the taming of a shrewKatherine





The Taming Of The Shrew by William Shakespeare is an introduction in the everpresent battle of women to be loving and caring wives, while at the same time holding on to our independence. Its plot is derived from the popular \'war of the sexes\' theme in which males and females are pitted against one another for dominance in marriage. The play begins with an induction in which a drunkard, Christopher Sly, is fooled into believing he is a king and has a play performed for him. The play he watches is what constitutes the main body of The Taming OfThe Shrew.
In it, a wealthy land owner, Baptista Minola, attempts to have his two daughters married. One is very shrewish, Katherine, while the other is the beautiful and gentle Bianca. In order to ensure Katherine is married, Baptista does not allow Bianca to be wed until Katherine is , forcing the many suitors to Bianca to find a mate for Katherine in order for them to vie for Bianca\'s love. This play has been critisised and condemned for its blatant sexist attitude it has toward women but upon closer examination of it and the intricacies of its structure it is revealed that it is not merely a story of how men should \'put women in their place\'. The play is, in fact, a comedy about an assertive woman coping with how she is expected to act in the society of the late sixteenth century and of how one must obey the unwritten rules of a society to be accepted in it. Although the play ends with her outwardly conforming to the norms of society, this is in action only, not in mind. Although she assumes the role of the obedient wife, inwardly she still retains her assertiveness.

It is curious to note the role of women in Shakespearean literature. Many critics have blasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women. Others have asserted that the roles of women in his plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in,his intent in creating characters to inspire much controversy. Two works, Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night, stand out particularly well in regards to Shakespeare\'s use of female characters. If you could examine these two plays, you would see that Shakespeare, though conforming to contemporary attitudes of women, circumvented them by creating resolute female characters with a strong sense of self.
The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare\'s most famous plays, and has weathered well into our modern era. For all the praises it has garnered throughout the centuries, it is curious to note that many have considered it to be one of his most controversial in his treatment of women. The "taming" of Katherine has been contended as being excessively cruel by many writers and critics of the modern era. George Bernard Shaw himself pressed for its banning during the 19th century. The subservience of Katherine has been labeled as barbaric, antiquated, and generally demeaning. The play centers on her and her lack of suitors. It establishes in the first act her shrewish demeanor and its repercussions on her family. It is only with the introduction of the witty Petruchio as her suitor, that one begins to see an evolution in her character. Through an elaborate charade of humiliating behavior, Petruchio humbles her and by the end of the play, she will instruct other women on the nature of being a good and dutiful
wife.Both plays portray female characters unwilling to accept the female role of passivity. Katherine rebels against this stereotype by becoming a "shrew", a violently tempered and belligerent woman. She endures reprimands, chiding, and humiliation in the course of her chosen rebellion. Curiously enough, Katherine voluntarily accepts the role that society would impose on her at the close of the play. It is important to note though, that she freely resumes this role, and that does do so out of her own sense of self. It is a personal choice based on her own desires. Katherine realizes that propriety is as much a signature of self-respect as respect for others, and she has a husband whom she need prove nothing to because he