Women and Shakspeare Essay

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Women in Literature Gender Roles are constantly changing due to influences from society and literature. The Taming Of The Shrew, is a perfect example it questions gender roles and the stigmas that come with being a women. The start of the play begins by challenging gender roles by casting a male to play a female part, the lords wife. It continues to further delve into women by establishing the standards they must comply by such as, being obedient and subservient to men. Shakespeare then present two distinctly different women; Katherine, the headstrong shrew and Bianca, the mild mannered sweetheart. As the play begins Katherine seems to embrace the ideals that women hold today, however, she is then tamed and loses her sense of self. Bianca, on the other hand, starts of as a perfect Elizabethan woman but then slowly shows that she is more than the eye meets. In the end it is infact Bianca that aligns with mentality of women today. Katherine starts of as an ideal modern day women by refusing to be lesser than the men that surround her. She is viewed negatively because she is non-compliant to men. Hortensio describes her to Petruchio saying her only fault is her bluntness. He says in act I and scene ii, “I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife, With wealth enough and young and beauteous, Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman: Her only fault, and that is faults enough, Is that she is intolerable curst And shrewd and forward, so beyond all measure”(I.ii.86-92). Hortensio describes her fault as a woman who is forward and shrewd. However her forwardness, in my opinion, is just a retaliation to the men of the times ego’s. In class we discussed how women who speak their mind and are forceful are most commonly viewed as female dogs, while men with same tendencies are considered to be great leaders. Katherine seems to stand her ground as Petruchio begins to woo her. She

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