Disguise as a Form of Deceit

By: Danyal Rashid


In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, characters disguise themselves, showing the theme of looking past the disguises of a person, as everything is not as it always appears.

Quote 1:

"Good sooth, even thus; therefore ha' done with words:

To me she's married, not unto my clothes:

Could I repair what she will wear in me,

As I can change these poor accoutrements,

'Twere well for Kate and better for myself.

But what a fool am I to chat with you,

When I should bid good morrow to my bride,

And seal the title with a lovely kiss!" (171)

Explanation 1:

What Petruchio says here shows that the appearance isn't always about whats on the outside, but what is on the inside. This relates back to my thesis when I said everything is not have it always appears. Even though Petruchio is dressed foolishly, to his wedding, it may show he isn't a great person, but that isn't the case.

Quote 2:

"Mistake no more: I am not Litio,

Nor a musician, as I seem to be;

But one that scorn to live in this disguise,

For such a one as leaves a gentleman,

And makes a god of such a cullion:

Know, sir, that I am call'd Hortensio." (207)

Explanation 2:

In this passage from the play, Hortensio reveals his disguise of Litio to Bianca because he realizes that he doesn't want to marry her. He realizes that Bianca isn't the percet wife that he thought she was. There are two disguises in this one quote; Hortensio as Litio, and BIanca as a perfect wife.

Quote 3:

"What, you notorious villain, didst thou never see

thy master's father, Vincentio?" (257)

Explanation 3:

In this scene from the play, Vincentio finds out that Biondello was disguised as him and he gets very angry. Everyone also sees how Lucentio has been faking about his father. This shows that even though it seemed that Biondello was the real father it turned out different than it seemed

Quote 4:

"Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,

And offer me disguised in sober robes

To old Baptista as a schoolmaster

Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;

That so I may, by this device, at least

Have leave and leisure to make love to her

And unsuspected court her by herself." (99)

Explanation 4:

In this scene from the play Hortensio asks Petrucio to help him disguise as Litio. Hortensio wants to disguise as Litio and teah her how to play the lute, so he can later try to marry her. Bianca just thinks that someone is giving her lessons, but what she doesn't know is that Hortensio wants to marry her.