Essay on The Taming of the Shrew; Is Kate Tamed?
755 WordsMar 31st, 20134 Pages
Katherina may be a shrew, but Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew does not truly show a study of how a selfish, spoilt individual is made to conform to society’s expectations, or be tamed into a ‘proper’ woman. At the end of the play, Katherina is not, necessarily, tamed - she just realizes what she must to do in order to get the things she wants. Two main examples of her submitting to Petruchio in order to achieve her desires are in Act 4, scene 5, (the sun versus moon scene) as well as Act 5, scene 2 (the kiss me kate scene and her final monologue). In Act 4, scene 5, the audience is shown a major part of Petruchio’s ‘taming’ process. Petruchio exclaims: “Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!” (iv, v, line 3, page 185).…show more content…
“What, in the midst of the street? / … / No, sir God forbid, be ashamed to kiss.” (v, ii, line 148, 149, page 205). Again, she is threatened with having to return home instead of joining in the festivities, and Kate gives Petruchio a kiss. This obedient kiss may indicate Petruchio’s power over her, but it was clear to Kate that if she did not give him the kiss he asked for, she would not have been allowed to proceed to the wedding feast. Kate is smart and cunning and she manipulated his yearn for her tameness in order to do everything that she wants to while making him happy and pleased. In addition, Kate’s final monologue, also in Act 5, scene 2, tells the audience a lot; about the play itself, as well as the society in Shakespeare’s era. On face value, Kate’s final monologue seems to be a long lecture about serving your husband, no questions asked. “Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, / And place your hands below your husband’s foot” (v, ii, lines 92-3, page 221). However, Shakespeare gave Kate the last word in the play, a sign of her consistent power and control. As well, her monologue can be perceived as quite ironic. Kate is aware of the beliefs about how women in the household should act and, as clearly portrayed throughout the entire play, the role Petruchio has been trying to get her to fill. By playing along fullheartedly with society’s expectations, in front of the large audience of guests, Kate becomes “truly tamed” - or just incredibly
Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
2183 Words9 Pages
Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew
An exploration of the way Shakespeare presents the characters and relationships of Kate and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.
The relationship between Kate and Petruchio is central to the development of The Taming of the Shrew, as both characters clearly represent and are centrally involved in the main theme of the play, the taming of the "shrew", Kate.
The audience is first introduced to Kate by other characters' opinions of her, such rather than from Kate herself. Language such as Gremio's,
'she's too rough for me,' and Hotensio's, 'Unless you were of gentler milder mould,' gives Kate her reputation as a "shrewish" character.
When Kate first speaks, she speaks rudely,…show more content…
Kate is equal to Petruchio linguistically which also displays an aspect of her character, that she feels that she is easily the equal of any man.
During their first exchange, Petruchio immediately sets about Kate, that he will, 'woo her with some spirit when she comes,' and that he will describe her as the opposite of everything she is in order to confuse her and break her down. In Petruchio's first exchange with
Kate, it is clearly he who comes off better, immediately setting about her with short witty lines, and puns, 'for dainties are all Kates.'
This gives the effect if making Petruchio seem very confident and sure of himself, if he begins his taming with such good humour and interest. In contrast to this, Kate is very angry and frustrated by the Petruchio, and immediately becomes "shrewish," resorting to insults, 'A joint stool,' and violence. This gives the effect of Kate being much less in control of what is going on, and perhaps reflects the direction their relationship is going to take, that Petruchio will be the one in charge, and Kate will not have any control. This could however also demonstrate Kate's intelligence and wit, that she is able to keep up and match Petruchio's wordplay. However Kate feels the need to resort to violence, again demonstrating Petruchio's intelligent wordplay and calm attitude, as he does not react violently towards
Kate, but simply