taming of the shrew gender roles essay

The Taming of the Shrew

William shakespeare, ask litcharts ai: the answer to your questions.

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Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon

Issues related to gender are hugely important in this play, which centers around Petruchio "taming" Katherine and forcing her into the traditionally submissive role of a wife. The play is filled with characters who fit and don't fit traditional gender roles—particularly the idea of the male as dominant and the female as submissive. The quiet, mild-mannered Bianca , for example, plays the traditional role of a woman well, while Katherine rebels against this stereotype with her boisterousness and refusal to be ordered around by a man. In the last scene of the play, Petruchio, Baptista , Hortensio , and Lucentio tease each other over who is ruled by his wife and is thus less of a man. Perhaps with the exception of Petruchio, these men do not live up to the masculine ideal of a commanding husband in control of his wife, just as Bianca and the widow Hortensio marries turn out not to be the epitomes of female obedience their husbands may have thought they were.

While both men and women in the play don't always behave in accordance with traditional gender roles, it is the women—and particularly Katherine—who are punished for such behavior. Katherine's stubbornness and strong will cause her to be denigrated, insulted, and abused throughout the play. She is less highly valued as a potential wife than her sister and humiliated by various male characters, by none more than her own husband Petruchio. This would seem to make Shakespeare's play rather sexist and misogynistic, especially as it showcases Petruchio's abusing Katherine for comedic value. But, although the play contains much misogyny on-stage, it can also be seen as exposing some of the fallacies of traditional, oppressive gender roles. For one thing, with all of the disguises and deceptive performances in the comedy, it is somewhat unclear whether Katherine is really tamed by Petruchio, or whether she is simply pretending to be obedient to him. It is even possible that he and she are pretending together, in order to surprise Baptista and the other characters. Different productions of The Taming of the Shrew may choose to interpret this ambiguity differently, but with the play's emphasis on performance and swapping roles (more on this below), Shakespeare may be seen as suggesting that gender roles are just that: roles to be played, rather than natural, true identities. This is furthered by the cross-dressing servant in the beginning of the play who convinces Christopher Sly that he is his wife, and perhaps by the fact that in Shakespeare's day, women's parts on the stage were played by young male actors.

In the end, the fact that the play portrays a heavy dose of misogyny is unavoidable, and much of Shakespeare's audience would doubtlessly have laughed at the sexist joking and slapstick abuse in the comedy. Whether Shakespeare would have shared in this reaction, or whether the play endorses this misogyny is somewhat more up for debate, but in any case reading the play offers just as much of an opportunity to critique misogyny and traditional gender roles as it does to reinforce them.

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The Taming of the Shrew PDF

Gender and Misogyny Quotes in The Taming of the Shrew

I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife With wealth enough, and young and beauteous, Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman. Her only fault, and that is faults enough, Is that she is intolerable curst, And shrewd and forward, so beyond all measure That, were my state far worser than it is, I would not wed her for a mine of gold.

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But will you woo this wildcat?

taming of the shrew gender roles essay

Nay, now I see She [Bianca] is your [Baptista's] treasure, she must have a husband, I must dance barefoot on her wedding day And, for your love to her, lead apes in hell. Talk not to me. I will go sit and weep Till I can find occasion of revenge.

Say that she [Katherine] rail, why then I'll tell her plain She sings as sweetly as a nightingale. Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear As morning roses newly washed with dew. Say she be mute and will not speak a word, Then I'll commend her volubility And say she uttereth piercing eloquence. If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks As though she bid me stay by her a week. If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day When I shall ask the banns, and when be married.

Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on, And will you, nill you, I will marry you.

For I am he born to tame you, Kate, And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate Conformable as other household Kates.

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, Who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure.

I see a woman may be made a fool If she had not a spirit to resist.

I will be master of what is mine own. She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything.

Thus have I politicly begun my reign, And ‘tis my hope to end successfully. My falcon now is sharp and passing empty, And, till she stoop, she must not be full-gorged, For then she never looks upon her lure. Another way I have to man my haggard, To make her come and know her keeper's call.

Tranio: Faith, he is gone unto the taming school.

Bianca: The taming school? What, is there such a place?

Tranio: Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master, That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.

Education Theme Icon

It shall be what o'clock I say it is.

Now, by my mother's son, and that's myself, It shall be moon, or star, or what I list, Or e'er I journey to your father's house.

Forward, I pray, since we have come so far, And be it moon, or sun, or what you please. And if you please to call it a rush candle, Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

Let's each one send unto his wife, And he whose wife is most obedient To come at first when he doth send for her Shall win the wager which we will propose.

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee.

I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace, Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.

Now, go thy ways, thou hast tamed a curst shrew.

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The Folger Shakespeare

A Modern Perspective: The Taming of the Shrew

By Karen Newman

In sermons preached from the pulpit, in exhortations urged from the magistrate’s bench, in plays and popular pastimes, in morning and evening prayers at home, in early printed books rehearsing seemly female conduct, the tripartite ideal of women’s chastity, silence, and obedience was proclaimed far and wide in early modern England. Shakespeare’s heroine, Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew refuses to abide by these Renaissance ideals of womanly submission. Her self-confidence and independence, which the male characters disparage by calling her a “devil,” threaten the hierarchical organization of Renaissance society in which women were believed inferior. The price of Kate’s resistance is summed up in Hortensio’s taunt, “No mates for you, / Unless you were of gentler, milder mold” ( 1.1.59 –61).

Instead of wooing Kate, the suitors pursue her more tractable sister, Bianca, whom they admire for her silence, mildness, and sobriety. But in Bianca’s dealings with her two suitors (disguised as tutors), even she shows herself less docile than she seems. As many readers of The Taming of the Shrew have noted, if in the end one shrew is tamed, two more reveal themselves: Bianca and the widow refuse to do their husbands’ bidding at the very moment Kate has ostensibly learned to obey. In the play, the gulf between Renaissance ideals of a submissive femininity and the realities of women’s behavior is wide.

Recently, commentators have turned to the work of social historians to explain The Taming of the Shrew ’s presentation of the female characters’ transgression of Renaissance standards for women’s behavior. They point out that during the period from 1560 until the English Civil War, England suffered a “crisis of order” brought about by enormous economic, demographic, and political changes that produced acute anxiety about conventional hierarchies. 1 Groups that had traditionally been subject to the authority of others—merchants and actors, servants and apprentices—were enabled by rapid change to enter social spheres that had been customarily closed to them. Such shifts threatened perceived hierarchies in Tudor and Stuart England: men complained of upstart courtiership, of a socially mobile middle class, of “masterless men,” and of female rebellion. Since public and domestic authority in Elizabethan England was vested in men—in fathers, husbands, masters, teachers, magistrates, lords—Elizabeth I’s rule inevitably produced anxiety about women’s roles. 2

Arraignments for scolding, shrewishness, and bastardy, as well as witchcraft persecutions, crowd the historical record. 3 Although men were occasionally charged with scolding, shrewishness was a predominately female offense. Punishment for such crimes and for related offenses involving sexual misbehavior or “domineering” wives who “beat” or “abused” their husbands often involved public humiliation: the ducking stool, “carting,” and/or reproof by means of the skimmington or charivari (an informal ritual in which the accused woman or her surrogate was put in a scold’s collar or paraded through the village or town in a cart accompanied by a procession of neighbors banging pots and pans). In Shakespeare’s play we can observe traces of such practices when Baptista, Kate’s father, exhorts Bianca’s suitors to court Kate instead and Gremio exclaims, “To cart her, rather. She’s too rough for me” ( 1.1.55 ). Anxiety about changing social relations prompted the labeling of old behaviors in new ways that made criminals of women whose actions threatened patriarchal authority.

But history alone cannot account for Shakespeare’s presentation of the shrew-taming plot. Literary history—generic models and conventions, both popular and elite—shaped the way Shakespeare represents the play’s characters and action. Popular medieval fabliaux and Tudor jest books and pamphlets recount tales of shrew-taming that furnished patterns from which Shakespeare drew. These and the oral folktales on which they are based include incidents similar to the plot of The Taming of the Shrew: a father with two daughters, one curst (i.e., bad-tempered) and spurned, the other mild and sought after; a suitor determined to tame the shrew; a farcical wedding scene; quarrels of the sort Kate and Petruchio have at his country house and on the road to Padua; and a bet on the most obedient wife. An often-cited example is the anonymous ballad A Merry Jest of a Shrewd and Curst Wife Lapped in Morel’s Skin for her Good Behavior (c. 1550), in which a father has two daughters, one curst, the other docile. When a wooer seeks the shrewish daughter’s hand, the father warns him against this “devilish fiend of hell.” Unmoved, he marries her and proceeds to tame her by means of beatings and torture: after cudgeling her bloody, he wraps her in a salted morel skin. The ballad ends conventionally with a meal at which father, mother, and neighbors admire the once-shrewish wife’s obedience and with a challenge to the audience: “He that can charm a shrewd wife / Better than thus, Let him come to me and fetch ten pound / And a golden purse.”

Though the basic situation of The Taming of the Shrew resembles that of A Merry Jest, in Shakespeare’s play Petruchio avoids physical violence. Instead of beating Kate, he resorts to more civilized coercion: public humiliation at their wedding, starvation, sleep deprivation, and verbal bullying, all administered with the utmost courtesy and pretended kindness. The less violent but equally coercive taming strategies that Shakespeare has Petruchio employ can be linked to a humanist tradition represented by Juan Luis Vives, Erasmus, and later Protestant reformers, who recommend persuasion, not brutality, as the means of inculcating wifely obedience. But even the popular tradition offers analogues less grisly than A Merry Jest. For example, in the early broadside The Taming of a Shrew or the only way to make a Bad Wife Good: At least, to keep her quiet, be she bad or good, a father counsels his newly married son not to chide his wife and to give her reign over the household to prevent marital strife.

In both popular and elite materials on marriage and education, taming or educating a wife is likened to the training or domestication of animals—unbroken horses, intractable cats, untamed hawks, even wild beasts. Implied in this comparison is the view that women are themselves unmanageable creatures whom only rigorous training and violence, or the continued threat of violence, can render submissive. Popular folktales and fabliaux, marital handbooks, sermons, and educational treatises all resort to the language and vocabularies of animal taming. In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare has Petruchio compare taming Kate to training a falcon, and he peppers Petruchio’s speech with the technical language of hawk taming.

The humanist writers also sought to inculcate obedience through a less dehumanizing but perhaps more powerfully manipulative method. Following such earlier writers as Saint Paul, they set up an analogy in which marriage and the family are likened to the government of the kingdom. The family is represented as a little world organized like the larger world of the state or commonwealth, and the wife’s duty to obey her husband is equated with the subject’s duty to obey the prince. Wifely obedience, according to this model, is exacted not through violence but through strategies of molding the wife into a fit subject. In early modern England, the family was the basic unit of production as well as consumption, the site of the pooling and distribution of resources and of the reproduction of proper subjects for the commonwealth. In such a world, managing femininity had important political as well as social and economic consequences: in Elizabethan England a woman who murdered her spouse was tried not for murder as was her male counterpart but for treason, and her punishment was correspondingly more severe.

Kate’s speech at the end of the play on the status of wives as subjects most forcefully illustrates this rationalization of wifely subjection:

Such duty as the subject owes the prince,

Even such a woman oweth to her husband;

And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,

And not obedient to his honest will,

What is she but a foul contending rebel

And graceless traitor to her loving lord?

( 5.2.171 –76)

No lines in the play have been more variously interpreted than this final speech in which Kate advocates women’s submission to their husbands’ wills. Some critics have accepted Kate’s speech simply as testimony that she has been tamed; others argue that it must be understood ironically as pretense, a strategy for living peaceably in patriarchal culture. Although either interpretation can be supported by the text and by a director’s choices in the theater, what is perhaps most striking about Kate’s final speech is that at the very moment the ideology of women’s silence and submission is most forcefully articulated, we find a woman (or at any rate, a boy playing a woman’s part, since on the Elizabethan stage all women’s parts were played by boy actors) speaking forcefully and in public the longest speech in the play, at the most dramatic moment in the action. In short, Kate’s speaking as she does contradicts the very sentiments she affirms.

Not only does Shakespeare’s shrew-taming plot depend on generic models— fabliaux, folktales, educational treatises, sermons and the like—but the subplot—the wooing of Bianca—also depends on literary models, in particular George Gascoigne’s Supposes (1566), a translation of the Italian comedy I Suppositi (1509) by the Italian poet and playwright Lodovico Ariosto (1474–1533). Ariosto’s play was modeled on the classical new comic tradition generally traced to the Greek playwright Menander (4th century B.C.E. ) and made available to the Renaissance through his Latin imitators Plautus (254?–184 B.C.E. ) and Terence (185–159 B.C.E. ). 4 Typically, the plot structure of new comedy involves young people whose desire for one another is opposed by the young man’s father, or by a pimp, or by some other representative of an older generation. The plot depends on a trick or twist usually involving money and perpetrated by a servant or slave that allows the lovers to be united. In the Greco-Roman tradition, the female character is often an unmarriageable slave or courtesan, and the resolution sometimes entails mistaken identity—the woman is discovered to be a citizen lost or sold into slavery at birth, in which case the play can end in marriage.

Early Renaissance versions of such comedies transform the social and sexual relations typical of new-comic plots: the young woman is typically marriageable, the opposition is often her father, and the sexual intrigue usually ends in marriage. Shakespeare and the English playwrights modify this structure further by melding it with the romance tradition of the chaste lover (like Lucentio) who wishes only for marriage from the start. In addition, in The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare adds a rival for Bianca’s hand (Hortensio) to enhance the romantic plot by allowing her a choice between possible husbands. New comedy typically follows the unities of time and place: the lovers are already at odds with some authority at the outset, and the play enacts only the intrigue that brings them together. Shakespeare, however, dramatizes the entire action, from Lucentio’s falling in love and wooing Bianca through the intrigue that leads to their marriage and on to the celebratory feast at the end.

In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare carefully interweaves his main plot and his subplot: Lucentio sees and loves Bianca ( 1.1 ); Petruchio vows to marry Kate ( 1.2 ); Petruchio woos her ( 2.1 ); Lucentio and Hortensio woo Bianca ( 3.1 ). The plots diverge at the marriage of Kate and Petruchio ( 3.2 ), briefly to reunite (after the taming scenes at Petruchio’s house and Lucentio’s gulling of Baptista) on the journey back to Padua when Kate calls Lucentio’s father a “young budding virgin” ( 4.5.41 ). That “mistaken” identity in turn prepares for another, Tranio’s refusal to recognize Vincentio in 5.1 , a complication resolved by the appearance of the young lovers as husband and wife. The two plots are united again in the conventional comic feast and wager that end the play.

The convention of mistaken identity, which Shakespeare inherited from his classical and Italian predecessors, is not only a plot device in the play but also works thematically to undermine notions of an essential self or a fixed identity. In the Induction (an eighteenth-century editorial appellation, since the Sly incidents are simply part of Act 1 in the First Folio [1623], the earliest printed edition of The Taming of the Shrew ), Sly is persuaded he is a lord instead of a tinker; in the opening scene of the play proper, Lucentio and Tranio exchange identities as master and servant. Kate is transformed after enduring the irrational world of Petruchio’s country house, where she is denied food, sleep, and the fashionable accoutrements of her social class until

                                                           she (poor soul)

Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,

And sits as one new-risen from a dream.

( 4.1.184 –86)

In the tradition of Shakespeare’s later romantic comedies, she subsequently “discovers” a new identity as obedient wife. 5 Bianca and the widow, who begin by conforming to oppressive codes of womanly duty, reveal their independence. The Merchant assumes the identity of Vincentio, while Vincentio is “mistaken” for a “fair lovely maid.” Mistaken identity works literally in the disguise plots of the Induction and the Bianca-Lucentio action and figuratively in the taming plot, in which Petruchio plays at antic ruffian and Kate at submissive wife.

The Induction, with its duping of the tinker Sly, is linked to yet another folklore tradition, the motif of the “sleeper awakened” found in many versions throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Usually the story ends with the Sly character returned to his beggarly identity, as in a play published in 1594, the anonymous A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called The taming of a Shrew. In the anonymous play, the Sly action is completed with an epilogue in which Sly awakes after the comedy to rediscover himself a tinker and vows to return home to tame his own shrewish wife. Unusually, in The Taming of the Shrew there is no such epilogue and no return to the Christopher Sly action. (See Appendix, “Framing Dialogue in The Taming of a Shrew (1594),” for a discussion of the relation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and the anonymous play.)

The Taming of the Shrew has been popular onstage since its earliest production, though, like many of Shakespeare’s plays, in radically altered forms. By the early seventeenth century it had already prompted a sequel, John Fletcher’s The Woman’s Prize; or the Tamer Tamed (c. 1611). In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, it has inspired successful musical, popular film, and television adaptations, and numerous stage productions. And the play continues to be a staple in both secondary and postsecondary school curricula. The play’s contemporary success depends first on comic virtuosity, but in a time of rapid social change when traditional gender roles are being challenged and the malleability of identity is increasingly acknowledged, audiences take pleasure in The Taming of the Shrew ’s representation of the instability both of conventional gender hierarchies and of human identity itself.

  • See particularly Lawrence Stone, The Causes of the English Revolution, 1529–1642 (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) and his Crisis of the English Aristocracy, 1558–1641 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965).
  • On the anxiety produced by Elizabeth, see Louis Montrose, “ ‘Shaping Fantasies’: Gender and Power in Elizabethan Culture,” Representations , no. 1 (1983): 61–94; however, see also Leah Marcus, Puzzling Shakespeare: Local Reading and Its Discontents (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), ch. 2, in which she shows how Elizabeth represented herself as both prince and father to her people.
  • See David Underdown, “The Taming of the Scold: The Enforcement of Patriarchal Authority in Early Modern England,” in Order and Disorder in Early Modern England , edited by Anthony Fletcher and John Stevenson, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), pp. 116–35.
  • “New” is a misnomer since “new comedy” is dubbed “new” only in relation to the “old” comic tradition represented by Aristophanes (448?–380? B.C.E.).
  • On Kate’s development and Shrew as romantic comedy, see John Bean, “Comic Structure and the Humanizing of Kate in The Taming of the Shrew,” in The Woman’s Part , edited by Carolyn Ruth Swift Lenz, Gayle Greene, and Carol Thomas Neely, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980), pp. 65–78.

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Home Essay Samples Literature The Taming of The Shrew

"The Taming of the Shrew": Gender Roles in Shakespeare's Play

Table of contents, patriarchy and female submission, disguises and role reversal, subversion and satire.

  • Deer, H. (2019). Shakespeare’s Daughters. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Howard, J. E. (2019). Staging Women and the Performance of Domesticity: From Anne Hutchinson to Katherine of Aragon. Cambridge University Press.
  • Neely, C. T. (2006). Broken Nuptials in Shakespeare’s Plays. Yale University Press.
  • Shakespeare, W. (1590-1592). The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Tennenhouse, L. (1997). Power on Display: The Politics of Shakespeare’s Genres. Routledge.

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taming of the shrew gender roles essay

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Honors Theses

"taming of the shrew(s)": explorations of gender and power in directing an original adaptation of william shakespeare's the taming of the shrew.

Katharine Cognard-Black , Bucknell University Follow

Date of Thesis


In Fall 2021, I directed my own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, entitled “Taming of the Shrew(s).” This project served as both the creative portion of my honors thesis as well as a Senior Showcase within the Bucknell Department of Theatre & Dance. From a young age, I have been fascinated by the malleability of Shakespeare’s plays, and having acted in and seen multiple productions of The Taming of the Shrew, my project began with a desire to take on the gendered complexities of this so-called “problem play.” The Taming of the Shrew is problematic in its sexist depiction of courting and married life. The central premise revolves around a male, Petruchio, “taming” a female, Katherine, as one might tame a bird or an animal. In the play, Kate is shamed for being a purported “shrew,” and it is on the grounds of her “shrewishness” that Petruchio feels entitled to tear her clothes, starve her, and deprive her of sleep. However, the play itself calls into question who the “real” shrew may be, with a secondary character named Curtis saying, “By this reck’ning, he is more shrew than she” (4.1.79).

Because I didn’t understand how a text could seemingly be played for laughs at a wife’s expense while also showcasing a fierce and brilliant woman, I decided to explore how the very same script could be performed in drastically different ways, especially if actors altered their intonation, movement, and/or interactions with each other. Thus, I adapted Shakespeare’s text, cutting it down to a 25-minute script which would be performed three times, with three sets of actors playing Katherine and Petruchio, and with each version taking on a distinct interpretation of their power dynamics. I then cast, rehearsed, and devised additional parts of the script in collaboration with my actors, particularly a series of interstitial sections where the three Katherines addressed the audience, taking on the blatant sexism within the text. Ultimately, my cast performed the “Taming of the Shrew(s)” three times from September 24 th –26 th , 2021.

In this thesis, then, I discuss my process of conceiving of, researching, and adapting Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew into the “Taming of the Shrew(s),” and I also detail my directorial decisions. In Section I, I introduce my project and examine the overall cultural perception of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. In Section II, I analyze how the original text of The Taming of the Shrew supports the three distinct interpretations I directed in the “Taming of the Shrew(s).” In Section III, I explore the performance history of The Taming of the Shrew from the Renaissance to the present day, touching on previous performances and adaptations that influenced my project. In Section IV, I talk about the process of adapting Shakespeare’s script, including how my adaptation occurred both on the page and also through the rehearsal process, creating moments of theatre in collaboration with my actors. In this section, I also discuss the technical choices I made for the costumes, props, and the set of my production. In Section V, I offer a conclusion about why the “Taming of the Shrew(s)” strives to ask questions about gender and power rather than answer them. Finally, my Supplementary Materials include a recording of the “Taming of the Shrew(s)” performance, my adapted script, and production photos, while my Appendix provides artifacts from the production, including samples of my notes, props and costume sheets, and production posters.

Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare, Directing, Dramatic Literature, Gender, Adaptation

Access Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Theatre & Dance

Second Major

Minor, emphasis, or concentration.

Acting and Directing

First Advisor

Bryan Vandevender

Second Advisor

Anjalee Hutchinson

Recommended Citation

Cognard-Black, Katharine, ""Taming of the Shrew(s)": Explorations of Gender and Power in Directing an Original Adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew" (2021). Honors Theses . 588. https://digitalcommons.bucknell.edu/honors_theses/588

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    taming of the shrew gender roles essay

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    taming of the shrew gender roles essay


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  1. Gender and Misogyny Theme in The Taming of the Shrew

    LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Taming of the Shrew, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Issues related to gender are hugely important in this play, which centers around Petruchio "taming" Katherine and forcing her into the traditionally submissive role of a wife. The play is filled with characters ...

  2. Gender Roles in Shakespeare's "Taming of The Shrew"

    Traditional Gender Roles. "The Taming of the Shrew" is set in a society where traditional Elizabethan gender roles are rigidly defined. Women are expected to conform to the ideals of femininity, which include obedience, subservience, and modesty. Men, on the other hand, are expected to embody masculinity through assertiveness, dominance, and ...

  3. The Taming of The Shrew: Gender Roles in Shakespeare's Play

    Shakespeare's renowned comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, often provokes scholarly debate due to its portrayal of gender dynamics, particularly through the character of Katherine Minola. This essay critically examines the play's treatment of misogyny and gender roles, focusing on the controversial theme of taming a strong-willed woman to ...

  4. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles Essay

    529 Words. 3 Pages. Open Document. All throughout Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare sends a clear message about power and gender, and he uses many literary devices to do so which helps the reader understand the text and empathize with the characters. Although an abundance of literary devices such as symbolism and genre are used in Shakespeare ...

  5. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles Essay

    In The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare reveals the flaws in gender and class roles by pointing out the flaws in when women always listen to men. For everyone that has strict parents or been in a relationship you understand these examples, the man(dad) is the boss, the women obey the man, and class roles are determined by ...

  6. A Modern Perspective: The Taming of the Shrew

    The play's contemporary success depends first on comic virtuosity, but in a time of rapid social change when traditional gender roles are being challenged and the malleability of identity is increasingly acknowledged, audiences take pleasure in The Taming of the Shrew 's representation of the instability both of conventional gender ...

  7. Feminism & Gender Roles in The Taming of the Shrew

    Gender Roles in The Taming of the Shrew. In Shakespeare's day, a comedy usually concerned romantic couples whose story ended in marriage. The Taming of the Shrew fits this criteria, as there are ...

  8. Taming Of The Shrew: Gender Roles

    Gender roles are how men and women take part in society and are social constructs developed over time that are not based on natural human behavior. In the play, The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare, the gender role between men and women are different from today's gender roles. Shakespeare writes that men have more respect and power ...

  9. "The Taming of the Shrew": Gender Roles in Shakespeare's Play

    Disguises and Role Reversal. Disguises: "The Taming of the Shrew" employs disguises and role-playing as a means of subverting and challenging traditional gender roles.

  10. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles Essay

    In William Shakespeare' play, "Taming of the Shrew," the themes of marriage and gender roles are prominent throughout the story. The play explores the expectations placed on men and women during the Elizabethan era, particularly in relation to marriage. The central character, Katharina, is depicted as a strong-willed and independent woman ...

  11. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles

    Shakespeare exaggerated the men's role in The Taming of the Shrew to convince the audience that the gender roles and expectations were unreasonable. In Act 4.5, Petruchio expresses how bright the moon was shining even though he knows that it is the sun that is shining. Confused, Katherine argues that it is not the moon until she is forced to ...

  12. Gender Roles In The Taming Of The Shrew

    Gender roles are the way that society assumes that the genders should act based upon the perceived differences between them. Unfortunately these beliefs are often stereotypes and unrealistic assumptions about the nature of human beings. (Blackstone 335). According to societies generalizations men should be leaders, causing them to take the role ...

  13. Gendered Identities: Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew

    The subject matter of the play is a disputable topic that presents a depiction of the gender roles. The ambiguous point about Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" is the issue whether the ...

  14. Gender Roles In The Taming Of The Shrew And 10 Things I ...

    William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" (TOTS) explores misogynistic and patriarchal themes, alongside Gil Jungers adaptation, "10 Things I Hate... read full [Essay Sample] for free

  15. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles Essay

    Taming of the Shrew will always be a great influence on societal codes and we look back on that book for inspiration when it comes to age difference, and how women were treated in the 1500s. Rules will always change and marriage will always have it's indifferences. That's when men and women will come together and work it out as they always ...

  16. ""Taming of the Shrew(s)": Explorations of Gender and Power in Directi

    In Fall 2021, I directed my own adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, entitled "Taming of the Shrew(s)." This project served as both the creative portion of my honors thesis as well as a Senior Showcase within the Bucknell Department of Theatre & Dance. From a young age, I have been fascinated by the malleability of Shakespeare's plays, and having acted in and seen multiple ...

  17. How do gender roles in Taming of the Shrew compare and contrast with

    Ten Things I Hate About You is a loose film adaptation of Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew. In both the movie and the play, we are told that when it comes to societal norms and gender ...

  18. Taming Of The Shrew Gender Roles Essay

    In Taming of the Shrew, the gender roles affect the characters in a rather negative way, and when they surface in the play, it's rather shocking. This essay will discuss how gender roles affect the characters in what I believe is a negative way, and how they surface in the play.