Monday, January 20, 2020
William Shakespeares The Taming of the Shrew Essay -- William Shakesp
William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew "The Taming of the Shrew" could either be seen as offensive or acceptable to women dependant upon the era of which they lived (16th century-the period of Shakespeare, or the 21st century). Act 4 Scene 1 is a main focal point to debate whether the play is seen as offensive to women. In Shakespeare's time, women were not treated humanely but more like objects. Men were seen as the superior sex of which had complete control over women and could marry who ever they wanted. The women had no say in who they married. Basically the two sexes were not treated equally. Also women could not go to school, but had to stay at home to cook and clean. Men could also bet on the behaviour of their wives to see which is the 'tamest'. Obviously a lot has changed since Shakespearian times and men and women are now treated equally and have the same rights as each other. Women can go to school and also choose who they want to marry. In the Shakespearian time the male superiority etc would have been classed as acceptable and normal, but a modern audience would be flabbergasted if they saw a man bidding with the woman's dad to marry her. Throughout Act 4 Scene 1, there are examples of the bad treatment Petruchio forces against Katherina; "I tell thee, Kate, `twas burnt and dried away, And I expressly am forbid to touch it," Act 4 Scene 1, Line 152-3. This quote shows that Petruchio is denying Katherina food by saying it is burnt and later on in his speech that burnt meat produced an excess of the choleric humour, which caused anger. We know he is lying just to make Katherina starve in order to tame her. This could definately be seen as offensive or even a crime for denyin... ...lso the decisions were made not in the sisters interests. In Act 5 Scene 2 the men bet on whose wife is most obedient; "Let's each one send unto his wife and he whose wife is most obedient to come at first when he doth send for her shall win the wager which we will propose" Act 5 Scene 2, Line 66-9. This again shows the women as objects and links to wealth. The men are the superior sex, which have control over all including their wives. My conclusion is, that 'The Taming of the Shrew' could definately be seen as offensive to women, especially in Act 4 Scene 1. The women are shown as betting objects and opportunities to gain in wealth and respect. They were tamed to be the perfect wives through starvation and captivity. Everything that was forced upon the women, were not to their best interests, but to the interests of the person doing it to them.