Katherine's Speech In Taming Of The Shrew

Decent Essays
The ambiguity of whether Katherine’s final speech is authentic, in which she apparently proclaims and promulgates female submissiveness, has been thought to define the tone of versions of Taming of the Shrew. However, the attitudes evoked by the monologue can also indicate values of society at the times which the play is presented. Generally, four main theories have emerged regarding the true intent behind Katherine’s speech (Wikipedia, 2017):
It is sincere and Katherine has been successfully “tamed”.
It is sincere, but because Katherine has fallen in love with Petruchio.
It is ironic and is deceiving Petruchio by “parroting a socially acceptable, totally impersonal catalogue of honours a wife owes her husband” (De Wachter, 2016).
It is neither, following the farcical disposition of the play-within-a-play framing device.
Up until the 20th century, most of the last speeches by Katherine have adhered with the first option, including the traditional Globe Theatre adaptation. Katherine’s acting in the Globe Theatre production, grounded in her facial expressions and tone of voice, shows sincerity and truthfulness in her declaration (V.ii). On the basis of this portrayal, it could be said that in a historical Elizabethan context, audiences would have accepted and deemed the domestication mechanisms and taming practises employed by Petruchio as normal. In contrast, “in a modern Western society holding relatively egalitarian views on gender”, interpretations of Katherine’s address
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