node your homework; Eng 311 First Journal Entry. Dr. Jacobs is the best.
Note: Line numbers will vary from edition to edition of this and any other Shakespearean play because the texts are either from the Folio edition or the Quarto edition, which have different numbers of lines, and because line numbers are put in by modern editors who often use different methods of assigning line numbers. Interesting?
Shakespeare's portrayal of Katherina and Petruchio's love-hate relationship, as well as Bianca's eventual courtship, in The Taming of the Shrew is suggestive of the value of equal partnership in marriage. It seems that, in this case, the roles have been reversed. Katherina takes the role of an overbearing individual who demands control of everything, and thus averts any and all potential suitors. Petruchio fulfills the part of the equally assertive suitor, causing Katherina to have to compete. Shakespeare does not make it clear what Katherina is holding out for in a mate, if she is looking for one at all, but it is apparent that the terrible imbalance of power and deviation from common tradition has left her alone. This is seen when she reacts violently to her father's attempts at marrying her to Lucentio and Tranio (Act I; scene 1).
'Baptista: […] If either of you both love Katherina, (48)
Because I know you well, and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
Katherina: I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear. (61)
Iwis it is not half way to her heart;
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool,
And paint your face, and use you like a fool.'
Petruchio takes the stereotypical role of a gold-digging potential suitor looking for a marriage of convienience. This is quite plainly stated by Petruchio himself (I,2).
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; (75)
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.'
This display of two equally unfit people who become wedded would seem to display a certain sense of impending doom for the couple. The contrary, and more socially acceptable, relationship is that between Bianca and Lucentio. Bianca plays the standard subservient female role and is rarely heard from in the play. By developing the relationship between Petruchio and Katherina to such an extensive degree, and almost totally ignoring that between Lucentio and Bianca (except to show that it isn't all that great) Shakespeare seems to be making a statement about relationships. Although both Petruchio and Katherina show generally negative attitudes about marriage, their similar personalities and mutual assertiveness cause them to be an excellent match.
We see Katherina and Petruchio's relationship growing legitimate particularly when Petruchio demands that she call the Sun the Moon. They then come into a certain alignment in the playing of the "untruth game," as is illustrated by Katherina's overly verbose contribution to the aforementioned game in Act IV, scene 5:
'Katherina: [having been told to address Vincentio as a young maid]
Young budding virgin, fair, and fresh, and sweet, (37)
Whither away, or where is thy abode?
Happy the parents of so fair a child!'
This scene shows Katherina finally succumbing to Petruchio's attempts to control her, but she is not being abused because she is a willing participant and even seems to be enjoying it. A love-hate relationship is established where opposition is a primary force that keeps them together, and submission on the part of an otherwise assertive person is displayed; perhaps love is in the exceptions made for a partner. The very fact that the relationship between the Katherina and Petruchio works out well and the more traditional relationships of Lucentio and Hortensio are far less serene suggests that Shakespeare might have had the idea that equality of the sexes is beneficial to personal relationships, although it is doubtful that such an idea would have been applied to society as a whole at this time.