Issues with the shrew

Although Taming of the Shrew is a comedic play, and it was certainly quite humorous at times there were some aspects that were dissatisfying. The first issue that I had with this play is the introduction with Christopher Sly. I don’t care for the fact that the play starts out with Sly being tricked into thinking that he is a lord by an actual lord and his followers. At first, this seems like a very interesting situation and makes you wonder how the situation would end up playing out and what kind of comedic drama would ensue. However, the rest of the play doesn’t really have anything to do with the intro, so you end up not knowing what ends up happening with Christopher Sly and the other characters that were introduced originally. I found that to be rather disappointing that this whole situation didn’t actually play out at all. That’s not to say that the content of the rest of the play isn’t interesting as well, but it’s a bit strange to set up this story and then not actually do anything with it and change to a completely different plot. Another aspect of the play that I considered concerning was the portrayal of Katherina. Granted the time period of the play is certainly a good explanation as to her portrayal. She was treated as being such an awful and hateful women, and I won’t deny that there were times in the play where she got quite violent with not only males but her own sister. However, the fact that she was quick-witted and had a sharp tongue as being something negative is rather souring. I personally viewed Katherina as being a rather strong and independent woman for the most part. I think one of the main reasons why the men in the play perceive her as being so horrible is mainly due to the sexist outlook that the time period had. Men would not like for a woman that would outwit him or to challenge him in any way. The fact that Katherina came off as being so strong is also why it’s odd that by the end of the play she became subservient to Petruchio. Granted Petruchio essentially tormented Katherina by keeping her from eating and sleeping just to name a few. That’s why I feel as though Petruchio really didn’t tame Katherina, but rather Katherina was putting on an act because she realized that she was in an unavoidable situation, therefore, she needs to outsmart him and pretend to be the sweet obedient wife just so her life wouldn’t be a living hell.


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