Sexism In The Taming Of The Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew Essay

The word sexism can be defined as attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles. People often debate over whether or not something or someone is sexist. Debates about sexism usually stem from movies, books, characters or even people you see every day. In The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, some people may argue that the play is very sexist, when in reality, it is not sexist at all. This is because back in Shakespeare’s time, people lived differently and had different rules. For example, women did not have a say in who they wanted to marry and men often treated their wives poorly because they were the “leaders” in marriage. This play is not sexist because in Shakespeare’s time,
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In the play, Kate is constantly being yelled at by Petruchio, and at one point he starves her so she will become weaker and listen to him. When Kate comes in contact with Grumio she says, “I prithee go and get me some repast, / I care not what, so it be wholesome food” (4.3.15-6). At this point of the play, Kate is begging Grumio to get her food since Petruchio is starving her. This proves that the play is not sexist because Petruchio was not trying to “tame” Kate since she was a woman and his wife. Petruchio was simply trying to “tame” her because of her personality and her anger. Also, this is the only way that Kate will start listening to what Petruchio tells her to do. While Kate is talking to Grumio, she says, “The more of my wrong, the more his spite / appears. / What, did he marry me to famish me” (4.3.2-4)? This proves that Petruchio is treating her poorly because she is starting to wonder if he just married her to starve her. Even though some people may think that Petruchio is being sexist by treating Kate like this, they have to remember that men used to treat women like this back in the day, and women always had to listen to what their husbands told them to

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