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

The Construction of Femininity In Taming of The Shrew

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Construction of Femininity In Taming of The Shrew In Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare tells the story of two sisters with conflicting personalities representing constructions of femininity. I will be looking at the different constructions of femininity throughout the play and the different ways a female can be constructed through illusion. At the start of the play, a tinker called Sly has a trick played upon him. The trick is a trick of illusion, making him believe he is a lord. He is told he has a mock wife. However, The fact that his 'wife' is the ultimate deception being a boy. Shakespeare constructs the text so that you can guess that it is a boy dressed as a girl from the comments he makes about the suggestive remarks that Sly makes to Page. Sly's wife is illusory as is our communes of the two women. This is also a hint of what they might be seeing in the play that follows, is also in illusory. The play could be seen as Shakespeare discussing what really constitutes femininity and what is illusory. Katherine and Bianca in the main play eventually appear to be deceptive as well as the "Wife" Sly story. The story constructs the appearances of both women through the men's words, giving you a idea of how both women are seen through men's eyes. ...read more.

Middle

His language is suggestive and he knows the reactions of the people towards her. He wants to see if she will fall for him and if he can work her out. Bird imagery is used in Act 4 Scene 1. The hawk is a hunting, bird of prey and a bird is trained, it is eventually free and can come and go as it chooses and pleases. It chooses to stay because it gains from its relationship with the trainer and knows its owner and surroundings well. Petruchio showing Kate that she has the opportunity to opt out of the construction of her femininity and can choose to gain social credibility. Kate is happy that she has this choice; she has someone that cares for her and wants her to be with him. Kate can be tamed, but she cannot change and the opportunity with Petruchio is true love and to be accepted for whom she is. Petruchio talks of how he will train up Kate to be like a hawk that has the freedom to come and go whenever she pleases, yet always comes back to her keeper (Petruchio). He speaks of taming a female hawk as, 'man my haggard,' as if looking after a women and getting her to respect you is to train her up like a bird. He speaks of females as items that are there to be trained and he takes up Kate as a challenge. ...read more.

Conclusion

When asked to repeat the Latin to Lucentio, she offers her won words to warn him. 'Now let me see if I can conster it. 'Hic Ibat Simois,' I know you not...I trust you not.' Her words are that of sarcasm and warning Lucentio that he cannot control her like any other girl. She starts to show her true colours; she is sweet on the outside, yet she is a shrew inside. She elopes, thus going against her father, which shows disobedience; this is never seen at the start of the play. Lucentio who marries Bianca and Hortensio who marries a widow, both abused Kate saying she was a shrew and not a good figure to marry. Both men however end up with shrewish wives and are both socially mockable and degraded. Petruchio, by having Kate come to him is elevated in social status by comparison. But equally so is she. She is seen to be the socially preferable and she gets her revenge on the men who constructed her as shrewish at the beginning. Shakespeare has ended the play just how the Sly story begins at the start of Taming of The Shrew. The introduction Scene 2 shows Page dressing up as Sly's obedient 'wife' and that is just how the play ends with Kate the obedient wife of Petruchio. However Kate is a real wife of a real man who has managed to tame her into a socially acceptable figure but also he is just the way she was which was the figure he fell in love with. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Taming of the Shrew essays

  1. The Taming of the Shrew

    anyone with a similar personality to her, although some things she does do conform to what we expect such as striking Petruchio, later in their conversation she is interested about where he 'learnt this goodly speech' showing that she is surprised that a man is similar to her.

  2. How does Shakespeare present the female character in the Taming of the Shrew

    Throughout the play Shakespeare gradually leaks evidence that maybe Bianca isn't showing her true character, therefore she is deceiving all while playing herself. "...she is busy and can not come..." attentiveness was considered a virtue among good wives. However Bianca has just displayed that maybe she isn't as tame as she first appeared.

  1. The Taming ofthe Shrew

    He is not doing this to be mean to her, he is doing it for her benefit. He says that "He that knows better how to tame a shrew." In Act 4, Scene 2 it becomes clear that everyone is aware of Petruchio's plan.

  2. Analyse the Presentation of the Servant-Master Relationship in 'The Taming of the Shrew'

    As the play goes on, Tranio becomes more convincing as a master, and even those who know that he is not, start to believe in him. Biondello, his fellow servant, refers to Tranio as "O master, master," even when Lucentio is present.

  1. Examine closely Katherine's speech in Act 5 Scene 2 lines 136-179. What is your ...

    Katherina got a taste of her won medicine. Petruchio made her comprehend how marriage only works when there is stability, by turning into who she was, the independent, bossy and abusive male. She recognizes this in the final speech when she says "I am ashamed that women are so simple

  2. The Taming of the Shrew - Explain the ways that Shakespeare presents Katherine and ...

    She also says later on "so well I know my duty to my elders". At the start of the play people would have thought that this remark was of her politeness but when it gets into the play some people think that it is suggesting something, as she is saying

  1. The Taming of the Shrew Coursework

    Baptista's replies: 'I have a daughter, sir, called Katherina' This implies that in Baptista's eyes, Katherina is not as Petruchio describes her, this could be seen as cruel. It is unusual that he describes her in this way instead of agreeing as he is trying to marry her off.

  2. William Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew

    There is a lot of dramatic irony present in the play, like when Baptista and Petruchio make an arrangement that if Petruchio marries Katharina he would be awarded a sum of money. At the beginning of the second scene Petruchio states the techniques he will exploit to "tame her".

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