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The Taming of the Shrew - What is the view of love and marriage presented in The Taming of The Shrew? Which of the married couples do you think will have the most successful marriage and why?

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Introduction

The Taming of the Shrew What is the view of love and marriage presented in The Taming of The Shrew? Which of the married couples do you think will have the most successful marriage and why? In this play the issues of love and marriage have a great significance. All the relationships in the play are all linked to possible marriages whether directly, e.g. Petrutchio and Katherina, or indirectly, e.g. Baptista and Hortensio (Bianca's suitor). Every character who marries or has anything to do with arranging a marriage in the Taming of the Shrew has a different attitude to marriage itself. Because the taming of the shrew is a play and not a novel it is not told from a specific point of view and the presentation of all the characters has a lot of importance in the way the play is interpreted. The views of love and marriage are expressed differently through the characters in the play. In general the male characters have all the power because the play is set in Elizabethan times where like most other things marriage was very male dominated. Women were not seen as equal to men and had little or usually no choice in who they married. As a father Baptista is keen to get his daughters married as soon as possible. He has the choice of whom his daughters marry and does not care if they love his daughters only if they are wealthy, "... ...read more.

Middle

She is described negatively as "froward" meaning wilful, headstrong and disobedient. Although some of these virtues would make her out to be a strong self-governing woman from a modern day perspective, when considering her for a wife in the play these would make her less favourable due to the inequalities between men and women. However at the end of the play we see how the two characters have almost switched roles. Bianca disobeys her husband when he calls for her, and it is apparent that to the audience/reader that she manipulates men to get what she wants whilst still appearing to comply with society's commands. On the contrary Katherina obeys Petrutchio when he calls for her and we see how he she has become tamed by his previous harsh treatment of her and has grown to accept her role as a woman and as his wife. Her final speech contains the most subservient words she speaks in the play. In the play it is clear that love and marriage are not necessarily linked in the way that they are in today's society where the majority of people marry because they have fallen in love. Views of love and marriage are different with men having the most important roles in choosing wives and this was regarded as normal in the Elizabethan time. Some women particularly Katherina in the play would probably have not even wanted to get married, and had there character been present in a modern context she would make a very successful single woman. ...read more.

Conclusion

This marriage will not be successful because Bianca's character changes at the end of the play and we see her potential to be a shrew, consequently not an ideal basis for a good marriage. Lastly is perhaps the most imperative couple to consider when looking at love and marriage. Katherina and Petrutchio seem likely to have the most successful marriage out of all the couple in the play. This is because they learn to have a mutual understanding for each other and are equal. Katherina's personality has changed at the end of the play and she turns into the perfect wife, she quotes that "... husband is thy lord," (Vii) and identifies the many things a husband does for his wife. Some of which have significance in today's society, "...cares... commits his body to painful labour... whilst thou is secure and safe." She then goes on to say that it is only fair for a woman to love her husband and have "fair" looks in return for all he does for her (line 151). This transformation in Katherina's character and the way in which Petrutchio insists on his love for her consequence in the couple appearing to have fallen in love, "...kiss me Kate," Although their marriage was initially formed on the basis of wealth and money, the qualities that become evident as the play progresses makes their marriage the most successful. A successful marriage in our society would still consist of the same things: love, respect, equality and mutual unders1tanding. 1 Aimee Carmichael 11.2 ...read more.

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