Taming Of The Shrew: Gender Roles

732 Words3 Pages
The Taming of the Shrew: The Effects of Gender Roles In William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, a character’s social position can be defined by wealth, age, profession, family, and education. The most significant theme throughout the play, however, is gender. The gender of the characters has a large impact on the character’s attitudes, actions, and abilities. While the stereotyped gender roles do not change throughout the play, the characters’ take on them does. By the end of the story, the main women have completely altered the expectations that the men have of them. The women of this time were expected to be obedient to their husbands, while unfriendly to other women. Every character in the comedy has a specific social role that they are expected to play, mostly due to their gender. In the play, gender is viewed as a social construct, and one that must be performed by both men and women. In the beginning of the play, Lucentio moves to Padua, Italy to study, only to become…show more content…
By the end of the play, Bianca is not following the commands of her husband and Katherine is willing to defend her once once offensive husband from anything. Katherine states,“Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance commits his body To painful labor both by sea and land, To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe” (Act 5, Scene 2, Lines 162-167). From once being completely opposed to gender roles, Katherine shifts gears and becomes the biggest advocate for such roles in the play. She understands the wants of the men, including her husband, and is willing to provide anything to fit her role as a
Open Document