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Petruchios assumption of power is a false one; Katharina is always in control. This is the central comic tenet of The Taming of the Shrew. To what extend do you agree?

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Introduction

________________ Petruchio?s assumption of power is a false one; Katharina is always in control. This is the central comic tenet of ?The Taming of the Shrew?. How far do you agree that this is a fair assessment of the play? At the beginning of the play, Katharina?s character (without any influence from Petruchio) is one of a, foul-tempered, sharp-tongued women. This was infrequent for women and Bianca?s suitors tell one another ?To cart her rather: she?s too rough for me.? This informs the audience that when it comes to marriage Katharina is the last person on their mind as they prefer someone ?gentle? and ?mild? and not a woman who is ?too rough for me.? As each man is speaking negatively of Katharina, it suggests that she has a sense of supremacy which is aimed at men. However, because no man has ever tried to control or speak to Katharina in a pleasant manner, they are then unsure of how she will react after marriage. Initially, Katharina?s introduction is made through the mouthpiece of the insignificant male characters; it is important that Katharina is referred to rather than seen because this then keeps her actual personality a clandestine to the audience and allows judgement based on what they have heard. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, as a Modern comedy Petruchio would be seen as having control, his comment of, ?Women are made to bear, and so are you,? can be seen as a sexual, making himself seem superior to her. This sexual element appeals to both cotemporary and modern audiences: the bawdier the better! It could also be heightened through performance, with actors emphasising the sexual nature of the lines through movement and gesture to highlight the comic effect. However, Shakespeare?s presentation of Katharina could also be telling Petruchio that she can easily tolerate his behaviour and ignore him: he has no power over her. The fact that the spelling of 'bear' can be attributed to the animal is satirical: the character is bearable, easy to accept and get on with shows that the speaking character is like a bear; strong minded and unpredictable. However, the one being referred to as an ass suggests that they are stupid or are simple minded. The pattern of rhyme and repetition is shown in a single line stretched between two speakers, so that the meter suggested by "Should be? Should-buzz!" is completed by "Well ta'en, and like a buzzard." Thus Kate and Petruchio have subtly merged in a single verse. ...read more.

Conclusion

If she had meant it to be sarcastic, this admission of being cared for would seem out of place and misguided. Although women are portrayed as strong and confident, who cannot be dictated, in the end, marriage is an eventuality. This is what happened in Taming of the Shrew and even lead to a speech in which she condemns her fellow female counterparts for not appropriately attending to their husbands in the way that society seems fit. The final speech shows that, although Petruchio did have control over Katharina, she controlled herself and chose to act the way she did according to herself. If Shakespeare wrote the play today, it would probably be rejected by society. In modern society, men would not refer to a woman as a 'wild cat' with a 'devilish spirit'. A woman's role in society has changed intensely since the sixteenth century. In the Shakespearean era, hardly any women would have worked and would definitely not have done any important jobs. They would not have had any say in what happened in their community. Men were considered the 'leaders'. A women's 'duty' would have been to 'serve, love and obey'. Women would have been used to the sexist jokes. They had been brought up in a community that told them that the men were 'kings'. In today's society, women are considered equals, which is why the play would have offended many women. ...read more.

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