The Taming Of The ShrewAnalysis Of The

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The Taming Of The Shrew:Analysis Of The Relationship Between Katherina & Petruchio Essay, Research Paper The Taming of the Shrew is known as the story that a husband trains his shrewish wife. Shakespeare illustrates what a husband and wife should be; he describes that a husband should dominate over his wife and a wife should obey to her husband. It seems like that this is the story about sexism. In the book called “Broken Nuptials in Shakespeare?s Plays” by Carol Thomas Neely, Shakespeare?s “created male and female characters articulate tensions in relations between men and women as clearly, and sometimes perhaps more clearly, than does the historical record, with its persistent tendency to erase female voices”1 she says. Moreover “this play satirises not woman

herself in the person of the shrew, but the male urge to control woman”2 Coppelia Kahn says in his book ” Men?s Estate”. On the other hand, Hugh M. Richmond argues that the play is dealing with the ?theme of the fragility of human identity?3 in his book called “Shakespeare?s Sexual Comedy: A Mirror for Lovers”. The play begins with two sisters? marriage proposals: Katherina is known as a shrew and Bianca is just the opposite of Katherina, and the shrew must be married first. After this scene the play consistently describes the process of Petruchio?s wooing to Katherina. Almost the whole play is about Petruchio?s taming of Katherina. Petruchio tries to train the shrewish wife in every conceivable way. For example he takes food, sleep, and dress from Katherina as if he

cares about her so much, and he denies everything she says ?? he never allows her to be opposed. Katherina changes her behavior toward Petruchio as she is trained. Here, one question comes up. A shrew means an unmanageable, a wayward, or an unruly girl. Katherina is managed by Petruchio quite neatly. She listens and does what she is told to do. I would like to examine if Katherina is really a shrew, and how she changes by Petruchio?s training through the play. At the beginning of the play, everyone calls Katherina ?shrew? and everyone treats her as a shrew. However, she is a pretty civil-spoken person; she just quibbles. She looks like a shrew, but she is made up as a shrew. According to Carol Rutter, and author of the book called ” clamorous Voices”, people start living the

name if they are called pretty, ugly, or whatever.4 Katherina is a good example of this case. She is told she is a shrew, so she is acting as a shrew. When she meets Petruchio first time, she agrees to marry him easily even though she splits hairs about what he says. If she is really a shrew, she will not accept the marriage. Her personality is strongly influenced by the circumstances that she has been living in. Later in the play she explains how she was raised: Your betters have endured me say my mind, And if you cannot, best you stop your ears. My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, Or else my heart concealing it will break, And rather than it shall, I will be free Even to the uttermost, as I please, in words. (IV.iii. 75-80) She has been living with saying what she wants

to say. Kahn argues, “her speech is defensive rather than offensive in origin, and psychologically necessary for her survival”.5 Expressing her thought frankly is her way of living. She was not a born shrew. In Act 2 scene 1, Petruchio and Katherina meet for the first time, and Petruchio’s taming of Katherina begins. Petruchio’s method of taming Katherina is brutal: he comes late to the wedding, drags her away from her own wedding-feast, forces terrible journey to his own house on her, and food and sleep are denied. Furthermore, he does not allow her to dress in the fashion. Petruchio acts as if he looks out for Katherina’s interest all the time. This is his strategy ‘to kill a wife with kindness’ (IV.i.196). G.R. Hibbard points out that Petruchio is forcing