How Does Shakespeare Present Marriage in the Taming of the Shrew?

Decent Essays
How does Shakespeare present marriage in the Taming of the Shrew?

In The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare is using Kate and Petruchio’s relationship to present marriage as something women should not aspire to, this is different to the conventions of other comedies, for example; in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing the two characters dislike each other but become better people through love and marriage.
Apart from this ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ does seem to have many of the conventions that are required to make up a comedy. Many of the characters appear to be the conventional or stock characters for a comedy, for example Petruchio could be seen as the fool and Bianca as the young, innocent maiden.

The audience did not always
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This gives audiences a much closer look at the characters and allows them to have more of an opinion, which again, could suggest that he was trying to send a message to the audience. As well as this Shakespeare seems to use a wedding as euphemism for sex in many of his other plays (as it is presumed that a couple would consummate the marriage on the wedding night) however because the wedding isn’t shown it could present the idea that their relationship is not a sexual one, this reinforces the fact that Pertruchio does not care about Kate, only money and wealth.

Kate’s ending monologue seems to show the audience how much she has changed, however some critics think this monologue could be seen as sarcastic, which, arguably, would fit in much more with her character than the apparent sudden change in heart. When Katherine speaks about being a wife she says “when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour, and not obedient to his honest will, what is she but a foul contending rebel and graceless traitor to her loving lord?” it could definitely be construed as sarcasm, as she is largely describing herself or how she acted before, and in calling Petruchio her “loving lord” she seems scornful as he has been anything but loving towards her and earlier in the text she thinks of him as a fool.

In my opinion it seems Shakespeare was trying to send a message to his audiences that marriage was
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