The Taming of the Shrew Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Compare and contrast Katharina and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew.

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In addition to the other very good answer to this question, it helps to think of Katharina as something of a "proto-feminist" character. Katharina, for example, is often a character who appears to exhibit feminist philosophy, as she refuses to marry the suitors of Padua and also seems to rebel against the concept that women are goods exchanged between men in marriage. This idea would have been revolutionary in Shakespeare's day, but its revolutionary effect is tempered by the fact that, in the end, Katharina is "tamed," meaning that she submits to her husband's will, and this action is presented as an epitome of wifely devotion. Thus, though Katharina is a fascinating study as an early feminist character, any feminist critique of the play needs to grapple with its less than feminist ending.

Bianca, on the other hand, doesn't really exhibit the same feminist characteristics that make Katharina such a fascinating and complex character. Bianca is mostly presented as a good-willed and...

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