Taming Of The Shrew

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade June 2001

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An audience of the 21st century may find "˜The Taming Of The Shrew' to be a sexist and offensive play. To what extent do you agree with or sympathise with this viewpoint? In the late 16th century women were thought of as objects and as man's possession. There was no such thing as equality between a man and a woman. Men also treated their wives very badly and wanted their wives to be obedient and not to argue. The father would usually choose the husband for his daughter and it was usually someone rich if possible. Women did not usually have a say in who they married as was shown in the play. The play is about two sisters, Kate and Bianca, who live with their rich father, Baptista. Bianca seems to be a typical 16th century woman who is obedient, but Kate is very different and likes to speak her mind and is definitely not obedient.

Baptista doesn't want Bianca to get married before Kate because Kate is the oldest. This is already an example of how the women are treated "" as if they are owned.

Domestically Kate was seen as a problem. She was not the usual 16th century woman and was aggressive and ill tempered. She was preventing her sister, Bianca from getting married and she was disobedient. Kate was violent; as shown in Act 2 Scene 1 when she tied Bianca's Hands together and whipped her. She also threw an instrument at her music teacher.

Kate was frustrated most of the time because of the people of Padua discussing her reputation and her behaviour. People talked about her behind her back and she knew this and it made her temper worse. They said things like: "˜That wench is stark mad' (1.1.69) And sometimes...