Repeat After MeThe Taming of the Shrew
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Repeat After MeThe Taming of the Shrew
Repeat After Me
As she screams at her father Katherine says “What will you not suffer me? Nay now I see She is your treasure, she must have a husband; I must dance barefoot on her wedding day, And for your love to her lead apes in hell” (Shakespeare 35). Katherine knows that her father favors Bianca because she is a goody two shoes of daughter. Kate expresses her feelings of having to be married off first because nobody in town wants her as a wife. Kate does not believe that she should be offered as a wife and then backed up with a dowry. She is quite opinionated about this, with no fear of who knows or not. Katherine’s views and beliefs of marriage and life set her apart from other women in Padua. Women, such as Bianca, simply go along with marriages and abide by what their husbands’ request. She is the one woman no man has been able to tame, and no man has wanted to. The town sees her as callous, sharp-tongued, and unmannerly, until Petruchio comes along to woo her. At the end of Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew it seems as though Petruchio has tamed Kate but in actuality she has simply learned to play his game and tell him what he wants to hear.
After Kate’s father agrees to her marriage, Petruchio sets off to find Katherine and tell her the news. Upon finding her, they argue back and forth, teasing one another with playful words. This is where Petruchio decides he will make a decent wife out of Kate. He comes right out and tells her “And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate, conformable as other Kates”(45). Petruchio believes that Kate will be tamed and will become the wife he wants through his loving guidance. The wedding day arrives but the groom does not. Petruchio is very late and this puts Kate in an awful mood. She rants on about the marriage as she awaits his arrival. Declaring herself Kate says:
No shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced to give my hand opposed against my heart unto a mad-brained rudesby full of spleen, who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure. I told you, I, he was a frantic fool . . . Now must the world point at poor Katherine and say, “Lo, there is mad Petruchio’s wife, If it would please him come and marry her!” (54)
In this passage Katherine is first subjected to Petruchio’s plan for taming her. Angered by his actions she tells the townsfolk of her objection to this marriage. Kate believes that she should be in love with whom she wants to marry, but this is obviously not the case with Petruchio. She explains that he will make an awful husband due to his actions and his motive for even marrying her in the first place. She is embarrassed on her very own wedding day and is ashamed of Petruchio.
After the wedding is over, Kate and Petruchio return to his home in the country. Petruchio begins to tell his servants all about his plan for Kate. He explains “Another way I have to man my haggard, to make her come and know her keeper’s call: that is, to watch her, as we watch these kites that bate and beat and will not be obedient” (70). Referring to Kate as a hawk that will obey its owner’s request, he knows that she will eventually obey his request just as the bird obeys. By keeping close watch over her actions Petruchio will have say on what she can or cannot do. This will teach her to become submissive to his every word. Kate is still disagreeable when Petruchio tells her of the trip to Padua for her sister’s wedding. He warns her and says “Look what I speak, or do, or think to do, you are still crossing it. -Sirs, let’t alone. I will not go today, and ere I do it shall be what o’clock I say it is” (83). At this point Kate catches on to Petruchio’s plan and begins to play along with him. She has figured out that if she
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The Taming of the Shrew, Love stories, Operas, Petruchio, English-language films, The Taming of the Shrew in performance, Catharine and Petruchio
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