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

How might we interpret Katherina's long speech at the close of the play? Use stage and screen productions of the play to inform your judgement.

Extracts from this document...


How might we interpret Katherina's long speech at the close of the play? Use stage and screen productions of the play to inform your judgement. In your essay ensure you address the following: * What does she say about a wife's role in marriage in this speech? * How does this reflect prevailing attitudes to women and marriage in Shakespeare's times? * How might we interpret these lines, especially considering the influence of the devices Shakespeare uses? 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 how she is portrayed in Zeffirelli's film. Women in Shakespeare's time were not held in as high regard as men due to the hierarchical nature of society. At the head of this triangle of power in the Elizabethan society was God himself. This was because in Elizabethan times religion played a very important role in the lives of ordinary people and, interestingly, the Church itself was one of the most powerful and influential bodies (aside from the King) in society at the time. Also God was, and most often still is, portrayed as being male. On the next rung down from God was the King who was the most powerful single person in society as it was widely believed that he had been divinely appointed. ...read more.


Given this time to herself Kate is seen slowly sinking down in to a chair a falling into deep though about Petruchio. She then rise and wanders over to the door to look at Petruchio through the door light which is made of red glass and casts a warm reddish glow over Kate's face. This seems to be a symbol of how Kate is beginning to warm to the idea of being with Petruchio. Due to the new interest being taken in Kate for once she seems to be making an added effort to improve how others see her. Before the arrival of Petruchio and despite being attractive didn't take pride in her appearance and retained her witch like appearance. She obviously didn't care what people thought of her appearance back then but now Kate is visibly attempting to improve people's perception of her. She begins to take pride in her appearance and flaunts her figure more in the clothes that she wears. For example her wedding dress is rather feminine and is of a white and green which do not reflect her shrewish character at all. It could be that with the new attention she is becoming more womanly and is enjoying the way men look at her. Her make up becomes lighter and she begins to smile more which seems to be a sign of how she appreciates the people and her surroundings more and also her new found, more feminine, approach to life. On the day of Kate's wedding she is delighted to find that she has received wedding presents and guests have actually deemed her important enough to attend her wedding day. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses various metaphors to convey his ideas to the audience clearly as a metaphor is easy to use and is where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated objects and it is a transference of one object's characteristics into another. "But now I see our lances are but straws", the lance in this image is what Kate considered to be a woman's weapon and she believes it is no longer effective ( the lance could symbolize shrewish characteristics, duly shown by Kate). This change is suggested by the lance changing into it's complete opposite, a straw. The straw symbolizes what a dramatic change can occur because what was once a powerful weapon cannot work in a marriage. So, now Kate is married, or even found her match in Petruchio, she cannot use this weapon as it is in-effective now and pales to what effect it had previously. The straw could also symbolize how her will was weakened in the presence of another strong willed character. In conclusion I believe that because of Kate's obvious free will and ability to make her own decisions I believe that Petruchio must be seen as one who recognises and respects her wit, sharp tongue and fire. So Petruchio did not merely tame her but instead he gave her the confidence to be herself and the ability to shed her shrewish persona. Petruchio clearly achieved his goal and more by 'taming' the shrew which everyone saw in Kate and they sort of joined In a union against a society which neither fit into after coming to some kind of mutual understanding. Jordan Wain 13th October 2004 10PMM ...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. Explore the different nature of disguise and identity in 'The taming of the shrew.'

    I feel she does this because she fears of what others might think of her, especially in comparison to her seemingly perfect sister. But due to Petruchio's taming, a more vulnerable side to Katherina actually surfaces when she arrives at Petruchio's house.

  2. Is it possible to stage Katherina's final speech as a suitable closure and/or does ...

    The play takes place in a matter of days, too short a time to be able to tame such a 'curst and shrewd' character. It would take much longer to cure Katherina of this manner she possesses, with this in mind, it is very likely that Petruchio either liberated Katherina

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

    Her ambiguous comment displays an interesting concept in that she very obviously calls Petruchio an ass, which although would not have been acceptable in that time because it's disrespectful manner toward men, would be seen as more common in 21st century thinking.

  2. The Taming of the Shrew - Petruchio and Katherina's relationship.

    Particularly, it seems, their bad qualities. Like for instance their violence. At the beginning of Act 2 Scene 1, Katherina immediately is shown as being very violent towards her sister Bianca, whilst she pleads her to stop "Good sister, wrong me not". Katherina tries to bully Bianca into telling her secrets about her love life, which immediately shows Katherina's violent nature.

  1. With close reference to Kate(TM)s final speech, discuss Shakespeare(TM)s treatment of women in The ...

    late and in scruffy clothes to embarrass Katherina and which makes her extremely upset. She gets even more upset when he forces and tells her to leave the reception early to go back to his house. There was a storm during their journey home and Kate falls in the mud but Petruchio didn't help her at all.

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

    Instead of choosing a suitor that is most compatible with Bianca's personality, he chooses one that is most advantageous, in terms of gaining wealth. 'Pass my daughter a sufficient dower'. Baptista also offers to give Petruchio 'twenty thousand crowns' for taming Kate, this shows just how much men in this period treat women as a mere possession.

  1. How effective are Shakespeare's linguistic choices in conveying the power struggle between Katherine and ...

    Alas, good Kate, I will not burden thee! For, knowing thee to be but young and light.' The adjective 'light' connotes sexual promiscuity again reminding her that he sees her as a woman he can easily woo contrasting with the strong women she sees herself as.

  2. How do you respond to Shakespeare's presentation of Katherina in the play? You may ...

    To Katherina he shows only shame, as he says she has, "a devilish spirit." Even when Katherina turns to him, asking if she is accepted as his daughter, Baptista refuses to answer. This clearly shows that Bianca is the favourite daughter in Baptista's eyes and Katherina is simply a nuisance who he has little time for.

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