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Examine Shakespeare's interpretation ofmen in 'Taming of the shrew'

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Introduction

Examine Shakespeare's interpretation of men in 'Taming of the shrew' Evidently Shakespeare was writing at a time in which men dominated society and patriarchal ideology was very much demonstrated as women had very few rights and opportunities in life compared to those of men. Fully represented within Shakespeare's 'Taming of the Shrew', the character 'Petruchio' portrays this dominance of males and the way in which they were able to abuse and humiliate women. Thus I believe that in this play, women are used as a symbol of male power, or lack of it. Shakespeare frequently expresses male supremacy concerned with different themes: love, marriage, wealth and hierarchy. In this essay I will assess the different interpretations of the male characters in 'Taming of the shrew' and how they represent the themes that I have mentioned above. Verbally dextrous, Petruchio states clearly that he wishes to "Haply wive and thrive as best as I may". Represented to be conceited and egotistical, his arrogance is reflected by his belief that he isn't concerned with love and believes that he has the power to win over Kate, "Why that is nothing". ...read more.

Middle

as objects in which men should bargain for competitively, "woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid the house of her". Prepared to buy Bianca, both Gremio and Hortensio are materialistic in their approach to impress Baptista as society recognised the position of people in society due how much money and land they own, "Two thousand ducats by the year of land". Presenting the fact that most men in Shakespearian society sought to place themselves as high as possible in society, Shakespeare uses 'Tranio' as a symbol of hierarchy and yearning for prestige and magnitude. "Mi perdonato", Tranio uses every opportunity available to express his intelligence as a well-educated servant and thus speaks in verse. Suggesting switching roles with Lucentio, this is essentially a disguise to benefit himself, "I am content to be Lucentio/Because so well I love Lucentio", as evidently the reason he is doing so is because he will benefit from the lifestyle of power and recognition that he would never usually have. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that Shakespeare interprets the roles of men in 'Taming of the Shrew', to be dominant, aggressive and significant as opposed to the way in which he interprets the roles of women: physically weak, suppressed and trivial in comparison. Palpably, in Shakespearian times marriage was viewed as a way in which men could acquire more wealth and raise their social stance at the expense of women, the only exception to this is Lucentio who desired to marry for love. Petruchio is presented to be the male extreme of dominance as his use of psychological rape, sexual innuendo and battle of wits, suggest that he has one aim in life: to raise his significance within society and obtain substantial wealth. This type of character would not be surprising to a Shakespearian audience as it is viewed in modern days as men in general were associated with command, control and superiority whilst women were expected to conform to the instructions of their husbands and remain an anonymous stance in society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katie Jackson 12MH Mrs Picken ...read more.

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