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Petruchios Disguise and Identity There are many reasons for Shakespeare using devices of disguise and altered identities in his plays In fact in a great number of his plays disguise plays an integral role A characters purpose for disguising themselves may be to help or hinder other characters to reveal truths or perhaps simply for comedy For Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew it can be all of these and helps us better understand what William Shakespeares points might be Shakespeare uses disguises in a great number of his plays but Petruchio is interesting because of his deliberate and focused use of it Petruchio is conscious of the guises he puts forth to attain specific goals while wooing Katherina Petruchio seems to have a firm grip on the use of how people perceive him and how he can use that to his own benefit and ultimately to the benefit of Katherina At the beginning of The Taming of the Shrew Petruchio seems not to be using any disguises Petruchio approaches his friend Hortensios house in Padua from whom he learns of the two sisters and their plight Petruchio agrees to woo the shrewish Katherina so that Bianca the modest one can in turn be wooed His reasons for taking on this fiery women as he puts it to Hortensio if thou know One rich enough to be Petruchios wifeI come to wive it wealthily in Padua If wealthily then happily in Padua Shr 1265-75 Here we can see that he has come from his home with the explicit intention to wed and further more to wed a woman with a large dowry He does not seem to be wearing any disguises here but as my English teacher pointed out when compared with his bravado and masculine defiance in Act I Scene ii lines 198-210 it may well have been He also appears to be in this same bravado disguise
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