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The Importance Of Marriage In The Taming Of The Shrew

762 words - 3 pages

Human relations are an intriguing and important aspect of life. Whether platonic or romantic, tumultuous or steady, or between one gender or both, human relationships define us as human beings. In the play, The Taming of the Shrew, written by William Shakespeare, the relationships between romantic couples in particular serve to emphasize the importance of marriage during Shakespeare’s time. Originally published in 1590, the play highlights the relevance marriage had in popular culture. Marriage brought wealth, as in Petruchio’s case, social status, and the obvious love, as in Lucentio’s case. The relationships between Petruchio and Katherine, and Lucentio and Bianca, are alike and similar in their own ways, and serve as primary example of the importance of marriage in the society of The Taming of the Shrew.
Despite the dysfunction of Katherine and Petruchio’s relationship and the loving dramatics of Bianca and Lucentio’s relationship, all parties seem to be perfectly content with one another. Petruchio is able to marry a rich woman, Katherine willingly takes on the role of the compliant and obedient housewife, Lucentio marries the woman of his dreams, and Bianca remains in control of her life. Petruchio first comes to Padua to marry a rich woman and expresses this when he says, “Antonio, my father, is deceased, And I have thrust myself into this maze, Happily to wive and thrive, as best I may” (I. ii 55-57). Petruchio is an already rich, wealthy, but greedy man whose sole objective is to marry a woman from a wealthy family and he is content with his relationship with Katherine because he is able to do so with her. Katherine proves to be content with her marriage to Petruchio as well because she learns what it means to be an obedient wife and even teaches others that, “thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign, [and] one that cares for thee” (V. ii 162-163). Lucentio and Bianca are similarly happy with each other as well. Lucentio loves Bianca and Bianca loves being loved. Lucentio is madly in love with Bianca and goes to extreme measures, disguising himself as a schoolmaster and lying about his father, to be with Bianca. Bianca willingly marries Lucentio and is happy with the relative freedom he gives her. Although dissimilar in many ways, both relationships...

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