The Taming Of The Shrew Shakespeare Essay

1247 words - 5 pages

ENG - 2DO
Male Dominance and Women as Possessions
The world now and the world in Shakespeare’s time are two very different worlds.
Shakespeare’s world a world filled with male dominance and misogyny. One that would bizarre
to think about if it existed in society today. In William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the
Shrew” males are shown as the dominant gender causing women to become possessions. This
can be seen portrayed through the play’s characters Lucentio, Baptista, and Petruchio.
Lucentio is one of the main characters in “The Taming of the Shrew”. He comes to Padua
to learn at the university but instead sees himself falling in love with Bianca (daughter of
Baptista), who he treats as a possession over a woman. Lucentio tells one of his servants
(Biondello) to bring Bianca to him as a way to test Bianca’s obedience towards him; “Go,
Biondello, bid your mistress come to me” – (V.II.82). This quotation demonstrates how Bianca is
becoming a possession to Lucentio instead of a wife. Lucentio in the scene is at a party, where
Petruchio challenges Lucentio and Hortensio to see how obedient their wives are. The three men
treat their wives as possessions that have to obey their commands and show that they are
dominant over them. Lucentio then realizes that he has not been strict with his wife as much
Petruchio has with his wife Katherine, when Bianca does not obey his command. Further back in
the play Lucentio and Hortensio are seen beginning to try to court Bianca by disguising their
messages in poems which Bianca has to read; “I am Lucentio, / hic est, son unto Vincentio of
Pisa. Sigeia tellus, / disguised thus to get your love” – (III.I.33-35). In the quotation and scene, it
is seen how the two men fight over Bianca as if she is their toy. Instead of them being suitors to
Bianca, the men in fact are in a discrete competition over which man can successfully court
Bianca. When the two men fight over her, they never ask Bianca about her feelings on the
situation. Lucentio tells Tranio when he first sees Bianca how much he loves Bianca and he has
to have her to be complete and he is willing to do anything to get Bianca; “If I achieve this young
modest girl. / Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst” – (I.I.158 – 159). It is seen how Bianca
begins to be established as a thing to Lucentio which he has to have. After this scene Lucentio
begins devising a plan to get Bianca over other men. He competes over Bianca as if she is the
prize for winning the competition. Lucentio plays a significant part in the story, demonstrating
how men would treat women as possessions in Shakespeare’s time.
Baptista is a wealthy man in Padua who is father to two daughters Bianca and Katherine,
and wants someone to marry his older daughter Katherine before someone marries the younger
Bianca. Baptista has myriad control over his daughters and how and when they get courted and
married; “That is, not bestow my...

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