The Taming of the Shrew

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In the play, The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare, Katherine Minola is known for her shrewish ways, such as her horrible temper. Petruchio, a gentleman from Verona, comes to Padua to marry rich so he can “wive it wealthily” (1.2.76). Once Petruchio meets Katherina, he decides to tame her, not matter how bad her temper truly is. During the process of taming Katherina, Petruchio uses a series of violent actions, including physical, emotional, and environmental abuse. During the 16th century, Petruchio’s actions may not have been seen as abuse, but 400 years later, his actions toward Katherina are considered as domestic violence in today’s society. Once Petruchio marries Kate, he starts his physical abuse. Petruchio plans to train Katherina into becoming a harmless housewife from her originally shrewish behavior. He decides to tame her to, “kill a wife with kindness, And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor” (4.1.206-207). After throwing their dinner away, he says, “She eat no meat today, nor none shall eat; Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not…” (4.2.195-196). By doing this, he will wear her attitude down, so she will be easier to tame. From the article, Definition and warning signs of domestic violence, they state various different ways of physical abuse, such as, “denying of sleep and nutrition.” If Katherina is deprived of food and sleep for a prolonged amount of time, the consequences may involve death, or serious medical injury. With today’s moral standards, Petruchio’s actions are noted as physical abuse. Petruchio shows emotional and environmental harm towards Kate in several different ways and ignores her thoughts and feelings. At their wedding ceremony, Petruchio comes in late and dressed in , “…old jerkin; a pair of old breeches thrice turned; a pair of boots that have been candle cases, one buckled, another laced, and old...
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