Women In The Taming Of The Shrew

1895 Words8 Pages
Strong female characters are integral to any book, play, or movie hoping to reach a broad audience. They provide a perspective very different from the traditionally male-dominated characters throughout literature and give young girls captivating and compelling role models to look up to. Very few of Shakespeare’s works fail to feature highly capable female characters in leading or substantial supporting roles, a quality which has allowed his works to endure throughout time and resonate with a diverse audience. The Taming of the Shrew features one of Shakespeare’s most headstrong, resilient, and defiant female characters, but for unknown reasons, Shakespeare choose to abruptly strip Katherine of all of the traits that make her such a compelling…show more content…
After having established Petruchio’s ability to match Katherine’s wits in the Act II, Katherine and Petruchio’s wedding delves deeper into Petruchio’s blatantly abusive behavior toward Katherine. After Petruchio informs Katherine, “will you, nill you, I will marry you” (II. i. 263), she almost immediately sees his claims come to fruition due to her father’s disregard toward any of her feelings and opinions. Katherine and Petruchio’s wedding in Act III only further serves to additionally embarrass and weaken Katherine’s will. Consequently, Petruchio’s lateness and foolish behavior plunges Katherine into further mental desolation. At the beginning of the wedding, the audience is shown slight changes regarding Katherine’s impending personality shift when the wedding party notes Petruchio’s absence, and she states “no shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced to give my hand” (III. ii. 8-9). These lines illustrate Katherine’s dwindling resilience and can be pinpointed as one of the early turning points of her personality shift. After their disastrous wedding, Petruchio takes it upon himself to assert the claim he made to Katherine earlier in the play when he stated that “I am he am born to tame you, Kate” (II. i. 266). After a long journey to his home, Petruchio avows to “curb her mad and headstrong humor” (IV. i. 145). Petruchio’s despicable behavior toward his servants provides the audience with an additional glimpse at Katherine’s further diminishing resistance. After he spews demands at his servants, Katherine says, “patience, I pray you” (IV. i. 90). Ironically, this line presents Katherine as the rational one in her marriage with Petruchio, a role that she has never filled up until this point. After Petruchio denies her food, water and sleep in effort to further tame her, it is clear
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