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Petruchio Monologue Essay

  • Submitted by: awhiting064
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: Shakespeare
  • Length: 736 words

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Below is an essay on "Petruchio Monologue" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In this extract taken from William Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, the main character Petruchio outlines his plans to tame his shrewish wife. Throughout the monologue Shakespeare uses animalistic imagery and metaphor to convey Petruchio’s scheme to bend Kate to his will. Marital domination is the underlying theme in this passage, as it was the norm in Shakespearean times for the wife to obey the husband’s every demand.

The boastful, selfish and animated Petruchio is introduced to the audience as a suitor who see the monetary benefit of marriage, and begins his pursuit of Katherine for this reason. Widely reputed throughout Padua to be a shrew, Katherine is foul-tempered and sharp-tongued at the start of the play, she constantly insults and degrades the men around her, and she is prone to wild displays of anger. She detests the social expectations that a woman should bow down to her husband, this attitude repels all suitors from courting her. Her father Baptista aware of this declares that his youngest daughter may not be married until Katherine is wed. Petruchio conscious of Katherine’s financial status approaches Baptista to request his daughter’s hand in marriage, knowing he won’t refuse due to the lack of suitors for Katherine. They are wed, and shortly after they return to their home Petruchio sends a meal back to the kitchen, claiming its burnt and puts Katherine to bed, enter this extract.  Petruchio returns to the stage alone and announces his intentions. All his actions have been calculated to aggravate Kate and to keep her wanting, for he refers to her as a wild falcon that he must train to obey his call. He intends to prevent her from sleeping, just as he did with the food. 

The theme of marital dominance, the idea that woman need to be controlled by marriage to fulfil their duty as a wife, runs throughout the play and can be seen within this monologue. Shakespeare uses words such as “reign” to emphasise the idea of power. He shows that...

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