Taming of the Shrew Paper

Decent Essays
Taming of the Shrew Paper

Gender roles have normally been dominated by men, with women unwillingly submitting to them. In William Shakespeare’s, The Taming of the Shrew, this idea is presented with the characters Kate and Petruchio. Kate brings about a new attitude of women becoming dominant that is not accepted by Petruchio or the rest of society. Without any support to help her, Kate is unable to keep her own character and conforms to be an obedient wife. In the play Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare uses the character Kate to display men’s power to break down a woman’s confidence and to portray the patriarchal relationship in marriages of the time. Kate proves to be a dominant and strong woman in the beginning of the
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Kate loses her dominant nature after she is married and becomes an obedient, loving wife. Some others oppose the idea that Kate is changed for the worse, but rather they believe that she is in a mutual relationship. Henze describes it as, “That distinction between a practical joke and the comedy very of life is evident... and Kate, who is well-suited for her role as the obedient wife at the end of the play...” (391). Truly, Kate is not “well-suited” for her role, but is rather forced to become her role. If it were up to her, Kate would continue to live unmarried, but she is instead pushed into marrying Petruchio. Kate learns things from her husband that she later tells other women at his command. After Kate is summoned by Petruchio at her sister Bianca’s wedding, she is asked to repeat what Petruchio has taught her with which she announces, “To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, / Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe, / And craves no other tribute at thy hands / But love, fair looks, and true obedience - Too little a payment for so great a debt” (Shakespeare 166-70). Despite Kate’s true thoughts on marriage that she exhibits throughout the play, she tells the other women the things that her husband has asked her to tell. In the end, Petruchio “wins” with himself being the head of the relationship. He gains what all other men want; an obedient wife who will submit to anything he
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