Disguise as a form of Deceit

By Matt Burton

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Disguises can be used to carryout mischievous plots, fool people, or even woo beautiful women.

In The Taming of the Shrew you can see it used in a few ways but most prominently to woo Bianca, everyone's most beloved girl.

Act 1 Scene 1

"Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,

Puts my apparel and my countenance on,

And I for my escape have put on his;

For in a quarrel since I came ashore

I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:

Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,

While I make way from hence to save my life:

You understand me?"

This quote describes a passage in which Lucentio and Tranio have decided to switch clothes in order to fool people so Lucentio can get out of the house and see his beloved Bianca. This is jsut the begging of the disguises Lucentio will go through in order to take Bianca's hand.

Act 2 Scene 1

"To express the like kindness, myself,

that have been more kindly beholding to you than

any, freely give unto you this young scholar,

Presenting LUCENTIO

that hath been long studying at Rheims; as cunning

in Greek, Latin, and other languages, as the other

in music and mathematics: his name is Cambio; pray,

accept his service."

This passage describe the scene where Lucentio is at Baptista's house disguised in yet another costume as Cambio in order to fool Baptista and spend time with Bianca. He claims to be a tutor for Bianca and spends his time in his lessons sending her the message that he is really Lucentio and he is in love with her.

Act 2 Scene 1

"You wrong me, Signior Gremio: give me leave.

I am a gentleman of Verona, sir,

That, hearing of her beauty and her wit,

Her affability and bashful modesty,

Her wondrous qualities and mild behavior,

Am bold to show myself a forward guest

Within your house, to make mine eye the witness

Of that report which I so oft have heard.

And, for an entrance to my entertainment,

I do present you with a man of mine,

Presenting HORTENSIO

Cunning in music and the mathematics,

To instruct her fully in those sciences,

Whereof I know she is not ignorant:

Accept of him, or else you do me wrong:

His name is Licio, born in Mantua."

This passage describes the scene in which Hortensio is introduced to Baptista as Licio in order to woo Bianca. Shakespeare used a lot of detail in Licio's talents description to make his character more believable and also a desired tutor for Bianca.

Act 5 Scene 1

Take heed, Signior Baptista, lest you be

cony-catched in this business: I dare swear this

is the right Vincentio."

This quote is when both Vincentio's are in the same place at the same time and Lucentio's plan is finally falling apart. It's funny having the two characters together because the impostor/pedant knows that he is not the real Vincentio but cannot give up his disguise so it causes a complication in Lucentio's plan.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. "Act 1 Scene 1." The Taming of the Shrew. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954.

Shakespeare, William. "Act 2 Scene 1." The Taming of the Shrew. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954.

Shakespeare, William. "Act 2 Scene 1." The Taming of the Shrew. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954.

Shakespeare, William. "Act 5 Scene 1." The Taming of the Shrew. New Haven: Yale UP, 1954.