Petruchio's Dominance In The Taming Of The Shrew

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Duty: a moral or legal obligation; a responsibility. Between marriage, the duties of the husband and wife can sometimes differ apart from the different parties in the marriage. However, in many marriage relationships, there is one party who steps up and takes control and commands the duties of the wife and the husband. While many people believe that marital relationships are expressed and based around love and mutual respect, Shakespeare argues in his play The Taming of the Shrew that these marital relationships are best expressed through obedience and mutual control of each other. This can be seen through the words and actions of Petruchio, Katherina, and Bianca as throughout the story they fight and change their views of dominance in their …show more content…
During the wedding banquet, after Petruchio instructs Katherine to lecture the other brides on obedience to their husbands, Katherine exclaims “I am ashamed that women are so simple to offer war where they should kneel for peace, or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway. When they are bound to serve, love, and obey" (5.ii.8-9). When the author writes the words “seek for rule,” “kneel for peace,” and “supremacy” he exhibits how Katherine believes that women should not disobey and should seek to give total control to the husbands in their relationships. This is reinforced with Katherine says that women "are bound to serve, love and obey" as if a women's task in marriage relations are only to be obedient. However, Katherine also uses this obedience to gain control in her relationship with Petruchio. On the trip back to Padua, Petruchio tries to make Katherine comply with everything he says whether right or wrong. To get her way, Katherine replies, “Forward, I pray, since we have come so far, and be it moon, or sun, or what you please. and if you please to call it a rush candle, henceforth I vow it shall be so for me” (4.v.2). The words “be it moon or sun” and “shall be so for me” indicates how Katherine is starting to become obedient to whatever Petruchio says. However, she does not do this to allow Petruchio to gain …show more content…
At Baptista's place, Hortensio and Lucentio argue over who gets to tutor Bianca first. However, Bianca interjects and replies, “Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong to strive for that which resteth in my choice. I am no breeching scholar in the schools. I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times, but learn my lessons as I please myself” (3.i.1-2). Words such as “choice” and “I’ll not be tied down” are both associated with independence which exhibits how Bianca wants to uphold control over her own education and also in her relationships with men without being forced or obligated to do something. This reveals Bianca's wanting for freedom and dominance in her lifestyle including marriage relationships. During the wedding banquet, after Lucentio gets angry about losing the bet and questions Bianca's loyalty and obedience, Bianca replies, "The more fool you for laying on my duty." (5.ii.7). The author specifically uses the word "duty" to indicate Bianca's task of being obedient and loyal to Lucentio. When Bianca calls Lucentio a fool for relying on her duty, it illustrates that Bianca does not want to be controlled and obedient in her marriage relationship, but wants to have her own dominance and control. Although not approved and accepted by others, Bianca is able to gain independence and control in her marriage relationships

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