As Portia disguises as a young man of law in Merchant of Venice to save Antonio, Shakespeare again uses disguise to build major characters in The Taming of the Shrew. In The Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio and Hortensio dress as tutors to declare love to Bianca. Tranio dresses as Lucentio to help Lucentio be successful of wooing Bianca. As I read these two plays, I thought why should they disguise themselves to achieve their goal? Well, probably they think that disguise would make them win Bianca’s heart. Although disguise plays an important role for Lucentio to win Bianca’s heart, he needs to find another man to disguise himself to play a role as his father when Baptista wants to confirm with Lucentio’s father. So, at first, it seems that disguises enable them to achieve their goal and it is not hard to keep them masquerade. However, as Tranio bumps into Vincentio, Lucentio’s father, Tranio and Lucentio’s true selves are soon to be uncovered. Although they try to portray themselves as totally different people, their true identity could not be changed.
I think I see people like Lucentio and Tranio in today’s society, who act like someone they are not. When politicians campaign to win their election, they portray themselves to different people to appeal more voters. But, after they got elected, they sometimes act in different ways from what they promised to their voters during their campaign. They disguise themselves to achieve their goal of winning the election, but their true selves are eventually uncovered and they often disappoint the people who supported them during the election.
Why can’t people just be the way they are? Perhaps, some people think that disguise is sometimes necessary for them to achieve their goal because it allows them to become a totally different person for the moments. My point is that I think through disguise in his plays, Shakespeare maybe wanted to say that a person beneath remains the same no matter how the person portrays him/her or act differently.