Are Shakespearean female characters perceived as characters of minor significance in Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew?Often the female characters in Shakespeare’s plays are perceived as...

Are Shakespearean female characters perceived as characters of minor significance in Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew?

Often the female characters in Shakespeare’s plays are perceived as characters of minor significance. In your opinion is this a valid interpretation of the female characters in Hamlet and the Taming of the Shrew ? Discuss with reference to contemporary adaptations of the plays.

 

This my assignment title. I would appreciate some help since I do not know where to start... I've read the plays and seen the film but I still have a blank mind. Thanks.

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Hamlet, you could reach this conclusion, although it is all because of Gertrude's marriage to Claudius that we have the play in the first place.  Had she not married her brother-in-law so soon after her husband's death (murder by poison in the ear during his daily nap), Hamlet would not have so strong a moral dilemma to overcome.

I do not agree that the characters of Kate an Bianca are minor characters in Taming, however.  They ARE the play.  If it weren't for the focus on Bianca's marriage and the dilemma of Kate needing to be married first, we would not have such a wonderful, lively, and in the end, moral comedy.  Kate is one of my favorite characters for her anger, passion, intellect, clever tongue, and independence.  She makes the play, and no one would have guessed that she alone was the one woman in the play who is led by her heart and loyal to her man; unlike Bianca and the widow who are the real shrews of the play.  No, the women are the main focus in this play...they rule the world!

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