Essay about The Taming of Katherine

1321 Words 6 Pages
The Taming of Katherine

     In Shakespeare's time, the ideal wife was subservient to her husband, and it was the husband's inherent duty to take care of his wife's money, property, and person, including both physical and moral welfare. If a man's spouse proved rebellious, he had the right to physically brutalize her into submission. This social phenomenon of domesticating an unruly woman as one might an animal was the inspiration for The Taming of the Shrew. Kate fits the stereotype of the shrewish woman at the play's outset and the Renaissance ideal of the subservient, adoring wife by the play's close, but her last speech as the final monologue of the play-rightly interpreted-undercuts her stereotype.
…show more content…
Though one might expect Kate's complaints sway her father's opinion of Petruchio, Petruchio adheres to his original statements. He discards her complaints as nothing more than silly falsehoods in a playful game: "'Tis bargain'd 'twixt us twain, being alone, that she shall still be curst in company" (II, i, 297). Even more incredible, Petruchio enthusiastically convinces all present of Katherine's sincere love and affection saying:
"I tell you 'tis incredible to believe
How much she loves me. O, the kindest Kate!
She hung about my neck, and kiss on kiss
She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
That in a twink she won me over to her love" (II, i).
To the delight of all present-except for Kate, that is-Baptista immediately gives her hand to Petruchio.
     Soon, their wedding day approaches, and, as part of his campaign to make Kate realize the error of her current disposition, Petruchio makes a point of embarrassing her. Biondello's detailed description of the groom's appearance portrays Petruchio coming in ridiculous dress to the formal occasion. Through his outrageous clothing and extremely harsh ways, Petruchio blatantly mocks Kate. In the same way that Kate's loud and irritating disposition caused her family so much embarrassment, Kate suffers
Open Document