Shakespeare/Taming Of The Screw Themes term paper 12639

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Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew Paper I believe that Shakespeare had a very

little understanding of women. In this play The Taming of the Shrew the women

seem very flat. There is Kate; she is the proverbial "witchy" woman.

The butt of jokes men think of while sitting around a campfire discussing their

troubles with women, or the woman everyman wants to go out with and

"conquer" to prove how really "macho" he is. Then there is

Bianca; she portrays everymans fantasy of the prefect woman. Her youth, beauty,

and charm desired in his world. And finally, the woman Hortensio marries the

Widow. The widow is the "sugar mama" of the group. The lazy male

fantasy of having a woman to love and take care of you at the same time. My

first example of the static characters of women as portrayed by Shakespeare is

Kate. I believe it is a male fantasy of sorts to be the one who could tame the

untamable. I also believe Shakespeare probably shared this fantasy (unless my

other theories of his sexuality turn out to be true). This is accomplished

through Uber-male Petruchio. A quote that shows this is on page 83, line136

"So I to her, and so she yields to me, for I am rough and woo not like a

babe". This shows how Petruchio is convinced he's god's gift to women. And

also portrays the male fantasy of domination. My next example would be Bianca.

She is quiet, beautiful, and weak. Everything diserable to the men around. Later

we find out its somewhat an act but we won't mention this for my papers sake.

She appears weak in beginning when she has had her hands tide by Kate and is

being beaten by her, ActII page 78, line1 "good sister wrong me not nor

yourself to make a bondmaid and a slave of me". This is Bianca showing off

how weak she is, being able to be dominated by her husband. Lastly, there is the

widow whom Hortensio marries. She seems to be his caretaker, and not other way

around. This is somewhat of another male fantasy, to be taken care of. And yet

this also embarrasses Hortensio. He appears weak for following a woman, and not

leading as Petruchio, uber-male has. This shows how Shakespeare views women as

followers, and if you are lead by one, then you are not a man. Page 148, line92,

this is right after Hortensio sends for his wife and she tells him to goto her

and Petruchio is making fun of Hortensio "Worse and worse, she will not

come, O vile, intolerable, not to be endured!". These are the reasons why I

felt that during the reading of The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare had very

little understanding of the female sex. I believe the woman in this book were a

compilation of classic male fantasies shared by all. He should have granted more

freedom to act differently to the female characters. I thought it might have

been interesting if he would have gone somewhat into widows past. Or if he had

shown private flashes of rage by Bianca, that went against her preset character.

I would have also enjoyed somewhat of a prologue of sorts. An explanation of the

roots of Kates bitterness towards her sister, the suitors, and life itself.


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