Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can marry, Bianca's formidable elder sister, Katherine, must be wed. Petruchio, interested only in the huge dowry, arranges to marry Katherine -against her will- and enters into a battle of the sexes that has endured as one of Shakespeare's most enjoyable works.
- via Goodreads
I can’t believe I was even excited for this. To explain my excitement, let me backtrack a little.
I mentioned in a previous post that 10 Things I Hate About You is one of my favorite movies of all time. I absolutely adored Julia Stiles’ character, Kat. She read The Bell Jar, and kicked misogynists in the balls. How can you not love her? The movie was actually based on The Taming of the Shrew, and I was ready to love the play as much as the movie.
I was destined for disappointment.
After reading the play, I wanted to hit Shakespeare on the back of the head with a hardbound collection of all his plays, and scream, “What the hell were you thinking?” I know that Shakespeare’s portrayal of women and the treatment women was the norm during his time, and blah, blah, blah. At the moment, I refuse to listen to sensible arguments, and will, in fact, continue to rage on.
The whole concept of taming a shrew? I shall counter that with a quote from the Sex and the City: “Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free ‘til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” Enough said.
In one passage, Petruchio says:
"For I am he born to tame you Kate,So, basically, his idea of taming her is synonymous with making her just like every other Kate in the world, stamping out her personality and ignoring her wishes. Way to be a great husband, Petruchio.
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates."
“My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,Yes, Katherine, if I were you, my heart will break, too. Even if your life is meant to be a comedy.
Or else my heart, concealing it, will break.”
As for the male characters in The Taming of the Shrew? I just want to ship them all off to a desert island, and see how well that works out for them.
Read this for Shakespeare Reading Month hosted by A Literary Odyssey.