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As an Elizabethan Shrew, What was Katharina to do?

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    The beliefs and morals of a time period can shape that values that people possess. Due to the fact that as a part of society, individuals may have to go against what they may believe in and follow what they are told. Works of literature often explore this concept. The protagonist Katharina Minola in The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare is simply a product of the Elizabethan Era patriarchal society due to her conformity to society and the change of her views through out the play.

    Women during the Elizabethan Period were conflicted in whether they should follow what was required of them or follow their own values. During the Elizabethan Period, women were seen as inferior to men . Men dominated the home while women were forced to submitted or face the consequences (Elizabethan Women). Women of all classes were required to obey their husbands without questions and women of this era also had to bring a dowry, the amount of money and property that they had at the time of their marriage (Elizabethan Women). And for that dowry, I’ll assure her of ?Her widowhood, be it that she survive me, ?In all my lands and leases whatsoever. Let specialties be therefore drawn between us, ?That covenants may be kept on either hand. ” (II. i. 126-130). Petruchio is committed to marry Katharina primarily, because of her wealth and also because it was what was valued at the time. Since the Elizabethan Era was very patriarchal women had very few rights and inevitably, turned to the demands that were required of them.

    Katharina on her wedding day, fear that she would end up being an old maid and because most women were wives and at this time, women her age were already married with children. Since growing old alone was feared at the time any efforts possible were be in order to ensure a future significant other. The role of women during the Elizabethan Era explains for the actions of Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew. Katharina’s gradually change throughout the play came as a result of the time period in which she lived.

    At the beginning of the play, Katharina is called “crust and shrewd” (I. i. 180) by Tranio and in contrast in opposing of this Bianca Minola, the younger sister of Katharina gets most of the attention of the opposite gender. Lucentio describes Bianca as having “mild behavior and sobriety” (I. i. 71). Due to the fact that she remained quiet that making her more well liked by the males and made her more suitable for marriage. This gave Lucentio and Tranio, the incentive to get closer to Bianca by find Katharina a suitor. “No shame but mine.

    I must, forsooth, be forced to give my hand opposed against my heart unto a mad-brained rudes by full of spleen, who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure. I told you, I, he was a frantic fool . . . Now must the world point at poor Katherine and say, “Lo, there is mad Petruchio’s wife, If it would please him come and marry her! ” (III. ii. 8-20). Katharina, at first does not agree that she has to be “arranged” to wed Petruchio and thinks that that she should have a choice in who she is to marry and love which she makes shown that is not Petruchio. Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee “ (V. ii. 155-156). At this point, Katharina has changed she has become “tamed”. From a girl who did not hold her tongue in her beliefs, she now was the most obedient to every word that slips her husband, Petruchio lips. In The Taming of the Shrew, Katharina’s personality in the beginning in comparison to the end shows how she was influenced by her time period.

    Katharina Minola, a character in The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare is simply a product of the Elizabethan Era patriarchal society due to her conformity to society and the change of her views throughout the play. The way that women were generally seen in society as being inferior made her susceptible to eventually assuming to the role that she was require to undertake. The persuasion that she under went by Petruchio almost seemed as if she were brain washed and caused her to completely change her attitude and became just the way that her sister, Bianca was – obedient to male figures, in this case, her husband. As human beings living in a society that influences our beliefs and values, throughout life what an individual is exposed to may cause an alteration of them, overall.

    Works Cited

    Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. Pp. 84. J. Tonson & the Rest of the Proprietors: London, 1734. Print. “Elizabethan Women. ” Elizabethan Women. N. p. , n. d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. “Elizabethan Women. ” Elizabethan Women. N. p. , n. d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012.

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