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

'The Taming of the Shrew' is a play written by Shakespeare in Elizabethan times to examine many complex ideas, including those of social roles and marital harmony.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The Taming of the Shrew' is a play written by Shakespeare in Elizabethan times to examine many complex ideas, including those of social roles and marital harmony. These two in particular relate to the character of Kate, and the way her circumstances change and the way she reacts creates the main interest of the play. At the beginning of the play, we meet Katherina, also known as Kate, as a fiery, wilful, aggressive and apathetic young woman of the Italian town of Padua. We learn she is known for these undesirable traits, and laughed at by the men and women of Padua alike, and a common target of hurtful ridicule. All the strain of this is merely worsened by the apparent perfection of her sister, Bianca. As much as Katherina is rebellious, shrewish and undesired, Bianca is her opposite and has many suitors. Bianca fits the Renaissance female ideal in her unassuming, graceful, intelligent and mild nature. The light in her father, Baptista's eye, and the heart's desire of so many, Bianca is a source of much jealousy and insecurity for Kate. ...read more.

Middle

However, like any other item of his property, he bids to protect her, comforting her to "-Fear not, sweet wench, they shall not touch thee, Kate; I'll buckler thee against a million", this echoing the idea of marital harmony and how he shall in turn offer her comfort and protection. The pair then swiftly head to Petruchio's country house, even before the wedding banquet. At the house, he continues through a variety of plots in his course of taming her. During dealings with the servants, Petruchio is particularly harsh in his manner, and interestingly we see the equally harsh and unreasonable Katherina attempting to reason to her husband that he should not be so unkind, "I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet. The meat was well, if you were so contented". She sees how he is to people, and realises it is wrong. This is for her like a view on how she has been to others, and viewing it from an onlooker's eyes means she can feel pity and empathy, making her understand and show a softer side. This feminine quality has previously been particularly lacking, and so this is another significant change. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows she will from there onwards take a submissive role and avoid standing up for herself, and not be concerned about things like pride, which previously would have dominated her social interactions. Instead, her husband takes precedence. The old Kate, before her marriage to Petruchio, would have jumped to assert blame onto someone else. However, her current devoted and passive nature means she jumps to the defensive, in this action being graceful, polite, calm and subdued, much like the idealised woman of the period, and the initial perception of Bianca. By this stage, Kate has become very subdued, and is far more close to the perception of ideal womanhood held at the time. She has changed completely, and her surrendering continues to amaze an audience remembering the past behaviour of this shrew. She has changed very much in demeanour, as she now fits a social role model of being a wife, though at this stage still integrating the details. She is undeniably more passive, calmer, sweeter, more graceful and thus, more desirable, and we see such a great change on the character that this man Petruchio has had upon her. Ms Dale English Rosalyn Newell Trace the changes the audience the audience sees in Katherine after the introduction of Petruchio ...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. How does Shakespeare present the female character in the Taming of the Shrew

    craves no other tribute at thy hands but love fair looks and true obedience..." while in act 4 Petruchio says "...that bate and beat and will not be obedient..." Kate's view on how men should be treated by women is very similar to that earlier stated by Petruchio.

  2. These ideas can be contrasted and compared between the 1500 Elizabethan time of Shakespeare's ...

    Hortensio: 'I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife, with wealth enough, and young and beauteous, brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman.' These men are of higher status then of Grumio and Curtis as they use the English language and Latin very well.

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Katherina and Petruchio's wedding and the preparations for it. ...

    For example when they are deciding the dowry instead of arguing for the most amount Katherina's father can get for her, he takes the first offer that is given, he does this to secure a future for Katherina in case her husband dies, the discussion of the dowry is also

  2. Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents issues of marriage and relationships, with particular ...

    Then Katherina responds, "Asses are made to bear, and so are you." Her sentence had a double meaning, the ass meaning donkey and she is calling him an ass at the same time. They both exchange these comical remarks to each other throughout the scene and one tries to be wittier than the other.

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

    However he also puts men in a position of power over the women. In the induction, Sly asserts authority over his supposed 'wife'. "Are you my wife, and will not call me husband? My men should call me 'lord', I am your goodman."

  2. Composers often use different methods to portray similar ideas to their audience. How ...

    The use of such respectful words of gratitude and admiration for a husband conveys how she ultimately sees her role as a wife and woman. Shakespeare creates her monologue at the end to signify the importance of her speech and reveal the seemingly dramatic change of the 'shrew', which was once angry and uncontrollable, now turned over a new leaf.

  1. How does Katherina in 'The Taming Of The Shrew' change and develop as the ...

    Baptista is absolutely thrilled! Kate doesn't say anything though. This seems to be a turning point for Kate. She doesn't argue with Petruchio or deny what he has said, nor does she threaten or insult him. Her silence at the end of this scene is remarkable.

  2. The Taming ofthe Shrew

    Katherina protests and says, "Gentlewomen wear such caps as these," yet, Petruchio says that when she is "gentle" she can have one. This is a good reason for not letting her have it because in the future, if she

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