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Essay on the Outdated Themes of Taming of the Shrew

The Outdated Themes of Taming of the Shrew

The play, Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s comedies. It portrays the humorous events regarding the suiting of Kate, a shrew dwelling in the city of Padua. It portrays many ideas about love and marriage that do not quite fit with our current views and what we know about relationships.

It can be argued that the comedy of the play makes it universal, but it contains some themes that will not be received in the same light as they were during Shakespeare’s time. The comedy is still mostly universal. The visual comedy in the play, like Kate falling off of her horse into the mud, is still universally appealing. The comedy of actions is also equally universal. For example, Petruchio’s actions would be just as humorous now as they were in Shakespeare’s day. But, the situations that erupt from his actions are sometimes questionable in whether they are humorous or if they border into off-color disrespect for Kate, or females in general. The majority of the play is universal, but I feel the major themes the play puts forth are a little outdated and lacking of respect.

The major theme is portrayed by the attitude towards marriage shown in Petruchio and Kate’s relationship. First the relationship was started entirely against the wife’s will, and for the fiscal benefit of the husband, with no intent of love involved. This is especially shown when Kate walks onto the roof of her father’s house. The first thing that Petruchio does is states his worries about loosing not Kate, but his “20 thousand crowns,” that he was promised if he wed Kate. Petruchio used his wife only as a stepping block, and later after “taming” her, used her as a status symbol. His method of “taming” her was suppressive, and locked her into a position she did not willingly want to be in. After she was tamed, she stopped speaking of her feelings and misgivings honestly, and suppressed them. In a relationship, the second most important thing is to be able to openly share and reveal your feelings, which is not what the play of this play shows. In the play, Kate is forced to suppress her feelings just to get food, or to be able to visit her friends and family. Petruchio “tames” Kate by rewarding her for being obedient, and punishing her when she disagrees with him.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Feminist Perspective

A Feminist Perspective of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

At age fifteen, my hormones went wild and I threw myself at every boy in the neighborhood. Although I didn’t go all the way, I offered as much flesh as I dared. If the suburbs can create such sexual angst, imagine the lust stirred by moonlight, fairies, and a warm midsummer night. In Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helena represents the frenzy of young love when fueled by rejection and driven to masochistic extremes.

As the lovers sink deeper into the fantasy world of starlit woods, the Greek virtue of moderation disappears. Emotions intensify to a melodramatic pitch. Helena, in particular, plunges to a primitive and desperate level of passion. She pleads for attention from the “hardhearted adamant” Demetrius (II. i. 195). Teenage vulnerability, virginal desire, and an adolescent crush combine with the romance of an unobtainable object. Demetrius’ hostility only strengthens Helena’s willingness to degrade herself.

Shakespeare chooses language of pain and humiliation to express Hele…

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