Gender Identity in Shakespearean Plays Essay by Eng Literature Writing Major

Gender Identity in Shakespearean Plays
Examines William Shakespeare's depiction of the main female characters in "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Henry V".
# 54234 | 2,288 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2004 | CA

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper looks at how both main characters in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Henry V" have either challenged or embraced traditional gender ideologies of the 15th century. Katherine, the main character in the "Taming of the Shrew", evidently challenges traditional gender ideologies, as she is deemed "shrewish". She ultimately exudes behavior unlike any other woman of that time, which leads us to believe that she is rejecting her traditional role as a female in this male-dominated society. The paper shows that, conversely, Katherine from "Henry V" embraces the traditional gender ideologies of Shakespearean time. The thesis in this paper is backed up by in-text citations.

From the Paper:

"Her actions deem her to be independent, as she feels that she does not need to marry to be happy. This is illustrated when Petruchio feels that he must break her will in order to tame her, in other words, to make her more feminine. The fact that Petruchio has such a hard time doing this illustrates just how strong willed Katherine is in her pursuit to be independent. By being overbearingly masculine, Petruchio finally wins over Katherine as she becomes "obedient to his honest will" (5.2.74). It is at this point where Katherine's pro-feminine views seem to disappear as she states: ?I am ashamed that women are so simple/To offer ware where they should kneel for peace,/Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,/When they are bound to serve, love and obey [?]? (5.2.161-164). Katherine is essentially "selling out", as she denounces her femininity along with her gender ..."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

Gender Identity in Shakespearean Plays (2004, December 19) Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Gender Identity in Shakespearean Plays" 19 December 2004. Web. 29 May. 2020. <>