Much Ado About Taming Shrews Essays

Much Ado About Taming Shrews Essays

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It is a prevalent belief among men that women should be tamed to achieve a more harmonious relationship. The concept of dominance prevails in Shakespeare’s plays Much Ado Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew. Katherina and Beatrice in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado about Nothing (respectively) respond differently to men in a chauvinistic society. Katherina initially presents herself as the quintessential shrew, resulting in the despair of other men who want to court the already tamed Bianca. Her cleverly witty speech and debasing treatment and disposition towards men can interpreted as a method to weed out the weak men from the strong men or as a means to show the independent nature women may choose to employ. Undeniably, towards the end of the play, she appears to adopt a more docile demeanor, possibly the result of Petruchio’s unorthodox taming methods. In Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice advances the idea that going against the passive role society demands for women yields better consequences. She appears to have a better, more trusting relationship with Benedick than Hero has with Claudio; yet, at the end of the play, it is not clear what genuine emotions lay beneath the surface: Does she really in love? Although Katherina and Beatrice are fundamentally similar, through an analysis of their initial reaction to their future husbands and analysis of the events in the plays’ plots, Beatrice establishes greater control of her husband.
Beatrice’s dialogue with Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing establishes her control over him, dissimilar to the discourse between Katherina and Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew. Beatrice’s first lines reveal much about her attraction to Benedick. “I pray you, is Signor Moun...

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...a combination of both and to no avail. A more mature aspect in Beatrice’s personality is that she acknowledges her love for Benedict and tries not to fight them. Katherina does not acknowledge her love or admiration for Petruchio, making her taming more difficult. While Beatrice engages in a battle of the wits with Benedict and results in Benedict’s giving up, Katherina is the one who gives in to Petruchio’s advances and becomes his wife. This dichotomous outcome illustrates and Beatrice’s initial control over Benedict. This control is further illustrated in the plot of the play. Making Benedick challenge and possibly kill his best friend, Beatrice shows her power and control over him. The opposite is true in Katherina’s case.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed G. Blakemore Evans, et al. 2nd ed.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

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