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Taming Of The Shrew Essay

2273 words - 9 pages

An audience of the 21st century may find "˜The Taming Of The Shrew' to be a sexist and offensive play. To what extent do you agree with or sympathise with this viewpoint? In the late 16th century women were thought of as objects and as man's possession. There was no such thing as equality between a man and a woman. Men also treated their wives very badly and wanted their wives to be obedient and not to argue. The father would usually choose the husband for his daughter and it was usually someone rich if possible. Women did not usually have a say in who they married as was shown in the play. The play is about two sisters, Kate and Bianca, who live with their rich father, Baptista. Bianca seems to be a typical 16th century woman who is obedient, but Kate is very different and likes to speak her mind and is definitely not obedient. Baptista doesn't want Bianca to get married before Kate because Kate is the oldest. This is already an example of how the women are treated "" as if they are owned.Domestically Kate was seen as a problem. She was not the usual 16th century woman and was aggressive and ill tempered. She was preventing her sister, Bianca from getting married and she was disobedient. Kate was violent; as shown in Act 2 Scene 1 when she tied Bianca's Hands together and whipped her. She also threw an instrument at her music teacher.Kate was frustrated most of the time because of the people of Padua discussing her reputation and her behaviour. People talked about her behind her back and she knew this and it made her temper worse. They said things like: "˜That wench is stark mad' (1.1.69) And sometimes they even insulted her to her face. Kate became very defensive and said things like she will: "˜Comb your noddle with a three-legged stool' (1.1.64).She threatens Hortensio with this because he says she has no mates unless she is gentler. Kate seems to understand that the way women are treated is not right and she does not want to be treated in the same way.Petruchio is originally from Verona and came to Padua to see his friend Hortensio. Hortensio had also told Petruchio about Kate and that he wanted her married so her younger sister, Bianca can get married. Petruchio is a man who likes a challenge and he thought Kate would be the perfect challenge for him. He also knew that her father, Baptista was rich and Petruchio wanted Kate because he knew he would get a good dowry with her. Petruchio was very determined and he would not give up on Kate. He was also quite confident, as he knew Kate did not want to marry him but he still thought he could make it happen. He knew that Kate would be very hard to control but he still thought he could tame her.Lucentio is very different to Petruchio and he came to Padua to study. When he met Bianca he fell in love at first sight and he did not want her for her money or for a challenge. Lucentio tried to get close to Bianca by disguising himself as a Latin teacher. Lucentio finally gets to marry...

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