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The taming of the shrew - Re-read Katherina's last speech in Act 5 Scene 2, and discuss its content.

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Introduction

English Coursework Draft Craig Knightley 17th March 2002 Re-read Katherina's last speech in Act 5 Scene 2, and discuss its content. Does this speech mark the beginning of true happiness for her or has she learned to play her husband at her own game, or can we as readers, be offended by the assumption that males are superior. The 'Taming of the Shrew' is a comedy play written by an early sixteenth century play writer called William Shakespeare. William Shakespeare wanted to entertain not just the upper classes, but everyone in society. William Shakespeare had a natural talent to understand the complexities of human behaviour which made his plays that much more popular. Although the play was written as a comedy, some people, generally women, have been offended by the play. Katherina, the main character, has obviously become a great deal happier since marrying Petruchio. No longer does Katherina act as a 'stark mad' 'wench' with a 'scolding tongue', that breaks lutes onto people's heads as she to Hortensio before she was wed. Instead Katherina is 'warm at home, secure and safe'. ...read more.

Middle

She has suddenly gone from calling her husband a 'madcap ruffian' to calling him her 'king'. She is not playing a game against Petruchio, she is playing a game with him. They have learned to work together which could signal the signs of a good relationship. 'The Taming of the Shrew' is a controversial play. Many women have been offended by the assumption that males are superior even though the play was written as a comedy. The play does not just contain bawdy and sexist jokes, it also has comic situations that do not involve women at all. For example, when Vincentio comes to see his son and he finds that Tranio is impersonating him. The play was written for all the classes to enjoy, the rich and the poor. This meant that William Shakespeare was trying to entertain people that were at different intellectual levels. The bawdy jokes and comic storylines were easy for the poorer people to understand and enjoy. Although the richer people also enjoyed the bawdy jokes, the Italian sayings also interested them. ...read more.

Conclusion

She has told everybody that her husband is her 'head', which convinces most people that she has been tamed. She has dramatically changed because now she is 'ashamed that women are so simple'. Before she was married her personality was totally different. She would never have dreamed of marrying Petruchio, the 'swearing jack', and now her 'hand is ready' for him to stand on for he is her 'governor'. In her last speech she mentions that being 'froward, sullen' and 'sour' 'blots thy beauty'. Whereas she was very 'froward, sullen' and 'sour' before she was wed. Marrying Petruchio has definitely made her look at things differently. Petruchio has not tamed Katherina, but he has definitely had a major effect on her. Katherina was not treated fairly by her father. I think that is why she acted 'shrewdly' and rebellious. All Katherina needed was love, and Petruchio loves his 'bonnie Kate'. Although the play is sexist, I do not believe we, as readers, should be offended by it. Katherina has become a great deal happier by the end of the play, so in a way she has benefited. Shakespeare wrote the play as a comedy. The purpose f his plays were to entertain the masses, not to criticise women. ...read more.

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