In The Taming of the Shrew, explain why the quote below is ironic."And place your hands below your husband's foot: In token of which duty, if he please, My hand is ready; may it do him ease."...

In The Taming of the Shrew, explain why the quote below is ironic.

"And place your hands below your husband's foot:

In token of which duty, if he please,

My hand is ready; may it do him ease."

(Katharina-V.ii.181-183)

Asked on by r-m123

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This quote is heavily ironic because it is Katharina that utters these lines expressing her desire to do anything to make her husband happy. This quote comes in a long speech of Katharina's that she is commanded to give by her husband, Petruchio to tell them about the duty that a woman owes to her husband:

Katharine, I charge thee tell these headstrong women

What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.

This is situational irony at its best, for throughout the play, Katharina has been described as the ultimate "shrew" in her disrespect and sharp-tongued anger that she expresses with great alacrity towards any potential suitor. Thus to suddenly have Katharina deliver a lecture to the sweet and mild-mannered Biana on the duties of a wife to her husband is incredibly ironic.

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