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The Taming of the Shrew Essay | Critical Essay #4

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Critical Essay #4

Since Katherina's shrewish behavior constitutes the central problem of the play, it is not surprising that most critical commentary on The Taming of the Shrew deals to some extent with its vision of the relative roles of men and women. Until well into the nineteenth century, audiences and critics alike seem to have accepted at face value what appears to be the play's central assumption about gender roles: that male dominance and female submission constitute the right and natural relationship between the sexes. In this context, Petruchio's "taming" of Katherina was generally seen as innocent fun. By the end of the century, however, critics were beginning to show an element of discomfort with the relationship between Petruchio and Katherina. The Irish playwright and critic Bernard Shaw, writing in 1897, described the last scene of the playas "altogether disgusting to modern sensibility." He found the concept of male domination implicit...

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This section contains 4,527 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Taming of the Shrew Study Guide
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The Taming of the Shrew from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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