ToTS Essay

Submitted By Rojan-Rijal
Words: 865
Pages: 4

Rojan Rijal
Per. 6
Mr. Chung
Taming of the Shrew, A sexist novel? The novels written by William Shakespeare are mostly focused on Elizabethan Era whether if it is a tragic novel Romeo and Juliet or a comic novel Taming of the Shrew. Most of his writing tends to consist of messages regarding social matters of the society that was influencing his writing method and process. Taming of the Shrew, his most comic book tends to deal with women’s position and rights in the society through the use of dark humor in some contents of the book. The marriage proposal given to the father by Petruchio, the “taming” of Katherine and the response of society regarding Katherine’s behavior are the evidence that prove that this play by William Shakespeare in many angle is sexist bringing differences between genders. First, the beginning act of the play deals with the status of women in the society as they were treated like property. The typical stenotype of women presented in Act 1 mostly consists of a quite woman and a good wife. Katherine who is shown as a harsh lady refusing to marry is “sold” to Petruchio by her father without her consent. Petruchio in the act is seen to be making offer to marry the daughter for certain amount of money which Baptista as a father is more that glad to pay if Katherine marries him. The dealing of money directly reflects the relationship between a customer and a merchant negotiating about unwanted material at the store. Even though Katherine is opposing the marriage her role in the society prevents her from being harsh forcing her to submit in front of her future husband, “No shame, but mine, I must, forsooth, be forced/To give my hand opposed against my heart/Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen” (3.2.8-10). “Be forced to give my hand opposed against my heart” clearly identifies on this scenario that women were not given equal freedom and their voice in the society was prevented from being heard which halted them from doing what their heart wants. Secondly, the harsh condition given to Katherine by Petruchio after the marriage also shows the main problem of the Elizabethan Era. During the Elizabethan Era, women were not provided with sufficient amount of rights compared to the rights given in 21st Century. Lack of freedom and right to speak freely prevents many women from putting their voice in the public. Similarly, throughout the play, Petruchio is seen to be threatening her in different manners that prevented her from achieving what her heart wanted. Petruchio’s voice seems to be the only commandment voice in life of Katherine in similarly way it was also seen in Bianca’s life where Lucentio’s and Baptista’s voice played major role in the decisions that Bianca made. “Why then let’s home again. Come sirrah, let’s away/ Nay I will give thy a kiss” (5.2.151-153). This dialogue between Petruchio and Katherine shows that Katherine was always expected to be submissive, not speak in negative to her husband and follow and agree to her husband no matter the situation. After, Petruchio threatens to leave; Katherine is given no choice than to fulfill the wish of her husband showing a stereotype of a quite submissive woman. The major part that deals and proves that Taming of the Shrew is a sexist view is the response