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The taming of the shrew essay

Michael Billington, theatre vit for the Guardian, asked ‘whether there may be any cause to revive a play which will seems entirely offensive to our age and society’ (6 May 1978). With particular reference to the final scenes in the play, check out the ways in which a modern audience can interact to Shakespeare’s display of the romantic relationship between Kate and PetruchioTo many desultory observers The Taming in the Shrew may be conjectured to be profoundly misogynistic, an irresistible illustration of female subjugation in 16TH Century Great britain.

However in my estimation this is a far too succinct, pithy and perfunctory observation. The Taming of the Shrew displays enough unconformity in its blood pressure measurements to support different interpretations of its which means and displays its significance to females.

It is crystal clear that one’s own evaluation of the predicament of Kate is a fundamental element of whether one finds the play offensive or not. On face value the shrewish Kate is tamed by the vicious, exploitative Petruchio who uses her father’s wealth while his just reason to embark on their particular marriage; a marriage she despairingly tries and fails to withstand.

This individual embarrasses and degrades her, culminating inside the final scene where Kate openly relinquishes her independence; grovellingly putting her hand under Petruchio’s foot and lectures the other women about what ought to be their ‘traditional’ servant role within relationship.

However such superficial understanding fail to consider the solid possibility of the presence of dramatic paradox in Shakespeare’s writing, that their relationship is in fact one of ‘partnership’. Fiona Shaw, a contemporary Shakespearean actor, offers this kind of interpretation by commenting ‘her vision coincides with his¦ Kate and Petruchio were rebels and would stay rebels forever’1. Indeed it has been argued that Kate basically tames Petruchio by apparently bowing to his requests:

Thy hubby is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign; the one that cares for thee (ACT Versus SCENE II 145-6) Superficially this may seem to be a submission, but it is possible to see the paradox in Kate’s words. After all, at the time of producing, the head of state or perhaps the sovereign was Elizabeth I, therefore the above mentioned quotation represents a direct satrical attack up against the patriarchal principle that Kate seems to be urging. Kate’s final speech could possibly be categorised being a capitulation if its audience was without any idea or perhaps contextual information about Kate’s complicated character mainly because much of the content is derived from sources found in the Elizabethan Church including the Book of Homilies and The Instruction of Christian Girls.

However , it is certainly conceivable that it could be viewed as a ‘subversive manifesto’. Kate’s flattering of Petruchio through her references to his brave nautico background appears to appease him, yet it can be she together with the ‘soft’ and ‘smooth’ body. Petruchio maybe stronger inside the physical sense, but it is he who have had to operate harder is obviously and will job harder in marriage ” if Kate has her way. They would. G. Goddard’s comment that ‘everyone knows¦ that the girl can head of the family it over the man as long as the lady allows him to think he is lording it out her’ facilitates this perspective, even if this kind of comment can be as equally facile as Kate’s ‘taming’ ” a homage to the ambiguity of the perform.

Textual evidence also configures with the hesitation over whether Kate’s plight parallels while using doctrines in the Renaissance copy writers who essentially endorsed a patriarchal interpersonal hierarchy with the female susceptible to the orders of their partner or father. Lucentio’s last line ‘Tis a ponder, by your leave, she will be tamed so’ emphasises the idea of scepticism over her sudden transformed behaviour which indeed your woman may possess colluded with Petruchio in order to win the wager.

The short time-scale of the play casts question over whether such a personality as strong as Kate could really be tamed therefore emphatically. Indeed the feminist critic Germaine Greer features argued that the play ‘is not a knockabout farce of wife-battering, however the cunning edition of a folk-motif to show the forging of your partnership between equals’2, emphasised by Petruchio in the final scene finally acknowledging their alliance -‘we’ll be to bed¦ we all thee are married, however you two happen to be sped’.

It really is Kate who may be indeed clever enough to grasp that she must conciliate Petruchio in the event she is to forge a happy marriage with him. This can be after Hortensio reminds Kate ‘say as he says, or perhaps we shall never go’ ” a clue about the possible implications if the girl continues her resistance. This is simply not a submitting, but a clever ploy by simply Kate who realises that if her marriage is always to progress via a state of extreme discomfort the girl must move a alliance.


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