English audiences in the Renaissance period would have been concerned with ideals of married life. Unless you were the king of England, the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries offered few ways out of an unhappy marriage. Therefore, the resolution of marital disputes became an important topic in the popular literature of the era. Shakespeare highlights the theme of marriage, in particular the role of the woman in the marriage, in The Taming of the Shrew. It is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and has weathered well into our modern era. Like his other romantic comedies, The Taming of the Shrew focuses on courtship and marriage and the various roles that the man and woman play, but, unlike most of them, it devotes a great deal of attention to married life after the wedding. Throughout the play, using her husband as a dominating force, Shakespeare demonstrates the transformation of one woman into the ideal Renaissance wife.
Domestication of women is broadcasted in the play's title by the word "taming." A great part of the action consists of Petruchio's attempts to cure Kate of her antisocial hostility and her non-conforming ways. Her behavior goes against societal norm and for that reason must obviously be altered. Widely reputed throughout Padua to be a shrew, Kate is foul-tempered and sharp-tongued at the start of the play. She constantly insults and degrades the men around her, and is prone to wild displays of anger, during which she may physically attack whoever enrages her. However, from the first time that Petruchio meets Kate, we see his attempts to transform her already in progress. Petruchio, when talking to Kate, states what his actions and beliefs are,.
Thou must be married to no man but me.
For I am he am born to tame you, Kate,.
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate.
Conformable as other household Kates. (II, i, 268-272).
Early on we are introduced to Petruchio's intentions, he makes them explicitly clear to Kate upon their first meeting.