William Shakespeare 's The Taming Of The Shrew Essay

William Shakespeare 's The Taming Of The Shrew Essay

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Some interpret William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew as a representation of equals in a marriage, however, that is not the interpretation Shakespeare intends. The patriarchal society in which men dominate women in every way sets specific standards for how a husband should be and how he should treat his wife. The patriarchy does not consider men and women equals at any level. Critic Harold Bloom claims Kate and Petruchio to be “social equals”, but that is not the case. Regardless of critics’ beliefs that the play displays a forging of a partnership, Shakespeare uses Petruchio and Katherine to promote male chauvinism by suggesting men dominate women as they take away their voices and change their identities.
While Petruchio uses his higher status in society to dominate Katherine and take away her voice as she tries to stand up for herself. Petruchio goes to impress Kate with flattery but is met with an angry woman. Kate is given an opportunity to voice her opinions but it does not last long. Petruchio quickly reinforces his role as the dominate in the relationship and orders Kate, “That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on, / And, will you, nill you, I will marry you” (Shakespeare 2:1:285-286). Petruchio makes a decision for Katherine without her say and ignores any attempt that Kate makes to voice her opinions. As he takes away any role Kate could play in their relationship, Petruchio begins to not allow her voice to have any effect on life changing decisions and, “Petruchio establishes his dominance by verbally confirming her command while physically preventing her words from achieving their intent” (Detmer 141). Petruchio continues to enforce his dominance over Katherine while taking away her voice while they are a ...


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...ing her. Petruchio sees Katherine as nothing more than a body that benefit him financially. Shakespeare reveals the inequality between the sexes as men disrespect women and degrade them to a piece of property. Different men in Katherine’s life continue to humiliate her as they treat her as property and not as a human with feelings.
Through Katherine’s submission involving the sacrifices of her voice and identity, Shakespeare does not believe women as equals to their male counterparts. Kate loses herself to the submission to men that society has made conventional. Due to male chauvinism, the men in her life gain as she lost parts of herself. Shakespeare emphasizes how a patriarchal society is not able to have equals between men and women because of the way society conditions men to think. There is no such thing as equals between men and women in a patriarchal society.

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