Women Against the Cage of Stereotype
“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths” (Lois Wyse). This quotation by Lois Wyse basically summarizes the main theme of the play written by William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”. It portraits the lives of women in the seventeenth century under the stereotypes or so-called “rules” listed in “The Goode and the Badde”. The famous and rich Baptista has two daughters, Bianca and Kate. While Bianca is feminine and gorgeous, Kate is considered wild and assertive. Petruchio, a man who is looking for a new rich wife, wants to tame Kate to be one of his properties along with the precious dowry from Baptista. After being married to the real “shrew” after one week, Kate turns herself to a totally new person. Many say that she changes from an “Unquiet Woman” or a “Wanton Woman” to a “Good Wife” or a “Quiet Woman”. Many believe that she is just playing along to avoid the criticism of stereotypes and make her life easier. On the contrary, Kate does not fit into any of the stereotypes of the seventeenth century, and she was just a strong-hearted and extraordinary woman.
In “The Goode and the Badde”, a “Wanton Woman” is described as a devil using her ability to charm men with her sweetened lies, her poisoned words, and her deceiving mischief. An “Unquiet Woman” is known for her ruthlessness, carelessness, low temper, unreasonable demands, and loud mouth. “[…] and paint your face and use you like a fool.” (Pg. 13); “Asses are made to bear, and so are you” (pg. 34). Kate appears to be a fearless and offensive woman in the beginning of the play where she was yelling at her father in public, chasing after and beating her sister, Bianca, hitting Hortensio with a lute in her music lesson, threatening and cursing at Petruchio in their first meet, etc. These scenes reveal the bad side of Kate, which is created by such an unfair oppression from the stereotypes of the society. She is also...