Women In The Taming Of The Shrew

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Traditional attitudes towards women in the 16th century meant that they were owned by their fathers until marriage which meant that they were then owned by their husbands, women are seen as property to Men. Women were expected to obey their husband’s orders and look after the house and family. The 16th century was a time dominated by men whilst women remained in a submissive role. Marriage was seen as mandatory and women held an inferior stature in society as they were seen to be incapable of high significance. For such women as Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew who cannot achieve this because of how shrewd she acts this was a struggle. In the Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare has gone against these conventions by using the character Katherina…show more content…
In Elizabethan England a 'cate' is a sweet, which means effectively Petruchio is calling Kate his sweet. Petruchio is also using possessive pronouns such as 'my' to assert his power over Kate "she is my house, my household-stuff, my field, my barn, my horse, my ox, my ass, my anything, and here she stands" (act 3 scene 2 pg. 105 line 119-122) the repetition of the possessive pronoun "my" helps to add emphasis on the fact that after Petruchio has married Katherina she will be under his possession and Kate will have to obey her every word. This also helps to dehumanise Katherina as he is comparing her to other things that he owns. In ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ Shakespeare has used animal imagery to convey to the audience how Petruchio plans to tame Kate, saying “My falcon now is sharp and passing empty, And till she stoop she must not be full-gorged” (act 4 scene 1 pg119 line 161-162) which states that in order to tame Kate, Petruchio plans to treat her like he’s training a Hawk, keeping her hungry and only feeding her when she obeys his order, as If he is conditioning Kate as if she is one of Pavlov’s dogs proving his findings long before they were established in the 20th century. Similar to this in 'A Doll’s House' Nora has been dehumanised and called "my little spend thrift" or "my little squirrel", by using the word "little" Ibsen has made Torveld appear superior to Nora and is almost being condescending towards Nora, showing his power over her. This also makes their relationship symbolic of a ‘father Daughter’ relationship rather than the husband and wife they are, this is reinforced when Torveld calls Nora “you extravagant little person” and “poor little
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