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Explore Shakespeares presentation of men and women in Taming Of teh Shrew

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Introduction

Explore Shakespeare's presentation of the relationships between men and women in 'The Taming of the Shrew'. William Shakespeare wrote 'The Taming of the Shrew' in 1593. In the play, Shakespeare explores the relationship between men and women. Shakespeare creates two contrasting marriage plotlines that ironically link with one another. The first is between Katherina and Petruchio, the other Bianca and Lucentio. Using characters, language techniques, such as stichomythia and repartee, also setting Shakespeare presents a multitude of male-female relationships in many, very different, ways. At first reading the play, it appears that Petruchio and Katherina's marriage is simply about gaining riches. In contrast to this relationship, Lucentio and Bianca's appears to be based solely upon true love. When deducing meaning from the text, we begin to understand that Petruchio and Katherina's relationship is far more likely to flourish, as they generally appear to have the same views on many subjects, including marriage. Another relationship explored in the play is between Baptista Minola and his two daughters, Katherina and Bianca. The relationships between all the men and women in the play have one main focus, wealth; Hortensio marries a widow only to gain money, Baptista agrees the marriages of his daughters on ...read more.

Middle

Through Shakespeare developing Katherina and Petruchio's relationship into such detail, elements of Bianca and Lucentio's are ignored and the audience are only informed about the bad aspects of their relationship. In the last scene Petruchio says to Lucentio and Hortensio 'we three are married, but you two are sped', no one can disagree with this as, in the final scene; Petruchio is the only one in a happy relationship. In the opening stages of the play, Bianca represents the stereotypical woman, submissive, polite and meek whom suitors wish to marry. Her behaviour changes greatly along the course of the play, adding to the irony that her character presents. Bianca begins to change her behaviour, her language changes to that of someone assertive, very much like her sisters, and she is turning into a woman that clearly enjoys speaking her own mind. Katherina dislikes her sisters' newfound attitude towards men; she airs this in a conversation between Bianca and the Widow. She calls them 'unable worms', showing how much disrespect she has for these 'new' women because they do not have any respect for their own husbands. ...read more.

Conclusion

The relationships are presented in very different ways throughout the play. The role of Christopher Sly in the induction foreshadows the events to come in the play, and mirrors the actions of Katherina both before and after she is starved into submission by her controlling husband Petruchio. Shakespeare shows that relationships that appear to be faultless, such as Bianca and Lucentio's, do not always work out. Through Katherina and Petruchio we grow to understand how relationships that are not always ideal, work out to be the strongest. Although in the final scene Katherina's speech shows how 'tame' she has become, this speech can be viewed in many different ways; Katherina could be speaking very sardonically or maybe she has just been driven insane by Petruchio's requests. Hortensio shows the position of many suitors in the Elizabethan period. Men clearly just wanted to marry for money, and women were quite happy to accept their proposals. Fathers also wanted their daughters to marry for money, and would not agree to the marriage taking place, unless the suitor had sufficient funds. Baptista shows clear favouritism between his daughters and shows how eager he is to make his eldest daughter marry, in order for him to obtain riches through his youngest daughter. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rebecca Toole ...read more.

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