Taming of the Shrew

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jilly1818
Words 1648
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Katherina – Shrew or Not So Shrew?

According to Merriam-Webster (n.d.), a shrew can be defined as an unpleasant, bad-tempered woman. From the moment we are introduced to Katherina in Act I, Scene I, we see that she lives up to her reputation as a shrew through her exchange of words with her father when two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio, come to call upon Bianca for their wife. Baptista tells the two gentlemen not to look at his youngest daughter, before he has a husband for his elder daughter. He asks the gentlemen if either of them love Katherina. Gremio states “To cart her rather. She’s too rough for me.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2009, 1.1.55-56). Katherina sharply responds to her father: “I pray you, sir, it is your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?” (Shakespeare, trans. 2009, 1.1.57-58). Hortensio responds by stating; “Mates, maid? How mean you that? No mates for you unless you were of gentler, milder mold.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2009, 1.1.59-60). Kate quickly responds to his harsh criticism by stating “I’faith sir, you shall never need to fear; iwis it is not halfway to her heart. But if it were, doubt not her care should be to comb your noddle with a three-legged stool and paint your face, and use you like a fool.” (Shakespeare, trans. 2009, 1.1.60-65), and in the movie throws a stool down at him. This is our first indication that Katherina is not the usual woman of this time period. As the play and movie progresses, we see that Katherina is a very angry, outspoken woman, but why?

There are a few possibilities that contribute to her outspokenness and angry demeanor. One possibility is that she does not have a mother figure to show her how to behave and how to behave as a woman. That job was left to her father, who obviously failed terribly when it came to Kate. The only relationship Kate has known is that with her father,…...

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