Almost everyone on Earth wants to marry someone else that shares similarities with him
or herself. However, one must ask themselves for what purpose. Is it for money, lust, or is it for money? Most of the time in our day and age, love is the main purpose of marriage. Usually, two people who love each other very much decide that they want to spend every single day of the rest of their lives together with one another. Nevertheless, love is not always the main purpose of marriage. In some cases, one person chooses to marry the other simply because of the economic advantages. This simply means that one of the persons is only marrying the other for money. In William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the theme of marriage as an economic institution is prevalent. Tranio, Petruchio, and Hortensio express the theme of marriage as an economic institution.
Petruchio is one of the characters that expresses this theme. In the beginning of the play, when everyone is trying to find someone to marry Katherine in order to gain Bianca’s hand in marriage, he bluntly states, “Here comes your father. Never make denial / I must and will have Katherine to my wife,” (The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene 1, Lines 294 – 295). Petrucio clearly believes that he will have her. Even though he is already wealthy, he still wants to receive what her father is offering as a dowry for her. Secondly, at the end when he has finally tamed Katherine, he makes a wager with the three other men that have gotten married. He says that she is the only one that will actually listen to him.
“Nay, I will win my wager better yet, And show more sign of her obedience,
Her new-built virtue and obedience,” (The Taming of the Shrew, Act V, Scene 2,
Lines 117 – 119). He clearly knew that he would win, since he had been able to “tame” Katherine.
Two other characters that express the theme of marriage as an economic institution are Grumio and Tranio. They both have prove to Baptista that they are worthy of marrying Bianca. By worthy, of course I mean how wealthy they both truly are. Tranio, without thinking, states,
“Gremio, ’tis known my father hath no less Than three great argosies, besides two galliasses, And twelve tight galleys. These I will assure her, And twice as much whate'er thou offer’st next,” (The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, Scene 1, Lines 373 – 376).
Tranio is trying to show to Bianca’s father that he has lots of wealth. Bianca’s father is only interested in someone that will be able to...