The play The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare, is a comedy built around the misogynist relationship of the characters Petruchio’s and Katherine’s from its courtship begging to its maritallife. As the name of this play suggests, a shrew is to be tamed. Shakespeare utilizes the idea of the shrew, a domestic pest, as a personification for Katherine in order to further emphasize herdescent from a strongly willed and wild woman to an obedient servant of her husband. Modern audiences do not perceive this play as a comedy, however, one must remain aware that in the 15th century thedomestic violence presented in this play was taken humorously since it dealt with a common aspect of the era’s marital life; male authority. Furthermore, as the plotline progresses, the audience noticesKatherine’s loss of authority over herself takes place as she progressively accepts Petruchio’s calling her Kate, and not Katherine. Katherine is at first solely Katherine, after Petruchio’sestablishment in her life her identity as a shrew is shifted from a “reluctant producer within the household”(33), as Natasha Korda points out in her “Household Kates: Domesticating Commodities in The Taming ofthe Shrew”, to a domestic pest set through her submission to Petruchio’s domesticity by accepting the denomination “Kate”. Shakespeare explores this concept of hierarchy through Katherine andPetruchio by exploring 3 embedded relationships within their marriage; animals and humans, servant and master and finally man and woman.
To begin with, the society presented in the play orbits aroundonomastic values, meaning that one’s name in society is directly linked to reputation and lineage. Also, in a society based on hierarchy, those in the lower part of the social ladder must behaverespectfully to those above him socially, “And call him “madam,“ do him obeisance.” (Induction.1.104). Shakespeare plays around with different forms of hierarchy, but ultimately focuses on the relationship of...
Ler documento completo
Por favor, assinar para o acesso.