“It is clear from the first two acts of Shakespeare’s TTOTS that there is an imbalance or power between the two central characters, Katherina and Petruchio”.
What role does the theme of power play in TTOTS?
Does The Taming of the Shrew advocate sexual inequality or does it show and critique men’s attempts to subordinate women?
Each person in The Taming of the Shrew play carries out a specific role which represents social positions in Shakespearean society. A character’s social position in society was determined by their wealth, gender, profession and age. In the case of the TTOFS, gender and patriarchy seem to play a huge role as the position of women was undermined despite the fact that some of them had wealth. This is shown through the fact Pertuchio comes to Padua with the intention of finding a wife and to marry for the money. Apart from his prospective wife’s wealth, Pertuchio says that he does not care about any of her other qualities. He says that the woman may be as “foul as was Florentius’ love. We see later on in the play Pertuchio harsh abuse as an attempt to ‘tame’ and cure Katharina from her ‘wildish’ and ‘devilish’ behaviour. During this attempt we see a strong power imbalance between the two as Kate is transformed to be obedient and submissive to pertuchio and her previous qualities are discarded.
Pertuchio immediately asserts his power over Katharina as he sees himself as a king or a ruler over his wife, 'Thus hate I politically begun my reign’. Before the first encounter between the two he shares in his soliloquy to the audience his intentions to woo kate. The dialogue between the two show their similar but conflicting personalities, as both characters have different intentions ( pertuchio wants her for the money whilst katherina is forced to marry against her wish). However, it is clear through their dialogue that both characters posses similar personalities, for example both seem to be sarcastic, violent and overpowering to eachother. Kate shows her resilience and that she has no fear when ‘she strikes him’, pertuchio replies by threatening her with. “I swear i will cuff you if you strike again”. Later on in the scene we see that kate loses her power
· There is a clear imbalance from the start between the kate and petruchio from the start as he demands to have kate as his property right from the start. as he requests Kate’s marriage will be decided by her father, who is so anxious to see her married that he refuses his younger daughter to any suitor until such time as Kate has go a husband.
On the other hand, Petruchio is free to choose. No constraints on him whatever. He can follow the dictates of his own heart and his desire for social status.
· The whole purpose is for Pete to submit Kate to his own will, which is the whole idea behing the concept of “taming”.
· Pete is hard pushed at expressing boldness and confidence. He finds he has to stress his male status to basically...