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Rules for Action Statements  Only one character can perform the key action of the scene.  Decisions do not count.  Anything planned before the scene.

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Presentation on theme: "Rules for Action Statements  Only one character can perform the key action of the scene.  Decisions do not count.  Anything planned before the scene."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rules for Action Statements  Only one character can perform the key action of the scene.  Decisions do not count.  Anything planned before the scene starts does not count.  The action is something the character does in thoughtful response to some cause or causes.  Talking to the audience can be an action.  When writing a full statement, put the main action in the main clause of the sentence.

2 Induction, scene one  Action: Having arranged to deceive Sly by dressing him like a lord and his page like a woman and then warning the players who arrive not to offend Sly, the Lord convinces himself that he can instruct his followers how to stifle their laughter, which would spoil his illusion, or failing that, that how his presence alone will keep his farce from degenerating into a riot. Will Sly ever know how he has been plotted against? Will Katharina? Does a dog or a hawk?

3 Induction, scene 2:   Sly transforms into a proper lord to watch play.   Or   Sly accepts his given role as a lord to watch the play.   Or   The lord restrains frivolity of his players (form of actor's self-censureship).   Or   Sly accepts the doctor's orders that he watch a play instead of demanding sex from his wife, as that will keep him from reverting to his former lowly status.

4 Act one, scene one   Lucentio devises means to woo Bianca.   or,   Lucentio allows Tranio to disguise himself as Lucentio for "good and weighty" reasons (to negotiate a dowry with Baptista, but we don’t know this or know that he knows it yet) while he disguises himself as a schoolmaster to woo Bianca, the only means Baptista allows one to have access to her.  .

5 Act one, scene one   Lucentio hides his plan to elope from Tranio and the audience.   This also fits a nice pattern in the play, since Bianca is a woman who hides her own true thoughts as well. Then again, Petrucchio hides his method from Katharina, though not from the audience.   or,   Duped into letting Tranio take on his own identity, Lucentio comes up with his own bad idea, to elope with Bianco, thus avoiding what Hortensio called the "bar in law"that forbids Bianca to marry till Katharina does. The problem is that a decision is not an action.

6 Act one, scene one   Tranio suckers Lucentio into becoming a schoolmaster so that Tranio can take his place as Lucentio. (after all, Tranio could have been the schoolmaster, acting as a go-between, as Cambio does for Gremio).   or,   Having helped Lucentio devise his plan to be a schoolmaster, Tranio convinces him that Tranio should take on the role of Lucentio, wear his clothes, spend his money.

7 Act one, scene two   Petruchio will help his friends and himself as he goes after Katharina. No, because P was already determined to do this before the scene started.   or,   Tranio (disguised as Lucentio) profligately extends his promise to pay a portion to support he wooding of Petrucchio by inviting the other wooers to the alehouse to drink all afternoon, comparing their combination of fellowship and adversary behavior to that of lawyers (as Hortensio and Gremio already did when they determined to be friends till the "bar at law" was lifted, 136): "Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends."

8 Act two, scene one   Petruchio frees Bianca for marriage. This is more of a description of the clever way Shakespeare makes the plots overlap.   or,   Tranio lies to win the bidding contest for Bianca, but needs to find someone to pretend to be Vincentio, since Baptiasta wants "assurance" from his father, in case the father outlives Lucentio Problem that this is two actions.   or, 

9 Act two, scene one   Baptista, all too ready to accept Petruchio’s lies that he and Katharina have fallen in love because he looks only for “quiet”(328), takes care to ensure that Tranio is not lying by requiring his father to affirm the winning bid for Bianca.   or,

10 Act two, scene one   Tranio curses Baptista for putting him to the trouble of finding a “supposed” Vincentio.

11 Act three, scene one   Lucentio makes headway with Bianca   or,   Bianca gives Lucentio some hope,   or,   Hortensio denounces Bianca because she looks lovingly on the pedascule.

12 Act three, scene two   Katherine resists Petruchio's attempts to take her away,   or,   Petruchio makes everyone obey Katharina's call to dinner.   This action is an image of their marriage and why it will work: the husband gets obedience in exchange for empowering the woman. Although legally, no one can stop her, as he points out (234: something Lucentio hopes to gain by his elopement), it is his ability to defend her against the world, farcically acted out when he has Grumio draw his weapon, that may suggest he deserves her respect.

13 Vanity Fair interview with Roseanne,  “Why do you love him?” I ask. “Is it just because he’s the big bad boyfriend who can beat up the world for you?”  “Oh, man, what other reason do you need?” Roseanne, signing, asks me right back. “That says it all. He’s funny. He’s very, very intelligent. And he can go to the places I can go to.” (February 1994, p. 114)

14 Act three, scene two.   Baptista assigns Tranio (disguised as Lucentio) to take Petruchio’s place at the wedding feast

15 What are some differences between drama and film?  Plays stress dialogue; movies stress visuals.  Plays tend to stay in one physical location; films often move over vast distances.  Plays are organized by scenes; films are organized by camera shots.

16 How does Zeffirelli’s movie differ from play?  Probably the main difference between the text and movie is that Zeffirelli gives agency--makes her a thoughtful personality who performs significant actions, to Kate but takes it away from Tranio.

17 How does Shakespeare soften the taming?  He includes line that “both will fast” ( )  He has Petruchio give his “falcon” taming speech to his men, whom he must impress (he may only speak this way publicly, but not think so: cf. his comparison of his falcon and his wife at )  Clever construction of the play: 1) the double plot; 2) the fourth act

18 How does Zeffirelli soften the taming?  eliminating P’s hawk-taming metaphor, with its offensive imagery  use slapstick humor, even in the “starving” scene at table  writing a new bedroom scene to show: that Petruchio can restrain his sex needs, implying he is no cruel husband that Petruchio can restrain his sex needs, implying he is no cruel husband that both are attractive and sexually attracted to each other that both are attractive and sexually attracted to each other that Kate can give (bed-warming pan) as good as she gets that Kate can give (bed-warming pan) as good as she gets  (cont.)

19 How does Zeffirelli soften the taming?  Emphasizing song “Where is the life that once I led” implying that Kate is taming and transforming Petruchio as well  Using star quality of Taylor and Burton to make them attractive (also suggesting that strong personalities must yield to marriage)  Using mood music and Taylor’s ability to project longing to suggest that deep down, Petruchio and Kate are really attracted to each other, despite their public posture that he is a drunk and she a shrew.  Adding stage bits to suggest P’s transformation rather than Kate’s: at first afraid of water at Hortensio’s house, he later washes his hands before attempting to go to bed with her (some guys will do anything... )

20 How does the double plot work?  Sets up a comparison between the wily servant Tranio--clever but misguided--and Katharina-- clever but misguided.  To some extent, unseen elements of Kate’s transformation can be guessed by looking at Tranio: 1) the off-stage wedding as Tranio plans for a “supposed” Vincentio and Lucentio thinks of eloping ( ); 2) the time between Kate’s not agreeing it’s 2 o’clock and agreeing the sun is the moon, during which Tranio plans start to fall apart

21 What pattern does the five-act structure reveal?  Act 1: the boys find girls of their dreams  Act 2: boys win girls: P by wit, Lucentio by Tranio’s bidding  Act 3: Plot tightens: P marries; Lucentio plans to elope (unnecessarily, as the excuse that he has to elude Hortensio replaces the original problem, that Kate had to be married first)  Act 4: Counter stroke: Kate agrees with P; Tranio enlists the pedant to play Vincentio  Act 5: Recognition and reversal: true Vincentio appears (also true Bianca and widow); Kate??

22 What pattern do action statements show? ind.1: Lord instructs page how to play a gentle woman, by example ind. 2: Sly accepts doctor’s orders 1.1: Tranio finds a way to move up in social class 1.2: Tranio invites other wooers to alehouse. (recall Sly’s lower-class preference for ale; Vincentio, we will see, prefers to drink at home)

23 What pattern do action statements show?  2.1: Tranio lies to win bidding contest  3.1: Tranio accepts the assignment to “beguile” Gremio (now that it looks like Kate will marry, removing that obstacle)  3.2: Tranio listens to Lucentio’s notion that he must elope to evade Hortensio (Litio).

24 What pattern do action statements show?  4.1: Petruchio imitates Kate’s railing  4.2: Tranio tricks pedant into accepting role of Vincentio  4.3: Petruchio explains to Kate his taming process: just don’t cross him, and she can have anything (specifically, a trip home)  4.4: Tranio finds a way to get Bianca out of the house  4.5: Kate takes Hortensio’s advice (listens to the doctor)  5.1: Tranio tries to have Vincentio arrested.  5.2: Kate lectures the other women--if this is a genuine “action,” then Kate has agency; if she is just an obedient wife who has no true moral choice, then the action is either that Baptista awards 20,000 crowns or Petruchio invites Kate to bed, but who would play it this way?

25 Other questions  Why, exactly, does Kate allow herself to be tamed... assuming she does allow it.

26 Other questions  Where do you think, if anywhere, Kate first feels attracted to Petruchio?  Is Petruchio ever cruel? How far can he go?  What motivates Tranio? Is he like Kate? She he accept his position as servant as she accepts wifehood?  Explain the thematic unity of assuming poses (“supposes,” from I Soppositi, the Ariosto play that is the basis for the Lucentio plot): Who pretends to be what? Does this theme of people adopting roles influence our view of Katharina?


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