Shakespeare's the Taming of the Shrew

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Kim Guyaux ENG 450 Professor Sherwood 7 Oct. 2013 Topic Analysis – The Taming of the Shrew In The Taming of the Shrew, the fierce, strong-willed personality of Katherine is transformed into a docile, obedient one by Petruccio’s extreme measures. By extracting a sort of vulnerability from Katherine through embarrassing her, surpassing her extreme personality with one of his own, neglecting her food and sleep, and convincing her to agree to his logic-contradicting opinions, Petruccio is able to mold Katherine into the compliant wife he desires. Katherine’s ending transformation is cemented once she outwardly addresses others on the importance of a wife’s dutiful, meek nature towards a husband. Katherine’s final submission to Petruccio’s control is all the more pronounced in contrast with her former fiery character. In the beginnings of The Taming of the Shrew, Katherine is a quick-tongued, bold woman with a penchant for resistance, even in a male-dominated world in which others view this behavior as severely unconventional of a proper woman. This is why many of the other characters never desire her for a spouse of their own. They believe she would make “a shrewd, ill-favoured wife” (Shakespeare 1.2.57 183). The ferocity of Katherine’s beginning personality is best viewed in her initial conversations with Petruccio. Even though Petruccio acknowledges Katherine’s obstinate personality through his comment that his “remedy is then to pluck it out” (Shakespeare 2.1.209 192), Katherine still brazenly declares “Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies” (Shakespeare 2.1.210 192). During this heated exchange, Katherine is even bold enough to strike Petruccio, an action that is viewed as completely unjustifiable in a male-dominated society. The intensity of Katherine’s outspoken, impudent personality in the beginning sets the stage for the extreme contrast of
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