Female Relationships In Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew And A Midsummer Night's Dream

1711 words - 7 pages

Female Relationships in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Often in literature, parallels are used to accentuate certain things. William Shakespeare utilizes this tool in both The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In both of these comedic plays, there is a set of women who are at odds with each other. These relationships can be compared and contrasted in different aspects.
In Shakespeare's, "The Taming of the Shrew" the relationship between the sisters Katherine and Bianca appears to be strained with rampant jealousy. Both daughters fight for the attentions of their father. In twisted parallel roles, they take turns being demure and hag-like. Father of the two, Baptista Minola, fusses with potential suitors for young Bianca and will not let them come calling until his elder, ill-tempered daughter Katherine is married. The reader is to assume that meek, mild-mannered, delicate Bianca is wasting away while her much older, aging, brutish sister torments the family with her foul tongue. Katherine seems to hold resentment toward Bianca. Her father favors Bianca over Katherine and keeps them away from eachothers' torment. When gentlemen come calling, Bianca cowers behind her father and Katherine speaks up for herself. "I pray you sir, is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?" (1.1.57-58)
Bianca and Katherine dislike each other feverishly. Katherine torments Bianca with words and physical harm. She binds her hands, pulls her hair then brings her forth to her father and the gentlemen callers. Bianca denies liking any of the visitors and portrays herself an innocent that merely wants to learn and obey her elders. She says, "Sister, content you in my discontent to your pleasure humbly I subscribe. My books and instruments shall be my company, on them to look and practise by myself." (1.1.80-84) Because Katherine speaks freely and asserts herself she is labeled as "shrewish." When Hortensio describes her to Petruccio, he spouts that she is "renowned in Padua for her scolding tongue." ( 1.2.96) He gilds the lily further by explicitly telling of her fair fortune if suitable man comes courting and wins her hand in marriage. Petruccio sees dollar signs and rushes forth in grand dress and eloquent mannerisms to court the gracious "Kate." When he first begins his ritual of winning the family and Katherine to his love, he is seeking his fortune in her dowry. The mention of her being at all undesirable does not put rocks in his path. He speaks of "One rich enough to be Petruccio's wife, as wealth is burden of my wooing dance be she as foul as was Florentius' love, as old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd as Socrates' Xanthippe or a worse, she moves me not or not removes at least affection's edge in me, were she as rough as are the swelling Adriatic Seas." (1.2.65-71) Petruccio comes calling for the older sister, and Bianca in turn sneaks about with Lucentio who is dressed in scholars...

Find Another Essay On Female Relationships in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night's Dream

Central Theme of Love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

696 words - 3 pages Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream central theme of love A common theme in literature is love. Love can take hold in an instant and can make you do things you never would have done otherwise. Love appears in several different ways in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hermia and Lysander show true love, while Helena demonstrates unrequited love. Titania and Bottom presents us with magic love. In the play, love is also the cause of

Marriage and Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

3625 words - 15 pages Marriage and Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Getting married in modern times is not something which is viewed as necessary. There are many couples that are together, but do not want to marry, because they do not feel they have to. Couples that do, can have a marriage almost anywhere they choose. Couples can marry in houses, shopping centres and even petrol stations. Anywhere you can get

The difference in presentation of love theme in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1138 words - 5 pages love is magically induced with a drug.However there is an example of true love in this play. Hermia and Lysander's. Their love is pure and simple. They have no reason to be in love with each other, but yet have hopelessly fallen so. Through all of these characters and their situations, Lysander said it best:"The course of love never did run smooth." (1.1.136)Although love does not run smooth, Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" did. The reader

Forbidden Desire in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1244 words - 5 pages Forbidden Desire in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream In his play A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare explores the conflict of forbidden desire, as revealed through the experience of four young lovers dwelling in ancient Greece. Hermia and Lysander are two of these lovers, and their desire to marry one another is prohibited by Hermia's father Egeus, and enforced by the governor of Athenian law-King Theseus. Hermia is

An explication of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1683 words - 7 pages love; instead, Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius, who is adored by Helena, Hermia's best friend. The opening scene of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" boasts many instances of elements of style that aid in the development of the play. Shakespeare's definitive and elaborate uses of diction, theme and characterization in the opening act/scene of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" prove to be essential to the development of the characters and main theme of the

Nick Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1924 words - 8 pages Nick Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Roget’s thesaurus defines the word “ass” as “one deficient in judgment and good sense: a fool”. In William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the ass is undeniably tied to the character of Nick Bottom on many different levels. As the play is a comedy, Bottom’s central role is to provide laughter. At the same time, however, through his role as the Ass, he acts as a

The Behaviour of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream

1020 words - 4 pages The Behaviour of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is a play where the line between dream and reality disappears. It's about how love is magical. The play was written around 1598 and would have been preformed in the Globe Theatre. It is a comedy, because like almost all of Shakespeare's comedies it ends in marriage. In the play we get introduced to a character named Puck. He is a fairy and a

True Love in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

2999 words - 12 pages True Love in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream I have been studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream and exploring how the characters within this play deal with love and the consequences resulting from falling in love. I will be answering the question asked by providing quotes and examples of Shakespeare’s technique in showing that ‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ as well as providing answers as

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

2048 words - 9 pages Shakespeare wrote his acclaimed comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream more than a thousand years after Apuleius’ Roman novel, The Golden Ass. Although separated by thousands of years and different in terms of plot and setting, these works share the common theme of a confused and vulnerable man finding direction by relying on a supernatural female. One of A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s many subplots is the story of Bottom, a comical figure determined to

William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

831 words - 3 pages Hermia , Lysander , Helena and Demetrius represent young love in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream . They are potrayed as foolish and fickle , acting like children and requiring a parental figure to guide them . The parental figures are Hermia’s father , Egeus , and figuratively Theseus , the mortal ruler , and Oberon , the mystical ruler.      Demetrius is a fool because he is

A Comparison of Romantic Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night

1626 words - 7 pages Romantic Love in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night In all of Shakespeare's plays, there is a definitive style present, a style he perfected. From his very first play (The Comedy of Errors) to his very last (The Tempest), he uses unique symbolism and descriptive poetry to express and explain the actions and events he writes about. Twelfth Night, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream are all tragicomedies

Similar Essays

Relationships In Shakespeare's The Taming Of The Shrew

1475 words - 6 pages Masters and Husbands/ Wives and Servants: The Ideals of Renaissance The relationships between servants and masters closely reflect the gender relationships in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio and Tranio's relationship as master and servant is an ideal of the Renaissance era according to "An Homily on the State of Matrimony." Tranio risks taking the place of his master because of his love for him and Lucentio always

Illusion And Fairies In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1590 words - 6 pages Illusion and Fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream The main theme of love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is explored by four young lovers, who, for the sake of their passions, quit the civilized and rational city of Athens, and its laws, and venture into the forest, there to follow the desires of their hearts - or libidos as the case may be. In this wild and unknown wilderness, with the heat and emotion commonly

Illusion Of Love In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

1510 words - 6 pages Illusion of Love in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream The play A Midsummer Night's Dream is centered around themes that are seemingly apparent and clear: those of true love, false love, love's blindness and the inconstancy of love. However, this pattern of the themes of love dissipate to reveal that these themes are only apparent to the reader who wants them to exist. We want Lysander and Hermia to be in love; we want Demetrius to

The Supernatural In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

2368 words - 9 pages The Supernatural in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Consider the presentation of the supernatural in "A Midsummer Night's dream". In what way does it reveal Shakespeare's moral and philosophical concerns? How does Shakespeare's stagecraft (setting, Characterisation, language, verse form etc) facilitate the consideration of his concerns? and how do we as a modern audience respond to the play as a piece of