William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew, By William Shakespeare, provides
contemplation to various themes described as acceptable at the time in
which the play is set. Themes such as, the role of a wife in a
household and the influence of male/father figures on women, are
issues that are raised prominently in the play and are often compared
to contemporary values and beliefs today.
The motif of domestication and a role of a wife in a household can be
portrayed simply by just the title of the play. The word 'taming'
refers to that of subduing one's dissatisfying characteristics.
Petruchio describes Katherina as an animal such as a 'wild-cat' that
must be cultivated.
The role of a wife was clearly spoken for Katherina by Petruchio as he
deprived her of sleep and food until she was willing to agree with
everything he said. She was expected to agree that the sun was the
moon or vice versa, whenever he pleased to change his mind, and even
convinced her to agree that an old haggard man was a beautiful young
lady. PETRUCHIO: I say it is the moon. KATHERINA: I know it is the
moon. PETRUCHIO: Nay, you lie. It is the blessÃ¨d sun. KATHERINA: Then,
God be blessed, it is the blessÃ¨d sun. But sun it not, when you say it
is not, And the moon changes even as your mind.
One of the most important components of the play was the speech made
by Katherina about the importance of the roles of a wife to their
husband. Some speculate that after his efforts to tame Katherina, this
is the 'fruits of Petruchio's labor', while others cogitate that she
is not genuine with what she is saying and is just conforming to the
situation that she is in to make her life easier.
Katherina refers to her husband as her lord, her king, her governor,
her keeper and her life. All these titles are authoritive and powerful
positions, and although in a complete change of character, Katherina
dictates the eminence of men's roles as husbands and women's roles as
wives in a patriarchal society. She also quotes 'Thy head, thy
sovereign; one that cares for thee, And for thy maintained; commits
his body, to painful labour both by sea and landâ€¦Whilst thou liest
warm at home, secure and safe;' A husband is there to care for a wife
and can suffer the extremities of the world for her to stay warm and
safe in the house. While the wife should not complain as the husband
is actually doing her a favor, in which, the wife is really the one
with the debt owed to her husband. 'And crave no other tribute at thy
hands, but love, fair looks, and true obedience- too little payment
for so great a debt' A wife was not to be peevish or sour to her
husband or else she would just be an unappreciative woman with...