BIANCA AND HER SUITORS
Lucentio's errand in Padua, his breeding and relations to his servant
qualify him as quite the conventional hero of a romantic love-story.
How does he compare with the young noblemen of "Love's Labour's Lost?"
What part of the study of Philosophy does he specially desire to take
up and how does his temper toward learning fall in with theirs?
What light does Bianca on her appearance throw upon herself? Through
the testimony of her sister and her father and the two suitors what
else is to be gathered?
Her effect upon Lucentio: The parallelism with "A Midsommer Nights
Dreame" (I, i, 156, and see p. 134 in the First Folio Edition of "The
Shrew") not appearing in "A Shrew," considered as indicative of the
favorite method of Shakespearian lovers in falling in love at first
Katherine's effect upon Tranio, lost upon Lucentio, in his daze over
Bianca, leads to what plan of action? How does the part Hortensio and
Gremio play in this reinforce the plot, and combine them all to
instigate Petruchio to woo Katherine? How does the contest for the
best sale of Bianca when Katherine is out of the way lead to a new
plot? The money-contest of the suitors, judged by the father is
supplemented by the mock teaching-contest of the lovers of which
Bianca herself is the judge. Show how this constitutes the second step
in the action and what complications and simplifications it prepares.
Lucentio's studies in the hedonistic Philosophy he professes and its
victory over Music and Hortensio.
What is Bianca's contribution to the gossip excited by Katherine's
wedding, and what impression does Act III give you altogether of
Bianca's character? Is the bad report of it in Act IV, made by
Hortensio, as the Musician, Lisio, with Tranio, quite fair to her?
The abusive opinion and jealousy of Hortensio assisted by the supposed
Lucentio narrow down the uncertainties of the courtship so as to
concentrate interest on the new scheme of the supposed father. How is
this worked out? Explain the conflict with the arrival of the true
father, and the amusing counter-play.