The Taming Of The Shrew Katherine Essays

Katherine And Bianca In William Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew

Katherine and Bianca in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew shows two sisters: Katherina and
Bianca, as two complete contrasts to each other. He used various
techniques to achieve these effects. The same techniques are used for
both sisters to show comparisons between their characters. Shakespeare
created two different characters by making the outcome of the
techniques very different from each other. Shakespeare has used the
theme of deception and disguise and based the play on the idea that
things are not always as they seem.

One of the techniques used is presentation of the two girls based on
their behaviour and speech. The oldest of the sisters is Katherina who
is otherwise known as Kate. At her first entrance in Act 1 Scene 1 she
threatens to hit Hortensio over the head with a stool: "comb your
noddle with a three-legged stool". This is because they have been
making snide remarks about her such as Gremio says, "to cart her!
She's too rough for me"; meaning that she should be taken in an open
cart and ridden down the streets, like a convicted prostitute, because
she is not like the ideal Elizabethan woman and people are ashamed of
her.

The Shakespearean audience had the idea of a perfect woman. They
should only speak when spoken to, be polite and do everything to suit
their husband. This is completely the opposite of Katherina as she
thinks that she has to stand up for herself all of the time and this
is why the men always make snide comments about her, to her or loudly
so that she can hear. By her threatening Hortensio she is being very
aggressive and harsh.

However Bianca's behaviour is presented completely differently. From
the minute that she comes into the scene she is polite, meek and mild.
Her first speech tells you what she is like; or what she comes across
as being like; "Sister content you in my discontent. Sir, to your
pleasure humbly I subscribe. My books and instruments will be my
company, on them to look and practice by myself." This is where
Baptista, Bianca's father says that she cannot have suitors until Kate
is married. She comes back with the reply of her books and instruments
will be all that matter to her and that she will practice and read by
herself. She acts sweetly in front of her father. This is a technique
that is used to carry on with the theme of deception and disguise as
you will see later on in the play. Bianca is presented as the ideal
woman opposed to Kate who is not. The difference is that Bianca does
what she is told when she is told to do it, and all Kate does is
answer back with violence or shouting.

Kate and Bianca clearly do not get on with each other, when Bianca
comes onto the scene she is harsh straight away, the third thing that
she says is commenting on Bianca's behavior.

...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

1571 words - 6 pages William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew, By William Shakespeare, provides contemplation to various themes described as acceptable at the time in which the play is set. Themes such as, the role of a wife in a household and the influence of male/father figures on women, are issues that are...

Kate in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

2766 words - 11 pages Kate in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Katharina or Kate, the shrew of William Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew is sharp-tongued, quick-tempered, and prone to violence and violent outbursts, especially to anyone who tries to win her love. This is shown from the beginning in Act One with the scene among Hortensio and...

Relationship of Petruchio and Katherina in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

1960 words - 8 pages Relationship of Petruchio and Katherina in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare is a humorous play which focuses on Petruchio and Katherina's relationship. It explores ideas of marriage including the impact of money in surrounding characters lives. This creates ideal opportunities for dramatic impact, which will vary in effect on the Elizabethan, and modern day ...

Marriage and Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

3625 words - 15 pages Marriage and Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Getting married in modern times is not something which is viewed as necessary. There are many couples that are together, but do not want to marry, because they do not feel they have to. Couples that do, can have a marriage almost anywhere they choose. Couples can marry in houses, shopping centres and even petrol stations. Anywhere you can get a...

William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew as a Comedy

3679 words - 15 pages William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew as a Comedy 'The Taming of the Shrew', written by William Shakespeare between 1589 and 1594, is a romantic comedy set in the Italian city of Padua. Since the play was written, the audience's idea of comedy has changed quite dramatically. In the fifteen hundreds, an audience would have enjoyed obvious, visual aspects of comedy such as we would see in a modern-day pantomime,...

Interpreting Katherina's Speech in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

3135 words - 13 pages Interpreting Katherina's Speech in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Kate’s changes in Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ are going to be examined here. I will look at Elizabethan attitudes towards women and see if Kate resolves to conform to these views or to retain her shrewish persona. Additionally I will examine Shakespeare’s use of devices in her final speech (to see whether she is tamed) and ...

Kate Controls Her Own Actions in William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

1392 words - 6 pages Kate Controls Her Own Actions in William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew Who is primarily in control of Kate's actions in William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew? Is Kate primarily controlling her actions, or do other characters in the play control her? If you just read through the play, but don't study it in-depth, it appears that Kate is controlled by other characters' actions towards her, but is this actually the case? Isn't it very...

Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

1422 words - 6 pages In what ways is ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ an appropriate title for the play? In the play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, characters contribute greatly to the development of the storyline. As one of the main characters Katherina’s shrewish behaviour adds the comical aspect at the beginning of the play and by the end has been diminished with the help of Petruchio’s taming techniques. Shakespeare uses the difference in personality between Petruchio...

Relationships in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

1475 words - 6 pages Masters and Husbands/ Wives and Servants: The Ideals of Renaissance The relationships between servants and masters closely reflect the gender relationships in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio and Tranio's relationship as master and servant is an ideal of the Renaissance era according to "An Homily on the State of Matrimony." Tranio risks taking the place of his master because of his love for him and Lucentio always treats...

Shakespeare's Presentation of Katherina in Taming of the Shrew

2100 words - 8 pages Shakespeare's Presentation of Katherina in Taming of the Shrew Katherina, at the beginning of the play, is shown as having many problems with her family. The inability of Kate's family to understand or deal with her is only a symptom of a greater underlying problem: the world in which Kate lives. Kate is obviously a highly intelligent, witty and spirited woman; however, the domestic Paduan woman's world leaves her...

Female Relationships in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream

1711 words - 7 pages Female Relationships in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream Often in literature, parallels are used to accentuate certain things. William Shakespeare utilizes this tool in both The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In both of these comedic plays, there is a set of women who are at odds with each other. These relationships can be compared and contrasted in different aspects. In Shakespeare's,...

Essay/Term paper: The taming of the shrew

Essay, term paper, research paper:  The Taming of the Shrew

See all college papers and term papers on The Taming of the Shrew

Need a different (custom) essay on The Taming of the Shrew? Buy a custom essay on The Taming of the Shrew

Need a custom research paper on The Taming of the Shrew? Click here to buy a custom term paper.

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.

Even before his initial encounter with Katherine, Petruchio knows exactly how to handle her resistance. In a short monologue, Petruchio proclaims in great detail just how his unorthodox approach will work. He plans not to use violence, but psychological warfare. For every evil Katherine displays, Petruchio will praise the opposing virtue in her character-even if it does not exist:

"Say that she rail, why then I'll tell her plain

She sings as sweetly as a nightingale.

Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear

As morning roses newly wash'd with dew

...If she deny to be wed, I'll crave the day

When I shall ask the banns and when be married" (II, i).

Petruchio plans to win this woman over by simply confronting her temper with flattery. Of course, the infamous Kate lives up to her reputation and is every bit as cold and difficult as Petruchio has been told to expect. After observing arguments, base insults, and even a blow inflicted upon Petruchio, the audience begins to lose faith in Petruchio's unusual methods. This extremely clever gentleman, however, will not easily give up such a dowry.

Still, he does not wish to waste a vast amount of time and energy on a woman that could just as soon walk away and leave him looking foolish despite his best efforts. He knows that, in order to tame her, he must first obtain her. Though little ground has been gained in the fight against her inflexibility, Petruchio, upon Baptista's return, tells him the outcome of his meeting with Kate. He speaks of a bond so natural and strong that they have agreed to marry on the following Sunday. Instantly, Kate recognizes the lies in his assertions and tries to convince her father of the true nature of their meeting, calling Petruchio, "...one half lunatic, a madcap ruffian and a swearing Jack, that thinks with oaths to face the matter out" (II, i). 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 embarrassment at her future husband's inexcusable conduct. The way that Petruchio strikes the priest reminds all of Kate's violence toward Bianca and countless others. Though Kate never shows knowledge of Petruchio's intentions of taming her, she receives her first sample of just how difficult married life will be.

Now, under the laws of marriage, Petruchio has legal and societal approval to quit all previous games and, once and for all, put Katherine in her place. He does not resort to the common method of violent persuasion. The time soon after their marriage shows the effectiveness of Petruchio's psychological methods. No longer does he flatter Kate, but perpetrates a moderate torture upon her mind and body. Masked under the guise of love, Petruchio finds ways to starve her, and perform other various punishments to punish her for her turbulent and unyielding nature. After falling victim to such treatment, Kate becomes absolutely frustrated:

"The more my wrong, the more his spite appears.

...[I] Am starv'd for meat, giddy for lack of sleep,

With oaths kept waking, and with brawling fed.

And that which spites me more than all these wants,

He does it under the name of perfect love..." (IV, iii).

Later in this scene, when the Haberdasher presents the hat and gown commissioned for Kate, Petruchio openly criticizes its design. Katherine, delighted by its structure and fashion, angrily opposes her husband. Of course, this reminder of her shrewish nature causes Petruchio to punish her further by revoking the Haberdasher's products altogether. Unfortunately for Kate, it seems she cannot resolve her problems with tantrums. Kate is slowly learning that her marriage leaves no choice but submission.

After many pains, Kate masters the practice of silence and unthinking agreement. She comes to realize that she must swallow her pride and submit to the whims of her husband, no matter how irrational. Traveling to Baptista's house, he tests her by intentionally mislabeling the sun as the moon. Naturally, Kate responds by calling attention to his mistake. Angered at such disagreement, Petruchio threatens to turn around and abandon the trip. Though Kate still has a great deal of independence and wildness in her character, Petruchio's newest test of obedience, along with the impetus of possible repercussion, forces her to grudgingly concede:

"Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,

And be it moon, or sun, or what you please.

And if you please to call it a rush-candle,

Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me" (IV, v).

One might argue that such submission proves Kate newfound tameness. However, according to Petruchio, Kate still needs to learn more. He does not want to fight over every minuscule issue of obedience, and the fact that Kate submits grudgingly proves to Petruchio and his audience that more work is necessary.

From this point until the end of the play, Petruchio makes astonishing progress in the domestication of Katherine, mainly because of his unrelenting determination. The final scene of the play depicts Petruchio's final test of obedience. Confident in Katherine's level of devotion, he wagers against the two other newlywed husbands, Hortensio and Lucentio. The bet-testing the obedience of their wives-holds very high monetary stakes and important bragging rights. The clear winner turns out to be Kate. Not only is she the only wife to report when beckoned, but she also delivers a lengthy speech outlining the virtue of an obedient wife and the importance of the husband's role as lord and protector when she says:

"...Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,

Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,

And for thy maintenance; commits his body

To painful labour both by sea and land

To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,

Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;

And craves no other tribute at thy hands

But love, fair looks, and true obedience..." (V, ii).

Of course, everyone observing this incredible change in Kate's character is astounded, as she has demonstrated, most convincingly, just how effective Petruchio's work has been. And thus Petruchio's unconventional methods have tamed the cursed shrew.

 

Other sample model essays:

Edgar Allen Poe / The Tell Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe, whose personal torment so powerfully informed his visionary prose and poetry, is a towering figure in the history of American literature. A Virginia gentleman and the son of itineran...

The Tempest / The Tempest

Bringing it all together The Epilogue of the Tempest by William Shakespeare is an excellent -- if not the best -- example of Shakespeare's brilliance. In 20 lines Shakespeare is able to write an...

Position Papers / THE TENTH MAN

THE TENTH MAN BY GRAHAM GREENE The Tenth Man by Graham Greene The book The Tenth Man by Graham Greene takes place in France ...

Position Papers / The Theme Of Inherit The Wind

In the play Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, the theme is that every person has the right to think. One example of the theme of this play is Rachel's progression towards indepe...

Charles Dickens / The Trials And Tribulations On Charles Dickens

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Li...

Position Papers / The Tyger

"The Tyger" Ana Melching ...

Position Papers / The Ultimate Zen

The one problem with something being lost is the feeling one has for the object once it is gone. That felling of need and longing just creates pain. One could get rid of pain and loss if one could d...

Position Papers / The Unknown Citizen

The Poem "The Unknown Citizen" by W.H. Auden is a satire. Its narrator is the state. In this, the state pays tribute and describes a successful and positive product of its efficiency and effecti...

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *