Tamed Shrews And Twelfth Nights: The Role Of Women In Shakes


It is curious to note the role of women in Shakespearean literature. Many critics have lambasted the female characters in his plays as two-dimensional and unrealistic portrayals of subservient women. Others have asserted that the roles of women in his plays were prominent for the time and culture that he lived in. That such contrasting views could be held in regards to the same topic is academic. It is only with close examination of his works that we are able to suppose his intent in creating characters that inspire so much controversy. Two works, Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night, stand out particularly well in regards to Shakespeare's use of female characters. After examining these ...

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in his treatment of women. The "taming" of Katherine has been contended as being excessively cruel by many writers and critics of the modern era. George Bernard Shaw himself pressed for its banning during the 19th century (Peralta). The subservience of Katherine has been labeled as barbaric, antiquated, and generally demeaning. The play centers on her and her lack of suitors. It establishes in the first act her shrewish demeanor and its repercussions on her family. It is only with the introduction of the witty Petruchio as her suitor, that one begins to see an evolution in her character. Through an elaborate charade of humiliating behavior, Petruchio humbles her and by the end of the play, she will instruct other women on the nature of being a good and dutiful wife.
In direct contrast to Shrew, is Twelfth Night, whose main female protagonist is by far the strongest character in the play. The main character Viola, has been stranded in a foreign land and adopts the identity ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/30/2006 08:02:12 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1099
Pages: 4

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