The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Essay by canchimooruJunior High, 9th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare, is a play concerned with the gender issues and social issues that were taking place in the Elizabethan times and are also resonating within our modern society. These issues include the subjugation of women, love and marriage and the superficiality which was and is, taking place in society. It is a worthy play, as Shakespeare expresses these concerns through the use of humour, parallel plots and deceptive disguises.

One of the major concerns that are brought to light in this play is the intricate relationships and dealings with love and marriage. In society, marriage is considered to be a communal joining of two people who are in love. This is not always the case, as is shown in The Taming of the Shrew, as greed can have a stronger pull to man's heart than love. Wealth is always sought out in the play, and an example of this is Petruchio's reason for marrying Kate.

"Thou knowst not gold's effect." This shows us that Petruchio only wants to marry Kate for the large dowry that he will receive from her father, Baptista. This is later confirmed, when Petruchio enquires Baptista about the dowry.

Petruchio is not the only person in The Taming of the Shrew who marries for money. After finding out that Bianca was wooed by Lucentio, Hortensio decides to marry a very wealthy widow. This is also another case of money taking over love. Reputation also plays a major part in this. An example of this is when Kate ties up her sister to find out which of her suitors she really loves. She is desperate to marry, and does not want to be shamed by being a widow. "What will you not suffer for me? ... I...