• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

At the time Shakespeare wrote The Taming of the Shrew the idealistics and attitudes to not only marriage, but also women were of a whole different nature.

Extracts from this document...


At the time Shakespeare wrote The Taming of the Shrew the idealistics and attitudes to not only marriage, but also women were of a whole different nature. A woman would have had to be married to someone with the same social status. The man would indeed have to be rich and offer a safe and secure future. Marriage was based around social standings, money, trade and a way to make an alliance. At the time queen Elizabeth was on the thrown and society saw that unless a man owned property he could not vote. This meant that the average man had no vote and a wife would only be another asset to his collection. Elizabethan society saw women not as a partner or friend or an equal on the contrary, a servant, a way of making money, someone to sleep with. An idealistic woman for Elizabethan times would be a woman who would honour obey serve and have dignity. A woman would not work or have a choice or opinion on finances or property or any important matters. At the time to have a wife who would not follow her husband's orders and commands was a disgrace, and an embarrassment, which is the reason Petrucio went so far to tame Kate and prove everyone wrong. A woman had to look after listen to and respect her husband. Women who were considered shrews or to have a scolding tongue, then she was considered to be the wrong material for a wife. Men would never want a woman who dared to undermine her husband. As Henry VIII said to his wife do not call me Henry that name is reserved for the bedroom. Henry VIII was Queen Elizabeth's father and behaved the same way every other man did toward his wife. Despite all this the Elizabethan woman was intelligent with her life she adapted to the way she was anticipated to behave and let the male figure think he was "boss." ...read more.


Until Lucentio comes along Bianca likes neither of her suitors, Lucentio is the youngest and claims to be the richest. People at the time who were in love and wanted to choose the person they marry would have to elope. This is what Lucentio and Bianca did because ironically the two people who would get married at the least amount of control over the marriage. Compared with our perspectives on marriage today which incorporate, taking your time; finding someone to love and getting married, whereas in Elizabethan times people could be wedded with in a few days. An example of this is the widow and Hortensio, after Hortensio discovers that Bianca doesn't want him he quickly moves on to the widow and marries her almost instantly. Hortensio once again expects his wife to be obedient and well distinguished, he expected the traditional obedient wife, who would do as he wished. Especially as she had had a husband before, Hortensio expects that she would have been moulded into a perfect wife. However as we see after the husbands place a bet on their wives the widow does not respond. Petrucio and Kate however are an extremely unusual acquaintance. Petrucio says from the beginning that he has come to Padua to "I come to wife, it wealthily." This is another marriage, which originates from money. Baptista, Kate's father knows that Kate has no chance of getting a husband the fact that Petrucio wants to marry a person with such an obscene personality, and characteristics is a complete shock. Petrucio does not have to put up an offer for Kate like Bianca's suitors have. Kate and Petrucio first appear to be an impossible match as Petrucio expected so much but Kate as far as we expect will not give it. Petrucio boasts huge confidence in the way he tackles Kate's behaviour. The beginning of the marriage is not one of happy romance and honeymoon, but instead due to Petrucio's tactics a matter of training and torture. ...read more.


The first time we see her psychological game plan come into action is on the road to Padua to visit her family. Petrucio starts to speak about the sun and the moon. Instead of arguing Kate does the complete opposite of what is expected, instead of gradually changing which would indeed make her look weak she jumps from one extreme to the other and agrees with whatever Petrucio thinks. However her manor is cleverly sarcastic, Petrucio cant believe it and tests Kate once more when Vincentio appears, asking her to say hello to the lady. Kate takes part in his game and Petrucio feels confident that his tactics are working whilst Kate slowly thinks my games working. They are both playing each other at the same game. Kate eventually instead of becoming normal from being horrible goes form really nice to normal. She simply wants to show off to her parents and be happy with her marriage. Kate has to let Petrucio know now that she can be nice and will be but he has to give a little back. Whilst Petrucio think she's tamed she's not she has just learnt to find a compromise after all its what she actually wants. Kate has been badly behaved and angry simply because no one cared enough for her. Kate shows Petrucio in her speech and all her family just ho he is. People who have written it off as a piece of dramatic irony or her giving up were simply wrong and underestimating Kate's intelligence and character. Her speech was to show to Petrucio that's eh will find a compromise with him and that they will be all right. When Petrucio commands Kate to come, normally Kate would have flown in up in arms shouting and creaming but instead she came because that's what no one expected she was proving them all wrong and putting them all to shame. She had the chance to show up her sister and to look better than her. Is Kate Tamed? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Taming of the Shrew section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Taming of the Shrew essays

  1. How does Shakespeare present relationships between men and women in 'The Taming of The ...

    He makes this clear toward the end of the play where it is Katherina, once rejected by the community, who is seen as the approving woman. Baptista still upholds his dominative role as a male by not letting Bianca marry until he has 'a husband for the elder'.

  2. The taming of the shrew character profile.

    A vicious circle ensues: the angrier she becomes, the less likely it seems she will be able to adapt to her prescribed social role; the more alienated she becomes socially, the more her anger grows. Despite the humiliations and deprivations that Petruccio adds to her life, it is easy to

  1. The Taming of the Shrew. When Bianca first speaks in the passage, we ...

    supposedly unheard by the other characters, asides come hand in hand with soliloquies, which are spoken directly to the audience whilst the character is alone

  2. How does Shakespeare present society's treatment of women in "The Taming of The Shrew"?

    to prison, in a cart. This displays the way in which the male characters of this play are fearful of her and avoid contact with her. Shakespeare is showing how they respond towards Katherine even before we meet her. The realm of insults suffered by Katherine is continued. "Hortensio: ...

  1. How does each composer's use of this story reflect the time in which each ...

    expected to marry, stay at home to raise a family, and be fully submissive to their lords. Daughters were to obey their fathers and act in a lady like fashion at all times. It is because of these expectations; Katherine is singled out and labelled as the shrew of the town.

  2. "An exploration of the way Shakespeare presents Katerina in the play".

    But this was a grave mistake for Kate. She was shown a display of Petruchio's disciplinary tendencies. Shakespeare presents us with a situation where Petruchio, who is determined to bring 'wild Kate to a comformable as other household Kates', to her knees plans a very elaborate taming.

  1. Examine the different ways in which Shakespeare presents issues connected with marriage and male ...

    Petruchio confirms his authority by using the familiar form and repeated use of Katherina's name, "And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst;" and he has little regard for women in general, "Women are made to bear, and so are you".

  2. Animal Imagery in Taming of the Shrew.

    Katherina will put forward an image, such as the buzzard, and Petruchio will top it. There are instances though when Petruchio is forced to change the subject. The dialogue becomes broad, bawdy, and full of quibbles. This allows the audience, through the dialogue, use of animal images, and use of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work