Theme Of Courtship And Marriage In Taming Of The Shrew

Register to read the introduction… Shakespeare clearly shaped the character of Petruchio and his attitudes toward both women and the roles of husband and wife in marriage so that Petruchio would be able to suppress the character of Katherina and to make her into what he saw as the perfect wife. With the taming of the shrew Shakespeare seems to be through the comedy of the play commenting on the woman’s role in Elizabethan England by portraying it to an extreme, he seems to be in a way commenting on the hypocrisy of women being seen as subservient to men even though the country at the time was ruled by a woman. This is first portrayed, as many of The Taming of the Shrews themes are, in the induction as one way in which Shakespeare refers to male dominance and courtship is through the relationship between Sly and the Page. Here we see the Page saying to Sly “I am your wife in all obedience” showing his submissive nature as this male character refers to himself as “wife” as he intends to show him all the respect a superior figure deserves. He is taking the role of an ideal, obeying wife for the men of the times and an opposite of Katherina’s original character, the Page is similar to the role of the tamed Katherina. It is also significant that Shakespeare named the submissive character in the induction the “Page”, a person who runs errands and serves those of higher status, as this is the role Petruchio wishes Katarina to assume. We later see male dominance over women conveyed through the character of Petruchio. One way this is shown is through is the Petruchio’s frequent use of declaratives. This is seen when he says to Katherina “I will marry you” as he does not ask her but demands marriage from her. Such declarations of male supremacy are also seen as he refuses to let her stay for her own wedding feast as he uses the phrase “she must”. One …show more content…
This sense of authority is created through words which heighten Petruchio’s status, making him a king-like figure in his household by further expressing his feelings of superiority. He goes as far as to describe his marriage as his “reign” suggesting that his character feels that a husband should have kingship and “supremacy” over his wife. Eventually a tamed Katherina seems to except him as her superior as she instructs the widow to “dart not scornful glances from those eyes//To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor”. One interpretation of this could be that she has given up in her battle with Petruchio and is too tired to contradict him by repeating what he has previously said and exaggerating it further by describing him as a “lord” and a “governor”. Another interpretation of this could be that she is happy with the terms of her marriage and that she does now see herself as inferior to her husband. Extreme male dominance is also shown through the theme of power in relationships as Petruchio states that he “shall be what o’clock it is”, further touch upon the idea of male dominance and control over ones wife as Petruchio argues with Katherina after she points out that he made a mistake about the time which they were supposed to visit her father. This example of extreme dominance gives us further insight into the personality which Petruchio’s character has been written with as it shows that he has to some extent a superiority complex over his wife, as in his mind he thinks of himself as truly superior. The use of the word O’clock suggests he is higher power over her as he can control the passing of time in her life and can not be affected by anyone as time cannot be stopped and neither will he in his quest to tame his wife. Petruchio’s attitudes toward women are also shown as not only

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