Petruchio, A Man Without A Woman
The “Taming of the Shrew” was written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is a very well-known English writer. He wrote very many play, sonnets, and poems. He did his work during the late 1500’s till the early 1600’s. Shakespeare did well during his lifetime but became much more recognized later on in the nineteenth century. Shakespeare wrote many different plays, but the “Taming of the Shrew” was one of his more controversial pieces. Many people have gotten the idea that Shakespeare was a very sexist person from seeing this play. If you read this play seriously and literally you could easily come to this conclusion. If you are able to see it with a little bit of humor it can also be quite a comical piece of work.
“The Taming of the Shrew” is the title of an article written by Michelle Lee. Lee Shares her reasoning behind thoughts on Shakespeare endorsing domestic abuse. She tells that many people today think of this play as very comical; she does not feel that Shakespeare was being quite as funny as some might think. Shortly after being married Katerina was forced to go with Petruchio. Petruchio denies her of food and sleep in his effort to restrain her from her uncivilized way of living. Through most of the article Lee continuously backs up her theory by giving several examples of Petruchio’s actions. She does go on to say that many people have watched the play with a jesting attitude, but that physical and emotional abuse was not nearly as looked down upon then as it is today. Lee states that this was a way for Petruchio to preside and rule over Katherina. Lee says that over the years the play has been changed up to be much more comical and has lost much of the harsh content that it had originally contained.
With all of this being said it does change the way a person could feel about both Shakespeare and the play itself. The thought that Petruchio was an abusive husband is defiantly a terrible thing. The concept that Petrucio was doing all this to show his love of money and control is even worse and without a doubt unacceptable. From this stand point this play without a doubt does not sound like something you would want to take your children to see in theater.
Harold Bloom also writes an article called “The Taming of the Shrew”. Many people feel that Shakespeare is endorsing wife beating. Bloom seems to think quite the opposite. Towards the beginning of the play when Petruchio and Katerina first meet they do not get off to a good start. Katerina gets quite ill with Petruchio. In fact she gets so mad that she actually slaps him. Obviously he was not at all happy about it, but Petruchio refuses to act back on it. He only says that she will not do anything like that again and he gives her warning for the next time. Bloom tells that the moment in the play where Katerina first shows signs of becoming tame is when they were on the way back to Padua. Petruchio starts talking about the moon but in reality it is actually the sun. At first Katerina tries to tell Petruchio that it is the sun, but he was so adamant about it that she just agrees with him. She tells him that if he wants it to be the moon that is what she will call it. Petruchio has spent so much time arguing and working with Katerina that she realizes that she has finally met her match. Petruchio has even more persistence than she does and will not stop until he has won whatever it is that they are discussing.
Bloom shows that in one of the scenes Petruchio tells Katerina to kiss him before they go any further. While she does not kiss him at first it is only because there are so many other people around and she does not think that she should, but she does end up kissing him. Bloom seems to think that this scene proves their love for one another. Bloom says that only a “literal minded” person could not find the last scene where Katerina gives her speech anything but…