taming of the shrew sarleen Essay

Taming of the shrew

Thesis- The process, reason and effects of taming the shrew.

Intro- thesis

The gender expectations

During the Elizabethan Era men and women had social roles that they were expected to follow these are portrayed in Taming of the Shrew. Women were either owned by their fathers or husbands. Married women were basically housewives; they were given no respect. The main expectation was to make their husband look good. This was usually done by making them look good through being obedient.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
taming of the shrew sarleen Essay
Order Essay

In Shakespeare’s plays he gives women more freedom by giving them education, a voice and thinking that women are treated as lower class meaning they are harmless.

Taming of the Shrew is portrayed as the battle between feminism and masculinity were men attempt to subordinate women. However, is this true or are the characters just fulfilling social expectations given? People have high expectations and judgements about each character in the play. Throughout the play Katherina was expected to be elegant, obedient and less of a “wild cat”.

As the play continues she had only one view which was to stay like a beast. She could be the women that everyone wants as this was proven by the taming aspects, but she didn’t want to fulfil the gender view of a stereotypical women. This is proven throughout the play that she is true to herself. Until Petruchio pressures himself to impress his fellow characters by taming Kate; this changes her. However, Bianca in the final scene shows the world a different side compared to before, as she didn’t obey were her husband and before she was obedient. Psychologically states that people usually feel pressure to conform and follow a crowd this is what happens in Taming of the Shrew.

The behaviours of characters vary or stay the same. Mainly during the discussion of Kate’s wedding people’s behaviour changes. This is due to the change is expectation and actions. The minor characters in the play started being sweet and kind to Kate. They started celebrating that the so-called shrew is gone. When Kate is in shock, Petruchio claims that: “To me she’s married, not unto my clothes.”. By doing this he limits the chance for her to some to her usual behaviour. By looking at the facial expressions in the …. Movie. She stops screaming, she agrees to marry him when she comes out of her room in her big wedding dress. Kate wants to uphold social desires in the inside and be married but she try’s not stop herself from fulfilling social expectations when she says I do not but gets cut off. The actions and deeds of the Kate can justify as knowing what’s right and what’s wrong.


During this process of cruelty, Petruchio stooped down to Katherina’s level. By starving a woman this is unmanly. As this occurs he is stooping low morally and literally, as it is abusing the power of the different genders and the class. Petruchio makes Kate rise in social status by proving that she can be an acceptable wife. Even though this whole process makes Petruchio look shameful it gives pride to him as he successfully tames a beast. add quote from book and end it.

Animals are equal with humans in the Great Chain of Being, does this give an excuse to treat every character like an animal? Wasps, cat, turtles, brown horses, cattle, bear are all examples of were the characters are referenced as animals. The main references are falcons and hawks this is because in the Elizabethan Era falconry was a noble luxurious and expensive sport to participate in. This relates to taming of the shrew as the method that Petruchio used was like falconry when you would tame a hawk or falcon. “My falcon now is sharp and passing empty… know her keeper’s call.…That bate and beat and will not be obedient… Ay, and amid this hurly I intend…” (Act 4 Scene 1). The way falconry works is by making the bird isolate and by eliminating the bird’s food and sleep until the bird is submissive. This is the same experience that Kate undergoes as this will make her dependent on Petruchio. This barbaric method created struggle in the process and supposedly tamed Kate in being obedient.

In this whole entire experience of taming she is not tamed. Many critics and people argue that she is tamed due to one scene which is due to her gigantic speech on respect for husbands. Instead she is just basically acting out what she thinks that Petruchio wants to hear meaning that she doesn’t mean what she expresses. Because Katherina is the only character that manages to stay true to herself regardless of social expectation; she only changes herself just, so she isn’t silenced and humiliated anymore. In the movie Kate states that there is “No shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced to give my hand, opposed against my heart unto a mad-brain rudesby.” This indicates that when Baptista is bartering his older child through marriage Kate is humiliated by when Petruchio drinks the… and comes dressed and a ……. While he brings a donkey which then later Katherina rides to Petruchio isolated house. Is she tamed, or has she had enough humiliation.


Shakespeare used the bible as a reference for most of his writing this includes Taming of the shrew. The final speech the one that shocked everyone was parts of the bible. The part was from Ephesians 5:21-25 KJV: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” This collaborates with: “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign…” (Act 5 Scene 2). Elizabethan people believed that you had to submit your life to Christ and Jesus. Therefore, the relationship between Petruchio and Kate is a part of thee bible as the audiences were had knowledge about the text. Some of Petruchio lines also uses parts of Exodus. Shakespeare uses Kate to uphold the importance of marriage according to the bible.

Respecting mothers and fathers are another part of bible, the ten Commandments. This section explains about honouring parents: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (KJB). In the Elizabethan Era child were expected to listen to their parents especially girls. Kate usually didn’t listen to her father this is the reason why viewers and critics say that she was married off as a punishment by god. Another job of a parent was to marry their daughter to any older man suitable. God to rock, Shakespeare uses the great chain of being to base most of his ideas this includes using the bible in Taming of the Shrew.

Humour one of the man genres of Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare mentions the bible as a humour allusion. He uses 2 Psalms one about the exile and the other is the suffering about Christ: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws, and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.” Psalms 22:15 and “If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem to my chief joy.” Psalms 137:6. This part connects with “Now, were not I a little pot and soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my teeth, my tongue to the roof of my mouth, my heart in my belly, ere I should come by a fire to thaw me.”(Act 4 Scene 1). People may ask how this is humour? This answer is that he is comparing his experiences to Jesus Christ who had far more worse conditions than Grumio’s. Shakespeare expected every audience member to know about the bible has why he uses it for humour and reference about virtues



BIBLIOGRAPHY Costa, M. (2012, January 18). The Taming of the Shrew: ‘This is not a woman being crushed’. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from The Guardian:

Crossref-it.info. (2019). Social status – gender roles and class. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from crossref-it.info:

Violetbecker. (2015, May 20). Conformity in The Taming of the Shrew. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from WordPress.com.:

Wachter, R. D. (2016, November 15). Power and gender in The Taming of the Shrew. Retrieved February 21, 2019, from British Library:

Still stressed from student homework?
Get quality assistance from academic writers!