Male ideas on courtshipdating in taming of the shrew
My response to reading “The Taming of the Shrew” was a strange one.I understand that this play is meant to be one of Shakespeare’s comedies, and one of his most popular ones at that; however, there seemed to me to be an awkward seriousness in Petruchio’s treatment of Katherine that bordered on something darkly misogynistic rather than comedic.Both terms, we soon learn, define Katherine’s marriage to Petruchio.”(310).Patterson observes, “Sly has somehow perceived, or made perceptible to others by unintentional wordplay, that the play he is about to see is not only ‘about’ the commodification of women but is itself a commodity.”(311).Similarly in “: Shakespeare’s Mirror of Marriage” by Coppelia Kahn, she describes the ever-present attitude of women as commodities through the eyes of the merchant, and Kate’s father figure, Lord Baptista: “Baptista is determined not to marry the sought-after Bianca until he gets an offer for the unpopular Kate, not for the sake of conforming to the hierarchy of age as his opening words imply, but out of a merchant’s desire to sell all the goods in his warehouse.”(87).
“The Taming of the Shrew” has faced many feminist critiques assessing patriarchy, misogyny, woman as commodity, and subordination of woman’s story within a larger, more “serious” frame of class.Regarding the interpretation of Petruchio’s treatment of Katherine, questions are raised as to whether his behavior is a mirror to hers, simply reflecting back her own demeanor so that, in turn, she understands how she’s treated others, or if his actions towards her are much more misogynistic and cruel, and his intentions to “tame” her a reflection of patriarchy instead.In “Comic Structure and the Humanizing of Kate in What we should emphasized in The Taming of the Shrew is the emergence of a humanized heroine against the background of depersonalizing farce…While modern interpreters may see Shrew as a high-spirited comedy about role-playing of game-playing, they suppress the knowledge that men, not only on stage, but off, wrote the play and assigned the roles, chose the game and made the rules.
(31)Petruchio consistently plays the role of a bully in his relationship with Kate, and it is, indeed, the means by which he transforms her from a quarrelsome shrew to a sweet-tempered and obedient wife.If we can appreciate the liberal element of Kate’s last speech--the speech that strikes modern sensibilities as advocating male tyranny--we can perhaps see that Kate is tamed not in the automatic manner of behavioral psychology but in the spontaneous manner of the later romantic comedies where characters lose themselves in chaos and emerge, as if from a dream, liberated into the bonds of love.(66) Since farce treats persons as if they lacked the sensitivities of an inward self, that genre is appropriate to a view of marriage in which the wife is mainly the husband’s chattel.