Essay on The Taming of the Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew

Examine the different ways in which Shakespeare presents the attitude towards marriage in the play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, and it shares many essential characteristics with his other romantic comedies, such as Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These characteristics include light-hearted and slapstick humour, disguises and deception and a happy ending in which most of the characters come out satisfied. The play has been dated from as early as 1594 and as late as 1598. (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/shrew/context.html)

The main themes in the play are love, marriage, domination, society expectations, betting and
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The view of the society on marriage is that women should obey their husbands, as they themselves are unimportant. This is the view in which Shakespeare took on board whilst writing the play.

Baptista was the father of two daughters; he was a wealthy man and could meet the expense of two respectable dowries. One of his two daughters was seen to be a shrew amongst the people of Padua, this therefore making it extremely difficult for him to find a suitor for her. Money therefore played an immense part in the marriage of Katherina. Without Petruchio turning up in Padua, looking for a wife it could have looked dreadful for Baptista, not being able to locate a suitor. “I come to wive it wealthily in Padua,” admits Petruchio. He himself along with Hortensio and Baptista are very money orientated. Hortensio talks about Petruchio saying, “will undertake to woo Katherina, yea, and marry her, if her dowry please.” He suggests that she is only worth marrying if the dowry is high enough.

Hortensio first told Petruchio of Katherina, and he claimed that his deceased father knew her father well. ”I know her father, though I know not her, and he knew my deceased father well”. Even though he was told she was known in Padua for being a shrew he still insisted on meeting her. “I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her.”

Shakespeare shows Petruchio as an awful man and

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