Era of Status
A famous Proverb once said, “Those that marry for money sell their liberty”. Marrying for wealth is a price someone would pay for losing the freedom of love. Through many generations money is still the basis of a few marriages instead of the courtship of love. Earning a high social standing during the Elizabethan era is one of most prevalent cause for marrying for money. In William Shakespeare’s play, Taming of the Shrew, he reveals how marriage revolves primarily around the social standing rather than a romantic desire. Through the three different marriages in the play, the husband 's’ motives for marrying become apparent.
During the Elizabethan era, men have to prove anything to receive status and power, while women tend to be the step in how to receive the men’s desires. Petruchio, a gentleman from Verona, displays every character a man has during that time. He comes to Padua in search for a wealthy wife to gain social status. His friend, Hortensio suggests that Petruchio try to woo Katherine, the daughter of the wealthiest men in Padua even though she is well known for being the “shrew” of the town. Petruchio, too eager for wealth, agrees by exclaiming, “One rich enough to be Petruchio’s wide / (As wealth is burden of my wooing dance)” (1.2.68,69). He sees Katherine as not a source of love but as a way to become rich and gain authority by taming her shrewishness. While Katherine sees his act of wooing her as an act of passion for who she is, he is just using her for what she is; a lady of wealth with a need for discipline. With Petruchio’s quick-witted and boisterous personality, he believes that he can easily tame her and even marry her. Once she is shown to be obedient to Petruchio through being married, ...
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...oe” ( 5.2.29, 30). Petruchio is constantly projecting his suffering of taming Katherine onto Hortensio, affecting the Widow’s and Hortensio’s marriage. The constant need that the men have for power over their wives leads them to impact other marriages and disregard the true meaning of marriage; love.
Marriage has the freedom to be a label for one of the most rewarding types of love a person can have. Once someone marries another for a wrong reason, such as marrying for money, that freedom is gone. In the play, The Taming of the Shrew marriage is mainly used as a means of trading money between two people instead representing a bond of love. The three marriages each show a different way that marriage is interpreted during this era, either, as a way of power, money, or status. If marriage is not a vow of love then why go through all the trouble to lose that freedom.
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