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In this essay I will be focusing on Katherina, a character from 'The Taming of the Shrew'. Then I will conclude with whether I see Katherina as bad-tempered or whether I see her as being imprisoned by society.

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Page 1 Rachel Jones Interpretation of 'The Taming of The Shrew depends on whether you see Katherina as bad-tempered and wild, or imprisoned by society In this essay I will be focusing on Katherina, a character from 'The Taming of the Shrew'. Then I will conclude with whether I see Katherina as bad-tempered or whether I see her as being imprisoned by society. Katherina is just like any normal Elizabethan woman as she feels that marriage as well as being a wife is the proper role in life as did other Elizabethan girls of her time. This has brought out a bitterness in Katherina because of the feeling that her father Baptista has failed her, as he has not yet succeeded in finding Katherina a husband, she therefore voices her anger when she says; 'What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see she is your treasure, she must have a husband. I must dance bare-foot on her wedding-day, and for your love to her lead apes in hell.'(Act 2, scene 1, lines 31 to 36). This shows that Katherina would feel it to be a deep personal insult if Baptista were to allow Bianca her younger sister to marry before her. The first thing we notice about Katherina is that she is very quick-witted as she insults Bianca's wooers. ...read more.


Nay, come again'. (Act 2, scene 1, line 216.) This appalled Katherina as she can take most rude comments but Petruchio's was one step too far and she strikes him. This is the first clue that Katherina's behaviour is ironically a plea for dignity, as she does not have that much dignity left because everybody constantly puts her down. This also shows that Katherina is trying to see how much of a gentleman Petruchio is, as she is not used to the attention so she is automatically pushing Petruchio as far as she can: 'So may you loose your arms. If you strike me, you are no gentleman, and if no gentleman, why then no arms'. (Act 2, scene 1, lines 219 to 221.) Katherina's shrewishness is a role she has adopted in self-defence, this shows when she is talking to Petruchio as she constantly insults him: KATHERINA: Where did you study all this goodly speech? PETRUCHIO: It is extempore, from my mother-wit. KATHERINA: A witty mother, witless else her son. PETRUCHIO: Am I not wise? Page 5 KATHERINA: Yes, keep you warm'. (Act 2, scene 1, lines 256 to 260.) The reason why Katherina does this is because she is trying to protect herself from the pain and the insults she has become used to from the society she lives in. ...read more.


This speech is also very disappointing as it shows Katherina has been tamed and has given up the fight at being her own person, which now shows that she is no longer unique and therefore does not stand out. Katherina used to be a feminist believer but now she's just like any other Elizabethan woman, she has also accepted the ways of the Elizabethan times as she is now preaching about how a woman should behave. Page 8 But in the end Katherina does still rebel, as she does not live up to Padua's expectation because at the beginning of the play she is expected to be obedient and not answer back but she does the complete opposite as she is very shrewish, by the end of the play the people of Padua expect Katherina to be the shrew that she once was but are all taken back by the transformation that has taken place, as Katherina is now a loving wife. In conclusion I would say that Katherina was bad-tempered and wild because she was imprisoned by society all through the play, in the beginning she is imprisoned by her father in the sense that he does not allow Katherina out of the house, then Petruchio imprisons her at his home and restricts her of food and drink. But she was also imprisoned by society as they either ignored Katherina or insulted her every time they saw her, which made her feel isolated, which also angered her. ...read more.

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