Gender Themes in 'The Taming of the Shrew' Book Review by writingsensation

Gender Themes in 'The Taming of the Shrew'
This paper discusses gender roles in Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew'.
# 75726 | 2,200 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2006 | US

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In this article, the writer discusses gender roles within the play 'The Taming of the Shrew'. It is the position of this paper that Shakespeare was indeed making a commentary on gender roles when he wrote 'The Taming of the Shrew'. The writer maintains that the comment he was making was that the established system in which men were lords and masters over women and basically owned them and women were expected to be docile and obedient at all times, was ridiculous. The writer concludes that William Shakespeare, in writing this play, showed his audiences in exaggerated terms the ridiculousness of the system of male domination, while also demonstrating to women that attempting to completely overthrow societal norms is not the way to a more equal relationship with men. Instead, he demonstrated a revolutionary concept for his time and showed how men and women can ultimately get along as partners by compromise.

From the Paper:

"It is a play intended to make the audience laugh. In order to provoke laughter, a play must have something familiar in it, something that everyday people can recognize and relate to. In the late 16th century, when this particular play was written, European society and in fact most societies in the world, were heavily patriarchal in nature. The man was expected to be the lord and ruler of the household and men ruled the world in general. Women had few, if any, rights, and were considered the property of first their fathers and then their husbands, and were appointed a male guardian if they had neither. Women were expected to be obedient to their husbands, quiet, docile, and to keep an orderly home. While this was no doubt not always the system that went on behind closed doors, it was the "official" system, and the one that everyone was expected to appear to be adhering to in public. Shakespeare picked this system to poke fun at in writing The Taming of the Shrew because it was familiar to the audience, being something that affected them all in their daily lives."

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