To what extent do Katherina and Bianca conform to the ideal of women and marriage in Shakespeare as time?.
It is curious to note the role of women in Shakespearean literature. Many critics have lambasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women. Others have asserted that the roles of women in his plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in. It is only with close examination of his works that we are able to suppose his intent in creating characters that inspire so much controversy. One will see that while Shakespeare, ostensibly conforms to his contemporaneous attitudes of women, he actually circumvents them by creating resolute female characters with a strong sense of self. .
The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, and has weathered well into our modern era with adaptations into popular films such as ëten things I hate about you. For all the praises it has garnered throughout the centuries, it is curious to note that many have considered it to be one of his most controversial in his treatment of women. The "taming" of Katherine has been contended as being excessively cruel by many writers and critics of the modern era. George Bernard Shaw himself pressed for it as banning during the 19th century (Peralta). The subservience of Katherine has been labeled as barbaric, antiquated, and generally demeaning. The play centers on her and her lack of suitors. It establishes in the first act her shrewish demeanor and its repercussions on her family. It is only with the introduction of the witty Petruchio as her suitor, that one begins to see an evolution in her character. Through an elaborate charade of humiliating behavior, Petruchio humbles her and by the end of the play, she will instruct other women on the nature of being a good and dutiful wife. .
The women in the taming of the shrew provide a clear insight into the role of women in Shakespearian society.