Essay on Taming of the Shrew: Stand by Your Man

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The Taming of the Shrew: Stand by Your Man - The Psychotherapist Perspective The universal nature of the themes in The Taming of the Shrew, beg analysis and social critique. This comedic farce, by William Shakespeare, creates an elegant depiction of a modern life and romantic love with all of its masks and pretensions. It is easy to assume the perspective of a psychotherapist while witnessing the drama of Katherine and Petruchio’s love affair unfolding. Concepts like “emotional repression” and “therapeutic catharsis” neatly fit the “taming” scenario. In fact, this play offers many new insights into what it takes to create an enduring, viable marriage—if one understands it from a very contemporary, psychotherapeutic or…show more content…
Hadn’t she arrived at a splendid state transcendent of societal concepts like “patriarchy” and “matriarchy?” In Act IV, scene 3, there is evidence that Kate knew her “shrewishness” as a kind of disease: My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, Or else my heart concealing it will break, And rather than it shall I will be free Even to the uttermost as I please in words. (lines, 77-80) She is a “shrew” because a snarl of anger and perhaps jealousy had twisted itself deep inside her and sought occasional release. We gradually learn that her father had favored his younger and perhaps more attractive daughter, Bianca. Kate had continually been placed second in her father’s affections and perhaps had felt forced to take on this “shrewish” persona in order to shield her hurt and neglect. So, is “shrewishness” her character or is it a protective, strategy of survival? If it’s indeed a defense mechanism, we can feel sympathy for her extreme behavior which we sense is only superficial and transitory—masking a truer, more substantial nature in need of healing. In the above lines, Kate is explaining why she has such a shrewish disposition. This scene takes place toward the culmination of her “taming”—after the wild, tempestuous courtship when a headstrong Petruchio pursued Kate’s
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