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Shakespearean Drama - Essay Example

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Women of the upper class knew how to play music, learn the sciences and to do needlepoint. They were still considered property of their husbands as a dowry was exchanged as a contract to guarantee their safety and protection from the outside world…
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Shakespearean Drama
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Download file to see previous pages If she truly disagreed in getting married, Shakespeare would have written something to the effect of "thee shall be hang'd on Sunday first". As she could not openly state her opinion, and she never says anything nice, it can be assumed that she actually agrees to the marriage by saying she will be at the hanging. Wealthy young girls were never at public events. In Scene One of Act II, Katharina goes after her sister after being taunted that she likes Hortensio. She ties her sister up in order to make her confess in telling her who all her suitors are. Bianca resists. What is interesting here is that Baptista protects Bianca and tells her to "go ply thy needle". It is the first and only time Bianca is to do an activity of "ideal womanhood". Katherina responds expressing jealousy, fear, loneliness, humiliation…. "What will you not suffer me! Nay, now I see She is your treasure, she must have a husband; I must dance bare-foot 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." Bianca seems the perfect bride to be, but she shames the family. Her tutors are her suitors in disguise. Luciento changes places with Tranio. They make up such a sham that Bianca signs the marriage contract with Tranio. Luciento goes to Baptista and tells him, he is now married with his daughter. Shakespeare is criticizing the conflict of arranged marriages and love marriage.

He is also questioning what is the ideal of womanhood. Though Bianca is outwardly the more peaceful of the two; and she is her father's favorite, there is a transformation that questions who has the happier marriage. Their father comments in Act V. (Baptista) "Another dowry to another daughter, For she is changed, as she had never been." Katherina also changes. The techniques are to shock the audience. In reality, Shakespeare is questioning the arranged marriage; the chattel contracts; the fact that a wife is a little bit higher than a man's horse. Women in the upper classes got married when they were 12 to 14 years old. What could they do without any life's experience. In the play, we see an inn keeper, servants, and the widow with the two girls. Either they got married young or they went to Convents. Katherina is more honest in nature than Bianca. She has been left to her own vices too long. She is lonely, highly intelligent, jealous of her sister and angry. Shakespeare writes the play from the male point of view. He is showing how men treat women in society. Shakespeare tries to add the women's side as well. When Petruchio negotiates the dowry with Baptista, he says "….where two raging fires meet together they do consume the thing that feeds their fury, though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all: So I to her and so she yields to me; For I am rough and woo not like a babe." He is essentially saying that he is not afraid of her emotions nor character and that they will meet equal grounds. He is also saying that he is pleased with what he sees. He will teach her to control the fire in her and he will learn to control his fear. Baptista agrees if Petruchia gets his daughter's love, they can get married. Petruchio enjoys the first encounter with Katrina. She lets him know that she is still young and cannot bear. "Not such jade as you, if me you mean" (Act II) Fine, I will wait. They both are enjoying ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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