Gender Roles In The Taming Of The Shrew

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Gender roles are the way that society assumes that the genders should act based upon the perceived differences between them. Unfortunately these beliefs are often stereotypes and unrealistic assumptions about the nature of human beings. (Blackstone 335). According to societies generalizations men should be leaders, causing them to take the role as the head of the household. They are expected to provide financially and make critical decisions. Women are supposed to take on a nurturing role. They are expected to care for the children and household. Often when a gender tries to step out of their given box they are criticized for this. These gender roles are commonly referred to today. The Taming of the Shrew speaks of these gender roles that are …show more content…
Right from the start of The Taming of the Shrew the reader is introduced to the concept of what means to be a “good” or “bad” woman in this novel. In a conversation between Katherine and Hortensio the audience can see this distinction, “Katherine: I pray you sir is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates? Hortensio: ‘Mates’ maid? How mean you that? No mates for you unless you were of a gentler milder mold” (Shakespeare 35). Straightaway Hortensio makes it known that Katherine will not find a partner because she is not soft and compliant. In this novel, it is vastly looked down upon for a woman to raise her voice in disagreement or to bear a temper. Unfortunately Katherine does just this a multitude of times in this novel. Katherine is not fearful of stating her opinion or hollering at another character. Although oftentimes her character is overdramatic the basic presence of her is clear; Katherine is there to represent what a woman shouldn’t be. While Katherine exists to signify the bad, Bianca is there to signify the …show more content…
To him Kate is just a hindrance in getting the one thing that he wants more than anything; money. The first time we see Petruchio’s true violent side is with his treatment of his servants. “The male protagonist’s treatment of his servants and their reactions to him help to reveal much about Petruchio’s true nature” (Brown 3). Petruchio is not afraid to hurt those weaker than him and he does this with his servant Grumio. He does not treat Grumio well in any way. Petruchio wants to ascertain the fact that he is masculine. When Litio was teaching Katherine how to play the lute he comes out of the room unable to continue his lessons because Katherine was acting violently. When Petruchio hears about this he responds in an unexpected manner, “Now by the world it is a lusty wench, I lover he ten times more than ere I did o, how I long to have some chat with her” (Shakespeare 85). Even if everything Petruchio is saying is false, it does not come off that way. With the way he speaks it seems that he is saying that because he is masculine he can handle anything that Katherine cans dish out. The reader again sees Petruchio trying to prove his masculinity when he is speaking to Katherine’s father about how he will attain her as a

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