The two plots in the main play of Taming of the Shrew

Two important things to note about plot and structure of Taming of the Shrew:

  1. Throughout the play we (the audience) are told what is to happen by several of the play's characters (using soliloquies etc.) and we watch to see if it will.
  2. The Induction and the two plots of the main play are totally interlinked.

The main play begins with Baptista saying:

'That is not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.

Immediately, the audience know that the two plots will run parallel to each other.


  1. Starting with Baptista's words (as above) go through the play and briefly jot down the Katherina / Petruchio plot in the form of a flow diagram.
  2. Now do the same for the sub-plot.
  3. Make a list of similar action that occurs in both plots, eg. marriage.
  4. Take several of the actions you listed in c. How are they treated differently in each plot? Try to note down the details, quotations etc. carefully because this is the basis of your exam revision (this is what you will write about in the exam). If you are stuck, think about how some of these are treated in each plot: love, disguise, relationships between men and women, watching, taming, hunting, cruelty, money, dreams / reality, masters & servants.


You are going to write a detailed and lengthy essay which you will be able to revise from. Remember, in your exam you will be answering the question on Plot & Structure, so do this well and your revision will be easy!

Title: The audience of Taming of the Shrew are Presented with Three Distinct Plots. Examine in Detail how these Plots are Interlinked and how Important their Similarities and Differences are to the Play as a Whole

  1. Plan your work in detail as shown - then let me see it.
  2. Write the essay.

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