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Thread: Taming of the Shrew: Act V

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    Taming of the Shrew: Act V

    Please post your comments and questions on Act V here.

    Scene I

    Scene II
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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    Super papayahed's Avatar
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    DOH!!!! What the heck happened? Kate making a complete turn around like that just doesn't ring true to me.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papayahed View Post
    DOH!!!! What the heck happened? Kate making a complete turn around like that just doesn't ring true to me.
    You didn't know the story? She becomes a proper wife, worshiping her husband and serving him at his beck and call.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    You didn't know the story? She becomes a proper wife, worshiping her husband and serving him at his beck and call.
    Must have been some wedding night.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


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    Quote Originally Posted by papayahed View Post
    Must have been some wedding night.
    Oh if only it was that easy. Are you suggesting that Kate simply needed some good sex to relax her?


    The issue of Kate's "change" is really a key issue in whether or not this play is of value or not, whether this play is an outrage to women or not. The idea that her change doesn't "ring true" must rest on some idea as to what change occurred and why, and on what change the reader/viewer reasonably expected to see.

    Why do you think she changed?
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    Are you suggesting that Kate simply needed some good sex to relax her?
    Not at all.



    The issue of Kate's "change" is really a key issue in whether or not this play is of value or not, whether this play is an outrage to women or not. The idea that her change doesn't "ring true" must rest on some idea as to what change occurred and why, and on what change the reader/viewer reasonably expected to see.

    Why do you think she changed?
    In taking the play in context of the time it was written I don't find the play to be an outrage. I would have liked to see more of how the change came about. I'm going on the idea that Petruchio convinced Kate that their marriage is a partnership where they both contribute for the betterment of both. During that time it happened to be that the woman stayed home and catered to the man (in this case it seemed more subservient ) and the man made the dough.
    Do, or do not. There is no try. - Yoda


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    Think about it. She was starved for days, maybe weeks, and had no sleep whatsoever for the same amount of time, and though she was wild, she was smart, as well as having common sense. She knew that if she didn't submit, she would die. So, though she loved her freedom, I'm sure she loved living more, so she gave in...But that speech at the end? I think twas a little much... But 1) Shakespeare had to follow the "Chain of Being" (that a king is at the head, under him is the aristocrats, then the gentlemen, then the commoners, then the peasants then the slaves. Likewise, in the family was the husband, ruling the house, then the wife, then the kids, then the slaves.) T'would not be proper for Shakespeare to break that (as is shown in McBeth) plus he wouldn't make any money... We think it was strange of her to give up her freedom, b/c in our culture today, the women are on the same level as men, but back then, for her to have been like that was messed up, and plain wrong. It wasn't freedom she had, it was something so wrong she was a shrew for it.
    I admit though, that when I read that, I do it in today's mindset, thinking that she shouldn't give in, though the people back then, would have been glad she gave up her foolishness and wrongdoing. It's all what the people want, if you think about it....It's a good thing Shakespeare wasn't writing for our time...

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    I am really lost on this Shakespeare thread plan. I had forgotten all about it. So, could someone fill me in on the latest? Are we still discussing "Taming of the Shrew" or is there a new play for March?
    Confused ~ Janine
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    Quote Originally Posted by papayahed View Post
    In taking the play in context of the time it was written I don't find the play to be an outrage.
    I appreciate this argument, but in my mind, once we go the route of "well, during that time this was OK" I think we have essentially said "that was then, this is now." When we say such things, I interpret that to mean that the play has no relevance for us. If it tells us a "truth" that we no longer accept, how can it still speak to us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bookworm4Him View Post
    Think about it. She was starved for days, maybe weeks, and had no sleep whatsoever for the same amount of time, and though she was wild, she was smart, as well as having common sense. She knew that if she didn't submit, she would die. So, though she loved her freedom, I'm sure she loved living more, so she gave in...
    This statement requires plenty of conjecture that the play does not support. We know Petruccio trashed the wedding night feast, and that Kate was asking Grumio for some food, but there is no clear evidence she was "starved." The idea that this occurred for weeks is pure speculation because the text (like so many of Shakespeares' where time is conveniently compressed to where things happen on a convenient timeline rather than a realistic time line) does not clearly indicate how much time passes. Please provide some textual support to the assertion that fear of death motivated Kate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bookworm4Him View Post
    But that speech at the end? I think twas a little much... But 1) Shakespeare had to follow the "Chain of Being" (that a king is at the head, under him is the aristocrats, then the gentlemen, then the commoners, then the peasants then the slaves. Likewise, in the family was the husband, ruling the house, then the wife, then the kids, then the slaves.) T'would not be proper for Shakespeare to break that (as is shown in McBeth) plus he wouldn't make any money... We think it was strange of her to give up her freedom, b/c in our culture today, the women are on the same level as men, but back then, for her to have been like that was messed up, and plain wrong. It wasn't freedom she had, it was something so wrong she was a shrew for it.
    I admit though, that when I read that, I do it in today's mindset, thinking that she shouldn't give in, though the people back then, would have been glad she gave up her foolishness and wrongdoing. It's all what the people want, if you think about it....It's a good thing Shakespeare wasn't writing for our time...
    The idea that Kate "gave up her freedom" presupposes the idea that the "freedom" she had ("freedom" to be what? An out-of-control harpy?) was worth keeping. What exactly did Kate lose? From my understanding, she lost out on being a lonely, angry, bitter woman living under her father's roof (if he decided to keep her as a burden) - never knowing the love of a man and the joy of an intimate relationship. That's worth keeping? Where, prior to Kate's change, do you see her life contain anything worth keeping? Kate was not some feminist "freedom fighter" as many readers wish to make her; she was not railing for feminine equality or freedom - she was angry - angry at the world for whatever hints the play provides. Her anger had no purpose or useful focus, other than create a gulf of isolation around her. She didn't get along with men, her father, her sister, anybody. Which part of that life is worth preserving? It's almost like feminists would be happier if Kate sacrificed any kind of fulfilling life rather than learn how to get along with someone else (primarily because that someone else is a man, and we know that our current society says that any "lowering" of a woman from "independent" to "partner" is some sort of "oppression." Hogwash.)

    And I suppose that if Shakespeare had written this play with the genders reversed, the women of today would be fine with it? Why? What's the difference? How many readers would be outraged by that (apparently) more "politically correct" version of this story?
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post


    This statement requires plenty of conjecture that the play does not support. We know Petruccio trashed the wedding night feast, and that Kate was asking Grumio for some food, but there is no clear evidence she was "starved." The idea that this occurred for weeks is pure speculation because the text (like so many of Shakespeares' where time is conveniently compressed to where things happen on a convenient timeline rather than a realistic time line) does not clearly indicate how much time passes. Please provide some textual support to the assertion that fear of death motivated Kate.
    It wasn't necessarily the "fear of death" that motivated Kate. However, for all she knew of Petruchio, things could have continued in the way they were, and if she were deprived of food for an extended period, she would obviously die.
    Kate was used to getting things her way. Not only things she needed, but things she merely wanted. Baptista clearly wasn't a strong, controlling parental figure, so there was practically nothing restraining her.
    Kate realized that in order to get the things she needed, and possibly the things she desired, that she would have to play whatever part Petruchio wanted her to play.
    The sudden change at the end cannot be genuine based on all the things we know about Kate. She's a selfish, spoiled shrew. She did anything to get what she wanted before, and she's doing the same thing now.



    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    The idea that Kate "gave up her freedom" presupposes the idea that the "freedom" she had ("freedom" to be what? An out-of-control harpy?) was worth keeping. What exactly did Kate lose? From my understanding, she lost out on being a lonely, angry, bitter woman living under her father's roof (if he decided to keep her as a burden) - never knowing the love of a man and the joy of an intimate relationship. That's worth keeping? Where, prior to Kate's change, do you see her life contain anything worth keeping? Kate was not some feminist "freedom fighter" as many readers wish to make her; she was not railing for feminine equality or freedom - she was angry - angry at the world for whatever hints the play provides. Her anger had no purpose or useful focus, other than create a gulf of isolation around her. She didn't get along with men, her father, her sister, anybody. Which part of that life is worth preserving? It's almost like feminists would be happier if Kate sacrificed any kind of fulfilling life rather than learn how to get along with someone else (primarily because that someone else is a man, and we know that our current society says that any "lowering" of a woman from "independent" to "partner" is some sort of "oppression." Hogwash.)

    And I suppose that if Shakespeare had written this play with the genders reversed, the women of today would be fine with it? Why? What's the difference? How many readers would be outraged by that (apparently) more "politically correct" version of this story?
    "Fulfilling life?" Now, kids, let's not be subjective here. We could argue for ages on what exactly was a "fulfilling life" is for Kate, or for women in general, and we wouldn't get anywhere.
    Kate merely realized she had to conform to society's expectations of her, because that was what Petruchio desired. She knew that if she could keep Petruchio happy, she would get food and rest.
    Perhaps she was more weak-willed than the play originally suggested; being willing to change after what seems so short a time.
    Or perhaps she's more intuitive. She understands the situation that she's in, and she understands that there's no practically no way out of it, at least not a way that involves honor or life.
    But your argument suggests that she changed to enjoy the "love of a man" and the "joy of an intimate relationship." Where is your textual evidence for this? Where is the implication that Kate felt any love for Petruchio or any desire for intimacy with him?
    Kate was a shrew. She was selfish, and her "change" at the end stems from entirely selfish motives.

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    Cur etiam hic es? Redzeppelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Kate was used to getting things her way. Not only things she needed, but things she merely wanted. Baptista clearly wasn't a strong, controlling parental figure, so there was practically nothing restraining her.
    No argument here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Kate realized that in order to get the things she needed, and possibly the things she desired, that she would have to play whatever part Petruchio wanted her to play.
    Which means that the play is not funny (because human suffering is not funny) and that the play is a tragedy (because of the "breaking" of a human being through deprivation). Why still perform this play today then? There's nothing redeeming in a story that sends this message. I do not believe that Shakespeare's comedies reveal this kind of cruelty. And I don't buy it. This line of argument works if you don't believe Petruccio and Kate were attracted to each other - that they actually may have been interested in each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    The sudden change at the end cannot be genuine based on all the things we know about Kate. She's a selfish, spoiled shrew. She did anything to get what she wanted before, and she's doing the same thing now.
    OK - and what exactly did Kate want? And how often did she get it? I don't recall that the play ever gave us any motive for Kate's rage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    "Fulfilling life?" Now, kids, let's not be subjective here. We could argue for ages on what exactly was a "fulfilling life" is for Kate, or for women in general, and we wouldn't get anywhere.
    Oh, OK. I know I committed a serious social faux pas by suggesting that men and women can have fulfilling lives together. Sorry - political correctness is not my bag. I'm speaking in terms of Shakespeare's society (and ours as well). Assuming the given that Shakespeare's characters are heterosexual, I assume that people - even in Shakespeare's time - got attracted to each other, got engaged, got married. I'm also working off the logic of the comedies - that the fulfilling life for the male/female protagonists is marriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Kate merely realized she had to conform to society's expectations of her, because that was what Petruchio desired. She knew that if she could keep Petruchio happy, she would get food and rest.
    Perhaps she was more weak-willed than the play originally suggested; being willing to change after what seems so short a time.
    I disagree. I think it is wrong to try and give Kate a feminist conscience - like she's some "freedom fighter" for feminine independence. The play doesn't support that interpretation. She's enraged and her anger is out-of-control. It is she who strikes Petruccio during their first meeting. He never so much as lays a hand on her (which would have been much quicker and more efficient in terms of "taming" Kate - and tended to be employed in other pre-Shrew plays that Shakespeare used for his sources).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Or perhaps she's more intuitive. She understands the situation that she's in, and she understands that there's no practically no way out of it, at least not a way that involves honor or life.
    I think you're getting warm - but I don't think she saw the situation as no-win: I think she realized that she was with a man who wanted a relationship with her, but was not willing to tolerate her out-of-control behavior like everyone else had. Her behavior was wrong. Period. She lashed out at innocent people for no good reason. How can you defend her attitude and make it sound like cooperating with her husband is such a loss?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    But your argument suggests that she changed to enjoy the "love of a man" and the "joy of an intimate relationship." Where is your textual evidence for this? Where is the implication that Kate felt any love for Petruchio or any desire for intimacy with him?
    Kate was a shrew. She was selfish, and her "change" at the end stems from entirely selfish motives.
    Is there a chance that Kate "changed" because she realized that the life she wanted was within her ability to have, but that she had to give something up to have it - her pride? her rage? her selfishness? Is there a chance that Petruccio was the first strong man to enter her life capable of dishing out to her her own behavior, so that she could become the person she was capable of being?
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post

    Which means that the play is not funny (because human suffering is not funny) and that the play is a tragedy (because of the "breaking" of a human being through deprivation). Why still perform this play today then? There's nothing redeeming in a story that sends this message. I do not believe that Shakespeare's comedies reveal this kind of cruelty. And I don't buy it. This line of argument works if you don't believe Petruccio and Kate were attracted to each other - that they actually may have been interested in each other.
    Your claim being that if Kate is manipulating her husband by pretending to be a Stepford wife, it can't be funny? She has to truly be a Stepford wife for the play to be funny?
    I never said that Petruchio was cruel. If Kate didn't want to kill herself or escape through other means, she needed to find a way to live with him, and her way was to play the part of the nice little wifey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    OK - and what exactly did Kate want? And how often did she get it? I don't recall that the play ever gave us any motive for Kate's rage.
    Kate wanted a nice wedding, food, sleep, pretty clothes. She wanted to stay at her own wedding until after the festivities... have you even read this play?

    She was used to getting whatever she wanted, I believe that's implied by her short temper and shrewish nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    Oh, OK. I know I committed a serious social faux pas by suggesting that men and women can have fulfilling lives together. Sorry - political correctness is not my bag. I'm speaking in terms of Shakespeare's society (and ours as well). Assuming the given that Shakespeare's characters are heterosexual, I assume that people - even in Shakespeare's time - got attracted to each other, got engaged, got married. I'm also working off the logic of the comedies - that the fulfilling life for the male/female protagonists is marriage.
    I'm not saying that your error was claiming that "men and women can have fulfilling lives together." But there is a multitude of opinions of what kind of marriage or relationship is "fulfilling." Obviously.

    You stated that, "It's almost like feminists would be happier if Kate sacrificed any kind of fulfilling life rather than learn how to get along with someone else..."

    And I'm saying that Kate didn't "learn how to get along" with Petruchio. She learned how to use him to get what she wanted. Where does the play ever imply that she wanted to "get along" with him?



    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    I disagree. I think it is wrong to try and give Kate a feminist conscience - like she's some "freedom fighter" for feminine independence. The play doesn't support that interpretation. She's enraged and her anger is out-of-control. It is she who strikes Petruccio during their first meeting. He never so much as lays a hand on her (which would have been much quicker and more efficient in terms of "taming" Kate - and tended to be employed in other pre-Shrew plays that Shakespeare used for his sources).
    I never claimed that she was a "freedom fighter" for feminine independence. She realizes that she's dependent on Petruchio, so she learns how to use him. She's not a feminist. She's spoiled.

    And I believe I called her "weak-willed," and your response is that I'm calling her a "freedom fighter?"

    And I never claimed that Petruchio "so much as laid a hand on her."

    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    I think you're getting warm - but I don't think she saw the situation as no-win: I think she realized that she was with a man who wanted a relationship with her, but was not willing to tolerate her out-of-control behavior like everyone else had. Her behavior was wrong. Period. She lashed out at innocent people for no good reason. How can you defend her attitude and make it sound like cooperating with her husband is such a loss?
    You're welcome to think whatever you want. I have yet to find any textual evidence for "she realized that she was with a man who wanted a relationship with her." He wanted "to wive it wealthily in Padua." He wanted to marry a rich woman. His motives for tolerating her behavior, (or rather, not tolerating) were entirely selfish. When Hortensio tries to warn him of her shrewish nature, Petruchio's reply is: "thou know'st not gold's effect." So where is your evidence that he "wanted a relationship with her?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Redzeppelin View Post
    Is there a chance that Kate "changed" because she realized that the life she wanted was within her ability to have, but that she had to give something up to have it - her pride? her rage? her selfishness? Is there a chance that Petruccio was the first strong man to enter her life capable of dishing out to her her own behavior, so that she could become the person she was capable of being?
    "The life she wanted was within her ability to have."
    Yes. She did realize that. So she gave up her pride, but not her selfishness. She was humbled because she was selfish. She knew she needed to become Petruchio's "tame" woman to get what she wanted.

    And I believe I have already conceded your point on Petruchio being the first dominant person to actually present a challenge to her.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    I take Kate's submssion in a somewhat different way. I do not really think that her will was broken as suggested here.

    My take is that she learned to play the game. Take this scene from Act IV:
    KATHARINA
    Young budding virgin, fair and fresh and sweet,
    Whither away, or where is thy abode?
    Happy the parents of so fair a child;
    Happier the man, whom favourable stars
    Allot thee for his lovely bed-fellow!

    PETRUCHIO
    Why, how now, Kate! I hope thou art not mad:
    This is a man, old, wrinkled, faded, wither'd,
    And not a maiden, as thou say'st he is.

    KATHARINA
    Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes,
    That have been so bedazzled with the sun
    That everything I look on seemeth green:
    Now I perceive thou art a reverend father;
    Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking.
    What is not really shown by the dialogue is that Kate has learned to play. Film of producton shows Kate is laughing through this at the silly jest (as suggested by Vicentio a few lines further when he calls her a "merry mistress"). Kate has learned that there are roles to play and that life is a playing out one's role as a sort of game. This is what makes the shifting roles of characters so important to the play, characters changing their identities. In public, Kate has learned that an obediant wife is the identity that is respected. And not just respected, but expected. If one doesn't provide to the world what is expected, the world will not provide back. When Petrucchio summons her in that famous closing scene, she knows the game he is playing and she plays along. When they go home in private she may curse him out, for all that we know. That's what my wife would do. Consider Act II. When Kate and Petrucchio are in private, they are fighting and bickering. When the the other characters re-enter the scene, Petrucchio puts on this false impression that everything is going smoothly.
    BAPTISTA
    Now, Signior Petruchio, how speed you with my daughter?

    PETRUCHIO
    How but well, sir? how but well?
    It were impossible I should speed amiss.

    BAPTISTA
    Why, how now, daughter Katharina! in your dumps?

    KATHARINA
    Call you me daughter? now, I promise you
    You have show'd a tender fatherly regard,
    To wish me wed to one half lunatic;
    A mad-cup ruffian and a swearing Jack,
    That thinks with oaths to face the matter out.

    PETRUCHIO
    Father, 'tis thus: yourself and all the world,
    That talk'd of her, have talk'd amiss of her:
    If she be curst, it is for policy,
    For she's not froward, but modest as the dove;
    She is not hot, but temperate as the morn;
    For patience she will prove a second Grissel,
    And Roman Lucrece for her chastity:
    And to conclude, we have 'greed so well together,
    That upon Sunday is the wedding-day.
    A complete lie, a facade. But this is what married people do. And Kate who here has not learned the game says:
    KATHARINA
    I'll see thee hang'd on Sunday first.

    GREMIO
    Hark, Petruchio; she says she'll see thee
    hang'd first.

    TRANIO
    Is this your speeding? nay, then, good night our part!
    Notice Petrucchio's very important reply:
    PETRUCHIO
    Be patient, gentlemen; I choose her for myself:
    If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?
    'Tis bargain'd 'twixt us twain, being alone,
    That she shall still be curst in company.
    I tell you, 'tis incredible to believe
    How much she loves me: O, the kindest Kate!
    She hung about my neck; and kiss on kiss
    She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
    That in a twink she won me to her love.
    O, you are novices! 'tis a world to see,
    How tame, when men and women are alone,
    A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.
    Give me thy hand, Kate: I will unto Venice,
    To buy apparel 'gainst the wedding-day.
    Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests;
    I will be sure my Katharina shall be fine.
    "If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?" With that he has created a wall between the public person and the private. He even draws a distinction between what is in company and what is in private. Don't intrude into my private world, he is saying. I'll tell you what it is for public consumption.

    This public verses private roles that we play is what Kate learns and plays out in the final scene.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    I take Kate's submssion in a somewhat different way. I do not really think that her will was broken as suggested here.

    My take is that she learned to play the game.
    I agree with that 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Your claim being that if Kate is manipulating her husband by pretending to be a Stepford wife, it can't be funny? She has to truly be a Stepford wife for the play to be funny?
    I never said that Petruchio was cruel. If Kate didn't want to kill herself or escape through other means, she needed to find a way to live with him, and her way was to play the part of the nice little wifey.
    Explain to me exactly how your vision is funny - and if not funny, how does it coincide with comedy's restoration of the social world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Kate wanted a nice wedding, food, sleep, pretty clothes. She wanted to stay at her own wedding until after the festivities... have you even read this play?
    Easy does it there - I've read and taught the play multiple times. Before you throw out a question like that, perhaps you ought to make sure you understand my question. When I asked what Kate wanted, I was not asking about her relationship with Petruccio; I was referring to her life prior to him. You spoke about Kate getting what she wanted before - I simply asked what it was you think she wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    She was used to getting whatever she wanted, I believe that's implied by her short temper and shrewish nature.
    I agree - I think Kate is tremendously spoiled (as is Bianca). But I don't think the "spoiling" is her problem. She's angry and the spoiling may well have been Baptista's way of compensating (perhaps for the lack of a mother in Kate's life?)


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    I'm not saying that your error was claiming that "men and women can have fulfilling lives together." But there is a multitude of opinions of what kind of marriage or relationship is "fulfilling." Obviously.
    And, since the odds are pretty good that - without Petruccio's choice to make Kate his wife - Kate would've remained single, unhappy and bitter the rest of her days. So - which of the two lives is more fulfilling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    You stated that, "It's almost like feminists would be happier if Kate sacrificed any kind of fulfilling life rather than learn how to get along with someone else..."

    And I'm saying that Kate didn't "learn how to get along" with Petruchio. She learned how to use him to get what she wanted. Where does the play ever imply that she wanted to "get along" with him?
    Look, I've read numerous postings on this play, and I think people tend to forget that our hyper-politically-correct society simply bridles at any depiction of a woman that does not show her firmly in control - not only of herself, but the men in her life. Period. Because of that mind-set, we tend to look at Taming as showing something really repulsive to us - but I think that that repulsion is based on our issues between genders more than what the play may very well be suggesting. My point is that the genders are secondary to what is going on. The play is not about a man subjugating a woman - it's about a strong human being helping an out-of-control human being learn to participate in the give and take of a relationship. Kate was out-of-control. If you have ever worked with out-of-control people before (as I have) you learn that sometimes they need some "tough love" to help them break out of the behaviors that are often so powerful in their lives that they need help getting free of them. I'm suggesting that Kate discovered that relationship involves compromise - and that's what Petruccio wanted - he didn't want a stepford wife - a man of Petruccio's robust character would not want that - he'd want a wife with fire and spirit - but one who understood that she can't just thrash the world around her.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    You're welcome to think whatever you want. I have yet to find any textual evidence for "she realized that she was with a man who wanted a relationship with her." He wanted "to wive it wealthily in Padua." He wanted to marry a rich woman. His motives for tolerating her behavior, (or rather, not tolerating) were entirely selfish. When Hortensio tries to warn him of her shrewish nature, Petruchio's reply is: "thou know'st not gold's effect." So where is your evidence that he "wanted a relationship with her?"
    What a man says among other men may or may not speak to a man's true feelings. Remember that only in soliloquy do characters speak with 100% honesty in Shakespeare. And, even if Petruccio only was interested in money, please don't tell me that Kate was the only woman in Padua with a decent dowery. Please don't tell me that Petruccio - after the first meeting with Kate - could not have decided "Nah - no amount of money is worth that." Petruccio had no guarantee that his methods would have worked. I think most men want a peaceful home. We can handle stress and strife in the work world, but when we come home we like things peaceful. Furthermore, if all Petruccio wanted was money, why bother to get Kate to behave at all? He could have simply ignored her and patronized prostitutes or gotten a mistress. He could have relegated her to "cleaning woman" and ignored her. He did not. He invested effort to draw her into relationship with him. Furthermore, I suggest that after Petruccio met Kate, that he liked not only her looks, but her spirit as well. I think he saw beneath the behavior and saw a woman he liked. And, assuming that Petruccio was a handsome man, why wouldn't Kate be flattered that an attractive man - one who did not scorn her or return her venom - was interested in her? She tried to insult him during their first meeting and he kept turning her venom around on her into playful sexual banter. Which part of that sounds like a money-hungry mercenary?


    Quote Originally Posted by Sarasvati View Post
    Yes. She did realize that. So she gave up her pride, but not her selfishness. She was humbled because she was selfish. She knew she needed to become Petruchio's "tame" woman to get what she wanted.
    And that's where I ask again - what did she want? I think she wanted a relationship, but, like an angry child, she was unable to participate in one because she was enslaved to her rage. Petruccio wanted Kate to join him - not serve him. To say that Kate compromised to manipulate Petruccio says something ugly about her and women in general. Out-of-control people need strong people to help them - Kate needed Petruccio's help. My vision sees Petruccio doing what men who love their women do - he rescued her from herself.

    Ultimately, I think Virgil said it better anyway.
    "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." - C.S. Lewis

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