
of man who would want a mate with similar qualities to his own to
challenge him, sharpen his wits and keep his interest. If he had
wanted someone who was conformed to societies expectations, or who had
already determined to deceive by concealing opinions and views, he
would have chosen someone more like Bianca. However, Petruchio is a
clever man who sees beyond façades because he uses them, in addition
to a lot of irony himself (II.i.46), (II.i.283-289).

It is clear in Grumio and his other servants (as demonstrated in
the opening of act 4 (IV.i.1-113) that Petruchio prefers the
interesting to the conventional. But because Petruchio understands
the ways of society, he knows he must demonstrate to Kate the
importance of proper public appearance. To Petruchio it is appearance
rather than genuine conformance that is important. Otherwise, the
woman he loves would be called names and treated in ways Petruchio
might be required by honor to defend.

In his ironic way, Petruchio does speak consistently about making

Kate yield to him (II.i.124,136), (II.i.269-271) and of his monetary
motivation (II.i.123,124). But, his methods are sportsman-like
(Falconry, (IV.i.183-190) and game-like demonstrations of the
outrageous (beating Grumio because Kate\'s horse stumbled IV.i,68-80).

Petruchio\'s servants like him very well and enjoy his entertainments.

In what Petruchio says following he and Kate\'s first meeting (when her
father walks in with Gremio and Tranio (II.i.269)) it becomes clear
just how heavily Petruchio employs irony. He states that he is born
to tame and conform Kate. Though the servants he has chosen to
surround himself with are neither tame nor conforming to what most
would consider proper servants. He also says he must and will have

Katherine for his wife. This is a man who is completely taken by this
woman: he called her properly by her formal name and says he will
have her. Petruchio is as taken by Kate\'s person as the other suitors
are taken by Bianca\'s beauty and coyness.

In the above scene, Petruchio tells Kate to never make denial.

He knows she is not yet convinced, but is telling her to trust him and
go along with what he says for the sake of appearance. This slowly
sinks into Kate and finally takes hold when she understands

Petruchio\'s way of irony on the way home to her father\'s (IV.v.12-22).

Because they are so much alike, Kate takes very quickly to Petruchio\'s
games of words and irony (IV.v.37-50). Petruchio is the kind of lively
person who would be disappointed in a victory too easily won, and
disappointed in Kate if she were genuinely tamed. I feel certain she
will have her victories, and