Role Of Katherine In Taming Of The Shrew

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Role Of Katherine In Taming Of The Shrew

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myShakespeare - Taming of the Shrew 5.2 Performance: Katherina, Lines 136-180

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This can be admired by a female readership. Unfortunately it appears that Katherine wants to emulate her sister and eventually becomes even less willing than Bianca to challenge the men in her life as a result. Was the need for companionship more important to Katherine than her independence and individuality? Many women internalize misogyny and behave accordingly without even knowing it.

Women like Rhianna cavort and look sexually available on MTV to buy into a male fantasy in order to sell their music. They shave all over in order to conform to the current male fantasy demonstrated in prolific pornography. Feisty, outspoken, opinionated Katherine was a problem to be solved in this play. Perhaps Shakespeare was demonstrating the way in which women are beaten down, criticised and derided for being themselves and in an ironic way was challenging this? Perhaps this makes him slightly attractive in that he is so manful, perhaps this is even more attractive to a modern audience who is tired of the metrosexual male and would like a resurgence of the cave man?

The Taming of The Shrew raises issues about female desire:. Perhaps when women are fully emancipated these narratives will be rejected completely by women? Either way we can learn from The Taming of the Shrew about our own culture, predilections and prejudices. Share Flipboard Email. Lee Jamieson. Theater Expert. Lee Jamieson, M. He previously served as a theater studies lecturer at Stratford-upon Avon College in the United Kingdom. Updated March 28, Indeed, critics and academics have spent much of the past century denouncing it as barbarous, offensive and misogynistic. Yet Shrew is remarkably popular with audiences: the production opening in Stratford-upon-Avon this week is the Royal Shakespeare Company's third fourth, if you count last year's for young audiences in less than a decade.

Either theatre-goers are secret sadists, who like nothing better than watching a spot of wife-bashing, or there's more to Shrew than meets the eye. Over the past two decades, productions have divided into two camps. On one side, performances emphasise the brutality of Kate and Petruchio's relationship. In this interpretation, Shrew can be considered, in director Edward Hall's words, "theatre of cruelty". His all-male production in , he says, "followed the text through to its bitterest conclusion.

Look at what Shakespeare has written: Kate is starved of sleep, beaten, refused food. Hall doesn't think Shakespeare was being misogynistic in portraying female subjugation, but questioning the values of society. What if, as a human being, she doesn't want to roll over, as was expected in Shakespeare's day? I actually think he's championing the woman's rights. The other, less stomach-churning interpretation is that this is a curiously misunderstood love story. Lucy Bailey , who is directing the new RSC show, believes their attraction is instant, and what unfolds is "all foreplay to one event, which is to get these two people into bed". For this to work, Bailey says, Petruchio must never appear to be superior to Kate. It becomes punitive, and you start to think, 'This is dead and ghastly.

The trouble with the love-at-first-sight version is that it's hard to understand why Petruchio should mistreat Kate so. Gregory Doran , who directed the play for the RSC in , suggests that Petruchio doesn't know how to handle their relationship because he is as much of an outcast as Katherine. He points out that both characters are frequently described as mad: "Madness is a way that society can label you. That's what Kate and Petruchio are struggling against. I don't think it's describing an ideal relationship, but it is a real relationship. Director David Farr, whose staging shifted the setting to s America, believes Shakespeare offers a key to Petruchio's mental imbalance by telling us his father has recently died. He sees Petruchio as a man whose pride is piqued by encountering a woman capable of outwitting him.

He's constantly having to improvise. Nichola McAuliffe , who has played Katherine twice, believes we misread Petruchio's actions because we don't understand his references to falconry. When Petruchio says he will deny Katherine sleep and food, he is describing the way birds of prey are socialised, with owner and animal enduring the same deprivations. There remains a difficulty in these "torture" scenes: Katherine barely speaks, whereas Petruchio never shuts up. According to Lisa Dillon, playing Katherine in Bailey's production, this contrasts with Katherine's long final speech in which she advises wives to be gentle to their husbands , showing how much she has changed.

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