Does "The Taming Of The Shrew" Provide The Audience With A Fair Representation Of The Treatment Of And Views Towards Women In The 16th And 17th Centuries?

3168 words - 13 pages

" Sir Assurance, Let's each one send unto his wife And he whose wife is most obedient to come at first when he doth send for her shall win the wager which we will propose." (The Taming Of The Shrew p107).This stood out to me as an excellent representation of the plays meaning, and of the views that people had towards women in the 16th and 17th centuries. William Shakespeare's play "The Taming Of The Shrew" is a story about a wealthy Count (Pertruchio), who comes to the country of Padua to find himself a wealthy woman for a bride. He finds his bride in the form of Katherina, a beautiful yet shrewish young Woman. The rest of the play is concentrated mainly on Pertrucio, and his amusingly comical mission to tame Katherina of her stubborn, and argumentative ways. Many other humorous sub plots also accompany this main theme.After reading and studying "The Taming Of The Shrew" in detail, I am going to answer this essay question, Does " The Taming Of The Shrew" provide the audience with a fair representation of the treatment of, and views towards, women in the 16th and 17th centuries?To produce an intelligent piece of work, I have researched the lives of women in the 16th and 17th centuries. I have also researched sources the Shakespeare himself used to write the play.In my essay, I am going discuss the lives of women in the 16th and 17th centuries, and how Shakespeare represented this in "The Taming Of The Shrew". I am also going to discuss how the two main female characters (Bianca and Katherina) were made to appear in the play, and how the other characters treated them.Shakespeare was born in 1564, and for the greater part of his life the ruler was, Queen Elizabeth the first. This might have had a great effect on how he wrote "The Taming Of The Shrew", as well as any other play that he wrote where the female characters abandoned their inferior and second place roles, and stepped into a man's world.Queen Elizabeth herself once said, " I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king," (The Terrible Tudors p72).Queen Elizabeth said this in a speech to troops, before they went off to fight against the Spanish Armada. She knew how women were thought of as weaker and less intelligent, nevertheless she did her best to overcome the way men thought of women.No wonder for why in so many of Shakespeare's plays there was women who were trying to overcome society's view of them. Queen Elizabeth was a great fan of Shakespeare's work, and as a women in what was thought to be a mans job, Shakespeare would not have liked to displease her. However, being a woman still had its drawbacks even for the Queen. For example one of the reasons that Queen Elizabeth didn't marry was because, her wealth, belongings and control over the country would have been passed to her husband, and she would have to take second place.In the 16th and 17th centuries girls could marry at 12, but most high-class girls would marry at 16. In their...

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