This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of Marriage In Taming Of The Shrew, A Midsummer’s Night Dream And The Merchant Of Venice

1117 words - 5 pages

Shakespearean comedies, like “The Taming of the Shrew”, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and “The Merchant of Venice”, typically end with a happy ending usually involving a marriage between a couple that was courting throughout the play. The ill-matched couples courting throughout the play often encounter obstacles and experience an uncanny style of courting. Shakespeare focuses on the hectic courting of the poorly matched individuals married at the end of the play rather than the future lives of these newlyweds is not given much thought in order to give the play a light ending. Rather than Shakespeare describing love as a natural human state, necessary for true happiness, Shakespeare’s plays are doubtful about marriage’s ability to provide contentment. Shakespeare’s portrayal of marriage emphasizes its social function rather than the two individuals involved having a mutual love and respect from one another. In Shakespearean comedies, the father uses his power to decide who his daughter marries in order to maintain social, economic and political power. The three comedies begin with the conflict between daughter and father when it comes to a father’s influence on the daughter’s marriage. The father in the play, sees the marrying of his daughter as important because of the financial, political aspects rather than his daughter’s happiness. In Shakespeare’s comedies like “The Taming of the Shrew”, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and “The Merchant of Vencice”, Shakespeare portrays marriage as a social function, rather than a route to personal happiness.
Shakespeare lived in an age devoted to the maintenance of order through hierarchy, an age in which the creation of Eve from Adam’s rib was both historical fact and article of faith. (2). Shakespeare endorsed the principles of his time but viewed the maintenance of order through hierarchy as a skeptical practice. Shakespeare’s plays reveal s father’s desire for a daughter to marry someone of social and economic power and how daughters often rejected the person her father wanted her to marry. In terms of marriage, Shakespeare questions the moral grounds and the practical grounds of hierarchy. 2 Although the plays may reflect the legal concerns of the day, Shakespeare's interest in deeply engaging those issues appears to vary significantly. At first, readers may feel that the legal issues are overemphasized. The Sokols' conscientious documentation of all references to marriage laws in the plays and sonnets suggests that many references are "oblique" or superficial in order to maintain the hierarchy. 3
In Shakespeare’s comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew”, the author depicts the subjection of a willful woman to the will of her husband. 2 The female protagonist in the play, Kate, has a shrill tongue, a hot temper and irrational attitude giving her the reputation of a “shrew”. The first way Shakespeare portrays marriage in this play is by showing the female subject to being married as the victim who is passed...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Marriage in Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer’s Night Dream and The Merchant of Venice

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 Role of Prejudice in "The Merchant of Venice"

2109 words - 8 pages THE ROLE OF PREJUDICE IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICEThis paper discusses the subject of prejudice in the William Shakespeareplay, The Merchant of Venice.I. IntroductionWilliam Shakespeare's satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice,believed to have been written in 1596 was an examination of hatred andgreed. The premise deals with the antagonistic relationship betweenShylock, a Jewish money-lender and Antonio, the Christian merchant, whois as generous

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

Cross-dressing in Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice

3441 words - 14 pages Cross-dressing in Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and The Merchant of Venice Any theatrical performance requires a two-fold exchange. The performers must act in such a way as to engage the audience and draw them into the story of the stage. However, the audience itself must yield to the imagination, allowing at times the irrational to take precedent over rational expectations. This exchange between performers and audience creates the

The Role of Women in Challenging the Status Quo in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

1523 words - 6 pages changed and evolved. One such norm was the position of women in society. Queen Elizabeth was a controversial female in power during Shakespeare?s life and challenged all traditional thinking. In The Taming of the Shrew, Katherine (Kate) is the controversial female character. The comedy is about Kate, a strong-willed woman, whom is expected to conform to the unwritten rules of the late 16th century society. There are many aspects of her character

Merchant of Venice: Comparison of the Marriage Plot and the Trial Plot

861 words - 3 pages It is worthwhile to take a close look at the marriage and trial plots in The Merchant of Venice. The antagonists of the respective plots have similar goals; they seek access to power and privilege. However, the types of power they seek is very different. The methods they use of gaining power are also differ. Bassanio succeeds with his intent, but Shylock fails. Focusing on the before mentioned plots, one may draw some conclusions concerning

Comparing Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night

1994 words - 8 pages humorously with marriage; Barnardine is pardoned; and Claudio is saved.  The parallels between Measure for Measure and three other Shakespearean comedies, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, also help to classify Measure for Measure as a comedy.  In Measure for Measure, like in The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, an arbitrary law or obstacle is eventually overcome; a disguised character affects the

Shakespeare's Scenes:A Glimpse into the Life of an Artist as exemplified in <A Midsummer Night's Dream> and <The Merchant of Venice>. By Andrew Scott

2381 words - 10 pages forest and Athens; for the latter, the settings are Belmont and Venice. And though each has its own independent plot, both A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merchant of Venice become eerily similar through the analysis of their divergent settings. The forest and Belmont are controlled by powers inherently emotional whereas Athens and Greece are governed, strictly, in accordance with written and/or accepted law.In both the forest and Belmont

Role of the Fools in A Midsummer Night Dream and King Lear

2359 words - 9 pages , magical: Puck turning Bottom’s head into one of an ass, and Internal elements: Bottom’s own personality. The fact that Bottom always means the opposite if what he really says due to his error in the use of language in itself is a pun on his character, which further exposes his foolishness. Warde explains where Bottom stands in relation to his role as a fool Bottom in Midsummer’s Night Dream is not a professional fool. He belongs to that great army

Examine the different ways in which Shakespeare presents issues connected with the marriage and male relationships in the play "The Taming of the Shrew"

1169 words - 5 pages In the following essay I will be analysing and exploring the ways that Shakespeare presents issues with marriage and male and female relationships. I believe that the men in The Taming of the Shrew are more dominant and therefore respected unlike the female characters.I think that the play was an accurate reflection of men and women's relationship of the time, I feel this because after exploring The Taming of the Shrew and looking into the

Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents issues connected with marriage and male/female relationships in the play The Taming of the Shrew

848 words - 3 pages "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare closely examines the ideas of marriage and relationships between males and female in the time it was written. (Circa 1593). Shakespeare presents contemporary issues pertaining to those issues by utilising themes (domestication), centralising the importance of marriage to create tension, depicting marriage as a financial institution and using symbolism to convey abstract ideas.The idea of

Similar Essays

Comparing Women As Propriety In The Merchant Of Venice And The Taming Of The Shrew

3079 words - 12 pages Women As Propriety In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice and The Taming Of the Shrew "We may say that the dominant ideas in most societies are the ideas of the dominant sex, associated and mingled with those of dominant class." (Chedgzoy, pg.50) During the Elizabethan time men dominated society. Historically speaking males have always held more power then females in most cultures. Although a few cultures were Matriarchal

Courtship And Marriage In 'the Taming Of The Shrew'

2153 words - 9 pages . Shakespeare clearly shaped the character of Petruchio and his attitudes toward both women and the roles of husband and wife in marriage so that Petruchio would be able to suppress the character of Katherina and to make her into what he saw as the perfect wife. With the taming of the shrew Shakespeare seems to be through the comedy of the play commenting on the woman’s role in Elizabethan England by portraying it to an extreme, he seems to be in a

The Merchant Of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming Of The Shrew

2909 words - 12 pages , generallyplays the same role in each. Each instance oftrickery has been the result, either directly orindirectly, of an attempt to bring together a man anda woman. In The Merchant of Venice it is Bassanio'sdesire to woo Portia, in The Taming of the Shrew it isthe suitors' desire to win Bianca, in Much Ado AboutNothing it is the group's desire to bring Benedick andBeatrice together.Another device used in each of these three playsis the use of

The Importance Of Marriage In The Taming Of The Shrew

762 words - 3 pages . Marriage represents something different for each character in The Taming of the Shrew. For Lucentio it means pure love, being with his soul mate, and getting along well with the woman he loves. For Petruchio it is a financial gain and his way of always being in control. For Bianca marriage means something most women at this time did not have: independence, and for Katherine marriage means obedience. Regardless of the different types of marriage