Analysis of Kate’s Speech in “The Taming of the Shrew”
Analysis of Kate’s speech Shakespeare was mostly interested in the concept that life imitated art. He often explored this concept by creating the play-within-the-play episodes. In the Taming of the Shrew, the themes of illusion versus reality, classstruggles, male-female relationships, and transformationare reflected in both the introduction framework and the play within the play. In writing his comedies, Shakespeare was,to a great extent, influenced by classical Roman and Italian mockery andcomedy. Kate’s speech in Act 5, scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is proof of her strong use of sarcasm.
The submissiveacceptance of the wives in the source stories is illustrated in play during the energetic, sparkling, and finally loving exchange between Petruchio and Katherine. Her submission is enclosed within their general joke with the confused Vincetio. Katherine replies to one of them with unkind shrew jests, which threaten to establish the usual social alliances from which she would be excluded (Aspinall 118). The undertaking proceeds out of the unfriendly humor of Tranio, Hotensio, and Baptista. Petruchio’sclosing remarks suggest the temporary self-satisfaction that marks the husband’s attitude in the general joke. The undertaking also shows the movement away of Shakespeare’s play from its sources, since both husband and wife win it, an achievement marked by Petruchio’s assured assuranceof his married happiness and the certainties found in Katherine’s final speech.
Through Kate’s speech there is emphasis on the husband’s power. In the shrew-taming this aims to embrace a loving alliance between husband and wife. Normally the man is viewed as the head; on the other hand, the woman is the heart in any marriage. In Shrew, physical violence, as it is, is deposited intentionally on the deliberatelyput on the untamable Grumio. Listing Petruchio’s taming tactics, she concludes bitterly, “And that which spitesme than all these wants, He does it under the name of perfect love” (4.3.12-13). As it can be seen from the first meeting, Petruchio was aiming toward her a flooding of loving nicknames: “sweet Katherine” (2.1.299), “sweating” (4.3.39), and “my honey love” (4.3.57). Bianca’s plot puts off the dangers to the companionate marriage offered by romantic love; on the other hand Kate’s plot illustrates the opposite threat to marriage, found in the shrew taming stories that is cruelty of the levels of power.This does not negate the levels of power but essentially makes it pleasant by removing the oppression and raw submission accompanying it. Kate being a successfully, happily tamed Shrew, celebrated her conversion Kate demonstrates the actual assessment of the advantages for the people involved in a marriage. She is concerned to fit a rebuke of willful wives into a wider view of a marriage. She applied a wide range of metaphors in her speech ranging from nature, politics, and the military. She freely acknowledges herself to be one of them, having been used mind and heart, “To band word for word and frown for frown” (5.2.194). She criticizes friendliness precisely because it is unfavorable to the give-and-take obligations of the companionate marriage expressed in the play. Loving obedience, Kate makes clear that it is the wife’s part of that reciprocity, and it is that which she offers to Petruchio (Aspinall 119). In this case, Kate becomes a type of spokesperson for tract ideology, which she ecstatically, not ironically, articulates. Kate delivers the speech ironically;having learned through her enlightening that the way out to the demands of patriarchy is open submission and hiddendisobedience She shows that taming has taught her how to get along within the system, since, it has not, in actual fact, changed her. This reading is based upon the troublesome contradiction between her assertive actions in the final scene and her words, which counsel submission (Aspinall 119). The speech in act five gives two readings each in pursuing a different part of the contradiction between words and action. The literal one hears the words while ironic one sees the actions. The ironic observation may seem more compatible with late twentieth-century feminism than with fifteenth-century marriage doctrine. The ironic reading releases one of the significant theme found in the text itself. By promoting both a happyand submissive and a secretly independent Kate, the speech performs one of the larger functions of the Kate plot as a whole (Aspinall 120).
Throughout Kate’s last speech she used sarcasm and irony to express her role as a tamed but strong woman. Instead of fulfilling new comedy trajectories, the Bianca plot suppresses them, functioning instead as a pointer to the Kate plot, which contains the ideological message of the play. Shakespeare uses the method of substitution and enrichment to dismantle the challenge to the companionate marriage of the shrew-taming stories. Simple authority is replaced by a struggle for a viable, intimate marriage structured by hierarchy. The play privileges this endeavor by letting all the love and miracles happen to Kate plot (Aspinall 121). Thus the vision of the love and miracles happen in the Kate plot. Throughout Kate’s speech, the vision of the companionate marriage influencing the play arises from the deconstruction of its two literary threats that she might not be as strong as her speech might seem.
Aspinall, Dana E., ed. The taming of the shrew: Critical essays. Psychology Press, 2002.