Explain the different roles of men and women in The Taming of the Shrew?
Critics are not really able to agree on what this play says about the roles of men and women.
The most obvious way to understand the play is to say that it reinforces traditional gender roles where men are dominant and women are submissive. It certainly seems that Petruchio completely gets his way with Katharine. She seems to totally give in to his attempts to change her ways. A lot of critics still see it this way.
But many modern critics argue that the play shows Petruchio and Kate actually having a relationship based on mutual respect and a desire to be together. Some even argue that Petruchio's role is meant to spoof masculine attitudes and that he's meant to be something of an object of scorn. Personally, I don't buy these later interpretations, but that's what they say.
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