Why does this passage from Act 3, Scene 2 show that it belongs to the resolution of The Taming of the Shrew? Can someone please explain this answer (attached) in regard to Act III, scene 2? The...
Why does this passage from Act 3, Scene 2 show that it belongs to the resolution of The Taming of the Shrew?
Can someone please explain this answer (attached) in regard to Act III, scene 2? The passage it refers to starts on Line 220 "They shall go forward, Kate..."
This passage from Act 3, Scene 2 shows that it belongs to the resolution because Petruchio is fully in charge of his bride.
Modern audiences are usually opposed to the idea of a woman being enslaved to a man. In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare uses comedy to explore the idea. Although the play is open to interpreting, especially to modern audiences (I have seen versions where Kate seems to be playing along with Petruchio, for example, and others where she is a battered wife), this speech demonstrates that Petruchio believes that the woman should do what the man wants.
Remember that the resolution of a play involves resolving the climax. The climax is the turning point, or the place where the action is at its highest. In a 5 act Shakespeare play, the 3rd act generally involves the climax, and the end of the third act (the second scene) could be part of the resolution. If the conflict involves taming the girl, and the climax involves showings she is tamed, then it makes sense that the resolution would be a kind of victory speech showing that yes, I have tamed her. Look at Kate’s line right before this speech.
Gentlemen, forward to the bridal dinner:
I see a woman may be made a fool,
If she had not a spirit to resist.
Kate certainly seems to have given in. She doesn’t have the “spirit to resist” getting married, so she is going to be tamed. That was the climax. Petruchio treats her like dirt, but she did agree to marry him.
They shall go forward, Kate, at thy command.(220)
Obey the bride, you that attend on her;
Go to the feast, revel and domineer
Although modern readers are probably offended by this, depending on how it is staged, chances are they were rolling in the aisles in Shakespeare’s day. They would not have taken it too seriously, and neither did he. It was meant for humor only.
At the beginning of the play, the plot revolved around Petruchio getting Kate to marry him. Once he gets her to agree to marry him, the actual wedding is part of the resolution itself for him. So for Petruchio, it is the speech he uses that shows he has accomplished his task. He is showing off. It is not that he seems to be in charge or makes promises. Also, Petruchio is not talking about love here. He is sticking to his chauvinistic guns. To him, he claims, his wife is his slave and his livestock.