BAPTISTA: Oh, I'm sorry, I have this jackass rule that my daughter Bianca can't get married until her evil older sister does, so... PETRUCHIO: No, I want to marry the Kate chick. GREMIO: I want to marry Bianca! HORTENSIO: No, I want to marry Bianca! Lucentio married Bianca in secret without my permission, which I'm totally okay with, and even Hortensio found a widow to be his rebound wife - WIDOW: Hi, I'm rich and horny! BAPTISTA: - and Gremio didn't get anyone, but he's old so we don't care, and even Petruchio was able to tame my daughter!
If I read Shakespeares taming of Kate as a moral play, I have to reject it with disgust, regardless of what the customs of the time were. Chinua Achebe, in the title for his classic novel Things Fall Apart, chose a a line from a poem by Yeats to allude to the same kind of relationship between European colonisers and free African men, with a similar end result of complete breakdown of the falcons way of life after being forced to surrender to the game of the falconer: Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. It is extremely painful to follow Kates path from an educated, strong-willed, thinking young woman to a brainwashed puppet, similar to the alternative Nora in Ibsens rewritten ending of A Doll's House: forced to surrender. Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak; And speak I will; I am no child, no babe: Your betters have endured me say my mind; And if you cannot, best you stop your ears. This brainwashing method calls to mind the horrible torture in Orwells 1984, where citizens are pushed to the point of accepting whatever falsehood Big Brother chooses to sell as truth of the day. The taming is not complete until Winston whispers in the end: I love Big Brother, and that is precisely what Kate does as well. As long as those words are not erased from the play, but hold their position in the history of Kate, she will never completely surrender: Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak; And speak I will; I am no child, no babe: You betters have endured me say my mind; And if you cannot, best you stop your ears.
Lucentio: Wanna have sex get married? She can't get married until her older sister does. Hortensio: Hey buddy! Hortensio: Well, there's this shrew I know. I figure the best way to get with her is through disguise, like that other guy. Baptista: Marry this guy! And you like Bianca best! Petruchio: Shut up! We got married offstage, and I dressed up like a jackass. Katherina: This sucks. Petruchio: Okay, let's go home. Also, I totally married that chick in secret. Lucentio: But she still isn't as obedient as my wife. I got married too! Servant, call my wife. Hortensio: Call my wife.
Here is a play by a very young Shakespeare trying to appeal to the masses; here is a play that purposely appeals to the misogynistic beliefs of its early audiences, and I really dont like it.
I predicted that the brutal treatment of Katharine by Petruchio would ruin the play for me, but it didn't.
The play begins, "The Taming of the Shrew", Baptista Minola, a very wealthy merchant, a widower , in the same city has two pretty , marriageable daughters, the calm, kind , charming Bianca, with many suitors, and her older sister Katherine, who does not have any... The father decrees that Katherine must marry first, causing much turmoil, the very generous dowry of both , still cannot get anyone to come forth, the shrew is too well known in town. Until Petruchio, a rich gentleman from Verona, comes to Padua, he wants more wealth and will marry for it, isn't afraid of difficulties, he has only an eye for the gold.
It's got several funny moments (ironic humor) but it's also a bit weaker in terms of style and hidden meanings among all the words and characters. But only if both girls are married at the same time, thus forcing the hand where 1 man must step up and "take one for the team." Some argue the play is sexist. I won't debate that, only say it is over 400 years old and probably more forward-thinking than most others at the time. What makes this an interesting play is there is a lot of action and definition in the characters. I like plays with strong female characters. Many thanks to their original creators.
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.