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Taming Of The Shrew: The True Meaning

1183 words - 5 pages

Taming of the Shrew is a play by William Shakespeare about the “taming” of a woman named Kate by a man named Petruchio. If Taming of the Shrew had taken place in modern times, there are many parts of the play that I believe would have ended quite differently. There were many human rights issues and violations that would not be acceptable in modern times to be found in the play as well. Regardless of this, there seemed to be a few hints towards modern concepts such as gender equality to be found in the play. While perhaps some of the concepts and ideas in Taming of the Shrew may lay in stark contrast with the ideas and concepts of today, there are some hints at modern ideals to be found in ...view middle of the document...

For example today, instead of “courting” someone, you would just be dating them. In the play Bianca is also given many gifts by her suitors to earn her love. Today this can still happen, though most relationships are not based on gifts and money. Bianca would also not have as many suitors, as today it is thought of as socially unacceptable to be dating more than one person at a time. The overall plot of Taming of the Shrew would not have worked in modern times, as the play shares vastly different ideas on gender and relationships.

Several human rights issues are brought up throughout Taming of the Shrew. The first human rights issue brought up in the play is that women are displayed and thought of as objects in the story, which goes against the right to be considered a person. For example, when Petruchio first appears, he tells Hortensio that he is looking for a wife, preferably one that is rich. Hortensio then tells him about Kate, talking about her like she is an object he, Hortensio, is trying to sell. He also acts as if it is not a question that Petruchio will marry Kate, and that if Petruchio wishes for them to be married she has no say in it. Secondly, Petruchio treats Kate incredibly poorly. He doesn’t feed her for days for no other reason that to get her to obey him, which easily goes against several human rights. He also does whatever he wants without considering what she wants, even going so far as to marry her without her consent. While the play may be a comedy, Petruchio very clearly violates several of Kate’s rights as a person. Thirdly, Kate is “tamed” by Petruchio into believing she has no choice or freedom in anything. In the time period this play is set in, this was not an outrageous thing, as men were thought to be superior. Kate even recites a speech at the end of the play, saying that Petruchio is her master and lord, and that it is a woman’s place to serve her husband. This goes against several of Kate’s rights as a person, such as the right to freedom of speech and thought. While socially acceptable at the time, one of Taming of the Shrew’s characters has her human rights consistently violated throughout the play.
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