TS and TG Comparative Analysis

Literature Mock Exams
 H2 Paper 1
Week 6 Monday 8 – 11am @LT1
 H2 Paper 5
Week 7 Monday 8 – 11am @LT1
 Papers will be posted on the blog; hard
copies will be left in a box where the pigeon
holes are. You are advised to come, given
time mgt issues for the Prelim Exam.
 Study Hard(y)! - Mr Lim (obviously).
Taming of the Shrew and
Top Girls
Comparative Analysis
And Beginnings and Endings
Comparison and Contrast of
Concerns and Methods of two plays
 Noticing and Noting similarities;
 Noticing and Noting differences;
 Roles; Relationships; Representations
(Textuality, and Corporeality);
 Showing how your reading of one playtext
informs your reading of the other playtext;
 Reading one gives you insights into the other;
 Should awaken new insights / perspectives
 Thus arriving at a new illuminating synthesis
Traditional Gender Perspectives
 Women, a life of Servility and Sacrifice
 Men, a life of Discovery and Domination
The Battle of the Sexes
TS Courtship; P5
TG Work;
Marriage (Education) Motherhood
 Concerns / Issues (Gender)
 Concerns / Issues (Gender)
 Genre (comedy / romantic)
 Genre (serious / political)
 Methods (Antithesis and
 Methods (Ironic
Structure of Plot (Design)
Time and Setting
Characterization Grissel p 47
Dialogue: Heightened poetic
language (blank verse)
Diction (plain) and Syntax
Dramatic Irony
(intended) Dramatic Effects
Structure of Plot (Design)
Time and Setting
Characterization Griselda
Dialogue: Naturalistic plain
everyday language
Diction (plain) and Syntax
Dramatic Irony
(Intended) Dramatic Effects
Class Conflict
 England; Outside a low
class tavern;
Drinks ale / beer
Christopher Sly /
Katherina parallel
Am I a lord…Or do I
dream? (Sly)
‘It is a kind of history’
Latin, a signifier of
learning, class and
patriarchal power taught
by Lucentio (as the
tutor, Cambio)
 England; Inside a high
class restaurant;
Drinking wine (what Sly
calls ‘sack’)
Pope Joan / Marlene
Marlene’s dreamscape
Kind of History
 Latin, a signifier of
learning, class and
patriarchal power, and
spoken by Pope Joan
 Other worldly:
Great Chain of Being
 This worldly:
Great Chain of Being?
 Scala Naturae
 Social stratification
 Supernatural
 Religion of Christianity
 Natural
 Secular religious
 Decreed by a
patriarchal God and
sanctioned by a
patriarchal church;
ideology of Capitalism
 Decreed by man,
patriarchal chain of
command in the new
capitalist world order
 Ends with a
 Begins with a
celebratory dinner;
celebratory dinner
the wedding feast
 Celebrating women
 Celebrating a
becoming wives;
woman’s career
 Katherina celebrates
an entry to a life of
 Marlene, a life of
enslavement and
independence and
‘top girl’ power;
TS Structure
Induction (Dream)
 Appearance and Reality
 The Main Plot (The
‘Taming’ plot) the
courtship and marriage;
Petruchio as ‘Top’ man
 The Romantic sub-plot;
the Lucentio-Bianca
courtship and marriage
TG Structure
Induction (Dream)
 Appearance and Reality
 The Main plot (Marlene
and her fellow ‘top’ girls,
Win and Nell
 The un-romantic sub-plot
concerning the lives of
Joyce, Angie; and the
underclass office women,
Jeanine, Louise, and
Analytical Commentary on dramatic
language; stylization of speech
Compare analytically the stylization of dramatic
language of Katherina and Marlene in the
following final act extracts:
 Notice the more formal, heightened poetic
language of Katherina (diction and syntax);
 And the more informal, naturalistic everyday
speech of Marlene;
 And intended dramatic effects, in context;
Katherina in final act; this section of
her speech: 7 lines; 2 sentences
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
I am asham’d that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Marlene in final act p 83
 There’s fellas who like to be seen with a high-
flying lady. Shows they’ve got something
really good in their pants. But they can’t take
the day to day. They’re waiting for me
to turn into the little woman.
Or maybe I’m just horrible of course.
Joyce: Who needs them?
 Well I do. But I need adventures more.
So on on into the sunset.
I think the eighties are going to be
Concerns? Education of Women
Taming of the Shrew
 Two schools (Main Plot and Sub-Plot)
 Petruchio’s Taming-School:
‘To tame a shrew and charm her chattering
tongue.’ [4.2]
 Private Tuition: Poetry and Music;
 Lucentio as Cambrio instead of proceeding
with education proper, teaching Bianca Latin,
the lesson becomes more an exercise in the
seduction of Bianca, using the poetry of Ovid
Use of literary classical allusions;
Poetry of ancient Roman Poet, Ovid
The Taming of the Shrew
 The ancient Roman poet, Ovid
 Notably most textually evident?
 In the Lucentio-Bianca subplot;
 Lucentio’s wooing of Bianca?
 Using the Latin poetry of Ovid in 3.1
 And again 4.2 pg 76
 A more subtle manipulative wooing method in
antithesis to that of Petruchio’s wooing of
Katherina in the main plot;
Lucentio and Bianca 4.2 pg 76;
Allusion to Ovid’s Ars Amatoria
Lucentio: Now mistress,
profit you in what you read?
Bianca: What, master, read you?
First resolve me that.
Lucentio: I read that I profess, The Art of Love.
Bianca: And may you prove, sir, master of your
Lucentio: While you, sweet dear,
prove mistress of my heart.
The ancient Roman poet Ovid, and
Ars Armatoria
 Ovid’s Ars Amatoria can be seen in this
dramatic context as a witty, cynical textbook
for male seducers, offering here an ironic
comment on Lucentio’s wooing methods
 And Bianca’s mixture of naivety, sentiment,
and calculation.
 Overall Dramatic Effect?
The play makes clear the true paths to real
learning are not those of the school or
university, but those of worldly experience;
Top Girls
Isabella Bird: My father taught me Latin
although I was a girl /
Marlene: They didn’t have Latin at my school.
Pope Joan arrives
We were just talking about
learning Latin and being clever girls.
Joan was by the way an infant prodigy.
Top Girls from Act 1: Pope Joan
I dressed as a boy… Women weren’t allowed
in the library.
I thought I knew more science than he did
and almost as much philosophy.
First I decided to stay a man. I was used to it.
And I wanted to devote my life to learning.
There was nothing in my life except studies.
I was obsessed with the pursuit of truth.
I taught at the Greek School in Rome,
which St Augustine had made famous.
Women, children and lunatics can’t be Pope.
Pope Joan quotes from
De Rerum Natura by Lucretius
Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis,
e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem;
non quia vexari quemquamst iucunda voluptas,
Sed quibus ipse malis careas quia cernere
suave est,
Suave etiam belli certamina magna tueri
per campos instructa tua sine parta pericli.
Sed nil dulcius est, bene quam munita tenere
edita doctrina sapientum templa serena, /
despicare unde queas alios passimque videre
errare arque viam palantis quaerere vitae,
certare ingenio, contendere nobilitate,
noctes atque dies niti praestante labore
ad summas emergere opes retumque potiri.
O miseras / hominum mentis, o pectora caeca!
Qualibus in tenebris vitae quantisque periclis
degitur hoc aevi quodcumquest! nonne videre
nil aliud sibi naturam latrare, nisi utqui
corpore seiunctas dolor absit, mente fruatur
Translation of Pope Joan’s
quotation from the poet, Lucretius
It’s pleasing, when over a swollen sea winds are stirring
up the waters, to watch from the shore another’s peril:
not because his troubles are a cause of delight or joy,
but because it’s pleasing to recognize what troubles you
are free from yourself. It’s just as pleasing to witness
battle being waged across a plain, when you are out of
danger yourself. But nothing is more delightful than to
occupy the calm of an ivory tower built on the teachings
of wise men; from here you can look down on others as
they wander about seeking some path through life,
as they strive to be clever, to out-do each other in
reputation, battling night and day to get to the top of the
pile with their power and wealth.
Note these words most especially
in relation to Acts 2 and 3
What miserable minds men have!
How blind their hearts are!
To waste their brief span of life in darkness,
in peril!
Don’t they see all nature needs
is for life to be lived without physical pain,
while the mind, freed from cares,
enjoys a sense of delight?
From ‘De Rerum Natura’ by Lucretius
(About the Nature of Things)
Education: Angie and Kit [2.2] p43
 Angie 16 yrs old; has dropped out of school;
 Watches trash movies, and television;
worships style / fashion;
Joyce observes:
 ‘She’s not going to get a job when jobs are
hard to get. I’d be sorry for anyone in charge
of her. She’d better get married. I don’t know
who’d have her, mind.
[To Kit] What do you want to be when you
grow up?
 Kit: Nuclear physicist.
Latin: the Tongue of the Fathers
 To enter into the language of Latin,
is par excellence, to enter into patriarchy;
 Latin, the language of Learning and
Knowledge, and hence Power;
 Men alone remained teachers of Latinity,
like Lucentio as Cambrio, tutor of Latin
poetry, in
The Taming of the Shrew.
Terry Eagleton on History
(as applied to) Churchill’s Top Girls
 History is not a tale of progress.
 History is a grim narrative;
 Whereby we lurch from one kind of
oppression and exploitation to another;
 Recall those last words of Lucretius,
as quoted by Pope Joan
Endings; and final lines;
Does this sum up both plays?
Taming of the Shrew
As a comedy, supposed to have a happy ending;
 Petruchio: Why, there’s a wench! Come on and kiss
me, Kate. //
Come, Kate, we’ll to bed. (Sly: Do I dream?)
Top Girls; Angie to Marlene: Mum?
 Marlene: Angie? What’s the matter?
 Marlene No, she’s gone to bed. It’s Aunty Marlene.
 Angie: Frightening.
 Marlene: Did you have a bad dream? What
happened in it? Well, you are awake now,… pet?
Angie: Frightening.
 Ending of ‘Taming’: Comic / Funny,
or Dark?
George Bernard Shaw: re- Taming of the Shrew
 ‘The last scene is altogether disgusting
to modern sensibility.’
 Marlene, a modern day Shrew?
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