View Full Version : Liberator or Dominator???

11-08-2005, 01:02 PM
I have been given a question for A level asking me if Petruchio is a Liberator or Dominator?
I know basically what to write but i need to think of an introduction including:
differences in time
play within a play
and a critics view please help me in how i can start.

Thanks Roxy Anne x x x

02-22-2006, 05:14 AM
I am doing my own essay right now and came across this extract that seems to explain alot of your question!


The boastful and selfish Petruchio is one of the most difficult characters in The Taming of the Shrew.
His behaviour is extremely difficult to work out, and our interpretation of the play as a whole changes dramatically depending on how we interpret Petruchio’s actions. If he is nothing more than a vain, uncaring, greedy chauvinist pig who treats marriage as an act of domination, then the play becomes a dark comedy about the materialism and hunger for power that dictate marriages under the guise of courtly love.
If, on the other hand, Petruccio is actually capable of loving Kate and wants to tame her to make her realize she can have a happy marriage, then the play becomes an examination of the psychology of relationships.

A case can be made for either interpretation, but the truth about Petruccio probably lies somewhere in between.
He is selfish, materialistic and determined to be his wife’s lord and master, but he also loves her and realizes somewhere that domestic harmony, so to speak, would be better for her than her current life as a shrew in Padua. To this extent, Petruccio goes to great lengths to impose himself on Kate, keeping her tired and hungry for some time after their marriage, but he also keeps this treatment in a language of love, showing his eagerness for Kate to adapt to her socially appointed place and his willingness to make their marriage a happy one.

As I take that, it all depends on how you see the character. You can go either way, aslong as you SUPPORT your views :D