Kate in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew

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Kate in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew Katharina or Kate, the shrew of William Shakespeare's The Taming Of

The Shrew is sharp-tongued, quick-tempered, and prone to violence and

violent outbursts, especially to anyone who tries to win her love.

This is shown from the beginning in Act One with the scene among

Hortensio and Gremio and her. When Gremio proclaims her "too rough"

(I.i.55) and Hortensio claims that they want mates "of gentler, milder

mould" (I.i.60), she strikes back with such words as "To comb your

noddle with a three-legg'd stool and paint your face and use you like

a fool." (I.i.64-65)

Her hostility and anger towards her suitors is infamous within the

town of Padua. Her anger and rudeness actually hides her deep sense of

insecurity, not to mention her jealousy towards her sister, Bianca.

She speaks these words to her father; "What, will you not suffer me?

Nay, now I see she is your treasure, she must have a husband; I must

dance bare-foot on her wedding day and for your love to her lead apes

in hell. Talk not to me: I will go sit and weep till I can find

occasion of revenge." (II.i.31-36). Clearly she is spiteful because he

has more love for Bianca. They feel that she may become an old maid

with no husband or children, and she herself believes it to be a


The Elizabethan era was a hard time for most women. When you are born

and raised in a society that is male dominated, you have no choice but

to come to terms with it. Mary Wroth states in her writings "a

seventeenth-century woman was usually dependent o...

... middle of paper ...

... in Shakespeare? Options for


Representation in the English Renaissance." Shakespeare Quarterly.

42.3 (1991),


Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. Ed. Paul Negri, Adam

Frost. New

York: Dover Publications, 1997.

Swift, Carolyn Ruth. Feminine identity in Lady Mary Wroth's Romance


Women in the Renaissance: Selections from English Literary Renaissance.


Farrell, Kirby, et al. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts

Press, 1971. 154-


Works Cited, Continued




The Taming of the Shrew. Dir. Franco Zeffirelli. Per. Elizabeth

Taylor, Richard

Burton. Columbia Pictures, 1967.
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