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Shakespeare The Feminist Taming Of The Shrew

Shakespeare The Feminist? Taming Of The Shrew Essay, Research Paper Shakespeare the femenist? Taming of the shrew by Vedat Gashi The taming of the shrew by william shakespeare is a play

Shakespeare The Feminist? Taming Of The Shrew Essay, Research Paper

Shakespeare the femenist?

Taming of the shrew

by Vedat Gashi

The taming of the shrew by william shakespeare is a play

which is ahead of its time in its views toward gender roles

within society. Katherine is a woman who is intelligent,

and is not afraid to assert her views on any given

situation. She is paired with another obstinate character

in Pertuchio. The Marrige formed between the two is a match

made in heaveanfor two reasons. First Because Katherine is

strong enough to assert her views, and more importantly,

she realizes when she should asssert them. The second reason

the bond survives is that Petruchio is strong enough to

accept the fact that Katherine has a mind and, more

importantly he lloves her for that reason. Petruchio

cleaverly weaves the relationship into the framework of

society without comprimising the integruty of the

relationship. Petruchio does this by comparing katherines at

titude to repulsive clothing.Carefully and calculatingly,

Petruchio forges a relationship that is envied by all who

witness it.

Called “cursed Kate” throught the play, katherine is

openly jealous of the attention he sister is recieving,

whereas she, because she speaks her mind, is being bypassed

and even avioded in the wooing proccess. Katherine reveals

this attitude in act 2 scene1, lines 31-35, “nay, now i see

she is your treasure, she must have a husband;i must dance

barefoot on my wedding day, and for your love to her, lead

the apes to hell. Talk not to me i will sit and weep!….”

This anger is not conncealed, it serves to provide

motivation as to why a rational person would rebuke

petrucchio so rudely upon first encountering him. Katherine

surely realizes that petruchio is is interested in her for

ulterior motives other than love. Be it pursethat the dowry

will bring or the actions of an insincere lunitic who,

“woo’s a thousand… yet never means to wed where he hath

wooed” (act 3scene 2 lines 15-17). In any event, Kate is

not easily won by the brash and brazen wouldbe suitor

petruchio. She percieves (correctly) Petruchio’s

motivation to be false so she fights his advances

vehemently. Unfortunetly, though, Katherine carries the

burden of havin a sister with a higher market value.

Seconds after he learns that katheine is betrothed,

Baptista wastes no time in auctioning off his younger

daughter to the highest bidder. “now i play the merchants

part, and venture madly on an open mart” (A2,s1,l319-320)

In this light Katherines resistance is justified.

After a forced marrige, Patruchio sets about wooing

Katherine in earnest. Petruchio realizes that there is more

to his “bonnie Kate”then her weighty dowry. He begins to

love and more importantly respect Katherine. Only when

Katherine is sure that petruchio is niether mad nor greedy

does she begin to fall for him.

Having mutual affection, thier problems are only partly

solved. The problem lay in the structure of society.

IN 16th century society a dainty, subsrvient, tame woman

posses the ideal qulities of her time. Petruchio realix=zes

this point. He realizes that if he has a wife who clearly

contradicts social norms, having a mind and expressing it ,

he would not be repected by his peers. This realization

searves to explain the scenes dealing with attire throught

the play, act III scene iii and Act Vscene ii, amongst

others. Petruchio begins manipulationg Katherine asearly

as their wedding day. By choosing overty absurd attire

petruchio is making a point. He carries on this charade

in Act IV =scene III, when the tailor is brought in.

Petruchio secretly requests that a extremely elegant,

beautiful dress be made. when this dress is brought before

Katherine, she proffesses it is the most beautiful she has

ever seen. At this point Petruchio orders the dressmaker

away, stating that the dress is abominable. Here is where

the point is driven in most convincingly. “we will unto

your father’s even in these honest habiliments. our purses

proud, our garments poor, for it is the mind that makes

the body rich. And so sun breaks through the darkest clouds

so honor peereth in the meanest habit. (A4, sc, 3,

lns,167-173)

An analogy is being made, and within this analogy is

the point Shakespeare is trying to drive forth. If

Kaetherine does not care if her behaivior in public makes

her appear like a fool, then why should she care if her

clothes do the same but in a different manner. Both

Petruchio and Katherine dress squalidly as long as

Katherines behaivior is offensive. As her attitude subsides

, the garments that adorn the couple also become more

impressive. IN the last act of the play, Katherine finally

is recognized whena wager is placed by Petruchio counter

Hortensio and Lucentio. They wager as to which wife will

respond most obediently to her husband’s beckoning.

Petruchio wins this wage because Katehrine behaves as a

gracios wife would. To further reiterate this point,

petruchio symbolically comands Katherine to take off her hat

and step on it. She again abides as a gracios wife of the

16th century might. Ironically, Bianca, once once the

vision of the perfect wife, not only disobeys her husband

bvut she goes further and insults him in public. The mutual

respect of fot he relationship between Petruchio and Kate

is contrasted with the superficial properness of the

relationship of bianca and lucentio.

In this play as as any other, shakespeare proves to be

a visionary. Petruchio achieves his goal through witty

persuasion rather than resorting to beating his wifelike

many a man before him has done. Though shakespeare does not

go as far as some feminists would like him to, Sahkespeare

does much fr the fight of equality of the sexes. Katherine

is as strong, or stronger than any woman in shakespeare’s

plays. The amazing thing is that she achieves this without

ulterior motives such as lady Macbeth. She is an honest,

bright independent woman. She is not underscored by her

subservience to petruchio in public, for “the sun breaks

through the darkest cloud” and so do Katherines asssets

braek though the public visage of subordination to her

husband.

361

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