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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.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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