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    The Construction of Femininity Essay

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    Hawks are adapted to their environment to enable them to survive. In a way Kate, is converting herself to be able to fit into the environment but she doesn’t fit in to the construction that has been set up for her. She has not been adapted to the surroundings like a hawk and with training she may become socially acceptable towards the structure of femininity that has been created. She maybe more acceptable on the outside but she is still the same female that will not be changed through constructions of the normality.

    At the wedding scene, when Petruchio and Katherina are to be wed, Petruchio’s message to Kate is that the whole wedding is superficial, nothing to do with them in themselves. The whole ceremony doesn’t express their true relationship between them; it is too shallow to express their real feelings. At Petruchio’s house, his behavior mirrors that of her previously and she is shown how it does not produce anything. Then when she returns to the house, ‘tamed’, the table have been turned. There is a change in Kate as the text shows. At the ceremony, Petruchio asks Kate to kiss him in the middle of the street.

    This would have been unacceptable for Kate before she meets Petruchio and she would have probably abused him and would never have even considered it. However, now she has been, ‘tamed’, Kate considers it. When Petruchio asks for a kiss, Kate is shocked as it is in the middle of the road and when asked if she is ashamed of him, she answers, ‘No sir, God Forbid,’ Kate has changed the way she talks to Petruchio and she has become more prim and proper towards her husband yet she has not totally changed. She does end up giving him a kiss and she is not ashamed to be with her husband.

    Her marriage to Petruchio was not superficial and he was the one that she could really talk to and he has managed to tame her at the same time as well as falling in love with her. Their relationship sexually and mentally is based on trust. They trust one and other and if Kate was not strong willed like Petruchio the relationship would not have worked. For Petruchio, Kate was a struggle to over come, as he needed to tame her to make sure she was suitable to trust. The wager is the display of both Kate’s and Petruchio’s social superiority in the roles that they have taken.

    Bianca refuses to come, she is shown as the disobedient shrew herself now but looking at her responses to Lucentio when he chooses to ‘teach’ her, she says she will learn when she wants to, not when he wants to teach her. In Act 3 Scene 1, Bianca shows a little shrewish towards her teachings. When asked to repeat the Latin to Lucentio, she offers her won words to warn him. ‘Now let me see if I can conster it. ‘Hic Ibat Simois,’ I know you not… I trust you not. ‘ Her words are that of sarcasm and warning Lucentio that he cannot control her like any other girl.

    She starts to show her true colours; she is sweet on the outside, yet she is a shrew inside. She elopes, thus going against her father, which shows disobedience; this is never seen at the start of the play. Lucentio who marries Bianca and Hortensio who marries a widow, both abused Kate saying she was a shrew and not a good figure to marry. Both men however end up with shrewish wives and are both socially mockable and degraded. Petruchio, by having Kate come to him is elevated in social status by comparison. But equally so is she.

    She is seen to be the socially preferable and she gets her revenge on the men who constructed her as shrewish at the beginning. Shakespeare has ended the play just how the Sly story begins at the start of Taming of The Shrew. The introduction Scene 2 shows Page dressing up as Sly’s obedient ‘wife’ and that is just how the play ends with Kate the obedient wife of Petruchio. However Kate is a real wife of a real man who has managed to tame her into a socially acceptable figure but also he is just the way she was which was the figure he fell in love with.

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    The Construction of Femininity Essay. (2017, Oct 21). Retrieved from

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