In the play The Taming of the Shrew by, William Shakespeare, there are a lot of sexist remarks and feminist criticism that comes into effect from the beginning to the end of the play. The main character, Kate, is usually the one that all of the sexist remarks and actions are directed towards. This very reason is why feminist criticism comes into effect many times throughout the book.
Many times throughout this play, language is used to show that women are inferior to men. Bianca and Kate are two sisters who are the main focus of the suitors’ interests in the play. Petruccio and Lurencio finally win Kate and Bianca over but it takes “taming” and money to get them.
The fact that women had to be tamed and paid for showed that women were like objects that are bought and not loved. In the play, Lucentio says, “‘tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so” (5, 2, 194). The fact that women had to be tamed, is sexist and discriminated against women.
In the play, the main character, Bianca, was bet on by many men to see who would win her over. This form of picking a spouse is very degrading to women and discriminating. It is treating women as objects and showing that love was not involved in the marital process during that time.
Shakespeare describes the payment of wives when Hortensio says, “Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please” (1, 2, 183). This is stating that he will marry her if the amount of money he offers is enough for her father to approve their marriage. A wife should not be priced, she should be priceless and it classifies women based on how much they are worth rather than how great their personality is or how nice and loving they are.
Finally, Katharine is considered “tamed” when she starts agreeing with her husband and laughing when he wants her to, treating her like a puppet. This is shown when Petruchio says, “worse and worse. She will not come! O, vile, intolerable, not to be endured! Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress. Say I command her to come to me.” (5, 2, 91-94). This is showing that it is absurd for a woman to think for herself and not do what her husband says.
All of these examples show that this play and in some ways Shakespeare, is sexist. The Taming of the Shrew is a play that describes all the problems and troubles with women that are not perfect, like Kate. In this day and age, Kate might have an attractive, hard-to-get personality that could draw guys to her instead of pushing them away. Shakespeare has created the stereotype of housewife that should obey her husband’s every command. But, this is not the way that is it anymore.
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