The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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In Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew, how does Kate represent the aims of patriarchy in Elizabethan society?

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A patriarchal society is one that is controlled by men: as heads of government, religion, society and family. In other words, Elizabethan society (ironically—in that England had a female monarch) was a male-dominated society.

In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Kate is a headstrong young woman. She has a vile temper and refuses to marry. Her sister is the exact opposite, much sought after because she is amiable and demur. However, Kate's father (Baptista) will not allow Bianca to marry until Kate is married.

The story is about Petruchio, a clever and strong-willed man, who vows to get Kate to marry him. When they first meet, Kate fights him violently. Soon, Petruchio has won Kate's consent to marry by "clever repartee." In the process of "taming her," he insults her by showing up to their wedding dressed like a slob. He takes her home and denies her food or clothing until she submits to his control over her. This is all a part of his plan to "tame" his bride.

I am no child, no babe.

(The entire section contains 1,149 words.)

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