Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Taming of the Shrew Essays: Katherinas Development :: Taming Shrew Essays

The Taming of the Shrew Essay: Katherina's Development Katherina's development in the play, The Taming of the Shrew, is a complicated dilemma for the reader to figure out. Is she really tamed by Petruchio? Or does she figure out his game and decide she's better off playing along? Or does she recognize her own excessive behavior in his and decide to change of her own free will? Or does she really fall in love with Petruchio and wish to please her lord? I think her evolution is a combination of all of the above. But do we, as readers, want her to be tamed or was her initial independence a virtue? It's obvious that Katherina's father, Baptista Minola, hasn't treated her as well as he treats Bianca, her younger sister. On the other hand, is her "shrewishness" a cause or a result of this favoritism? Katherina is obviously a highly intelligent woman whose gifts have no outlet in the domestic company of the household. For example, in their first meeting, Katherina keeps up with Petruchio pun for pun and insult for insult. Perhaps her fury is simply the result of having no outlet for her feisty wit. And when Petruchio comes along and treats her as an equal (the opposite of taming), I think she is taken aback and that is how he is able to swoop in and win her. In this first encounter, Katherina is, for the first time in her life, spoken kindly to by a man. She seems moved by Petruchio's praise. Also, when it appears she has been left at the altar, she weeps and wishes she had never met him. I think her grief is a sign of her genuine affection and perhaps even love for Petruchio. By the end of the play and in her final speech, Katherina may seem genuinely tamed, depending on your interpretation of the soliloquy -- is it genuine or tongue-in-cheek? Is she really her lord's noble servant or is she pandering to him and what he wants to hear? I think she wants to give her husband happiness, but knows that her husband will do the same for her. I think Petruchio and Katherina would actually have a very balanced marriage of mutual respect, because they each know what the other is capable of.

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