Analysis Of Petruchio In The Taming Of The Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew written by William Shakespeare depicts the story of Petruchio a man who takes on the challenge of taming a shrew, a woman named Katherine (or Kate). By the end of the play, it becomes our knowledge that Petruchio has succeeded in taming Kate, because of the fact that she comes to him when she is called (or demanded to), while the other wives do not. The icing on the cake is her final speech which enforces the idea that she has been tamed by Petruchio. But it can also be seen that Kate’s final speech creates the idea that she is a powerful, smart and clever woman who was never truly tamed and instead only acting like she was. In the beginning of the play, when Kate and Petruchio first meet, her answers towards him are…show more content…
You must not look so sour” (Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew 2.1.224), while Kate responds with “It is my fashion when I see a crab” (2.1.225). She is quite clearly stating that Petruchio is a crab in her eyes and therefore why she is acting ‘shrewish’ towards him. In contrast to this, in her final speech she exclaims “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper / Thy head, thy sovereign - one that cares for thee,” (5.2.150-151) and finishes with “And place your hands below your husband’s foot, / In token of which duty, if he please, / My hand is ready, may it do him ease.” (5.2.181-183). With these lines we can see the ‘evolution’ that Kate has experienced from the beginning of the play to the end. It can be argued that this evolution is true, that she has really changed and is no longer a shrew, that Petruchio has won. But it can also be argued that she hasn 't actually changed and is merely ‘playing’ Petruchio, fooling everyone into believing that she has been tamed, all while still holding on to her ‘shrewish’…show more content…
With a multitude of different productions of this play, we can see that there are varying interpretations of Kate’s final speech. Although some plays interpret her speech as a full and true character evolution (meaning she was truly tamed by Petruchio), others will perform interpretations that suggest, that she is in fact not tamed by Petruchio, while proving the above arguments. The 2012 performance of the play at The Globe Theatre in London England directed by Toby Frow, depicts a lightly sarcastic Kate, when saying her final speech at the end of the production. In this production of the play, before Kate begins her speech, she is told by Petruchio to go and fetch the other wives. Before she leaves to do so, she gives Petruchio an almost exasperated stare insinuating that she hates that she is doing his bidding, but is doing it anyway for the sake of Petruchio’s ego, proving to us that Kate was in fact never
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