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The Taming of the Shrew--Not So Funny

The topic of my blog is the idea of comedy. The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s comedies; however, within the play lie many examples of misogyny and sexism. One example is in Act V when the men are discussing how wives are the property of their husbands. This is something we touched on in class but didn’t delve into fully. I think that it is interesting how subjects people found funny in Shakespeare’s age would not be found funny at all now, especially not to women. An entire play about taming a woman with a wild spirit and a mind of her own would be considered highly inappropriate if geared towards a mass audience. Today women are encouraged to be independent and to support themselves if they so choose. While reading this play, I felt like the comedic episodes were overshadowed by the many examples of hatred towards women. Even the scenes that were supposed to be the most comical ones were filled with sexual innuendos and overt sexual comments. Once again, one would think that these types of gestures would be frowned upon more in the age of Shakespeare than in today’s modern era, but I think that it is quite the opposite. Overall I feel like what was tolerated and considered “funny? in Shakespeare’s day, like many parts of the play The Taming of the Shrew, would not be considered comedic at all today.

Comments

Maggie-
I understand where you're coming from as I am sure most of the girls and guys in the class do. At the beginning of the play I can see how people would see Kat as this strong female character, but in the end it appears she is not. It almost seems to me that she never was a strong person to begin with. To me she seems to show the classic examples of a girl that has low self esteem. Her sister was obviously getting all the attention, how could a girl not feel inadequate. So, instead showing her emotions she acts like she doesn't care and pushes people away. She is rude and outspoken as a defense mechanism. I think this is plainly seen by how upset she gets when Petruchio does not show up on time for her wedding. She actually starts crying. This does not seem like an independent woman's action, but instead shows her vulnerable side which has been hidden behind her fierce (shrew) facade. It is hard to find people taking advantage of another person's flaws and vulnerability and manipulating them comedic.

Maggie-
I understand where you're coming from as I am sure most of the girls and guys in the class do. At the beginning of the play I can see how people would see Kat as this strong female character, but in the end it appears she is not. It almost seems to me that she never was a strong person to begin with. To me she seems to show the classic examples of a girl that has low self esteem. Her sister was obviously getting all the attention, how could a girl not feel inadequate. So, instead showing her emotions she acts like she doesn't care and pushes people away. She is rude and outspoken as a defense mechanism. I think this is plainly seen by how upset she gets when Petruchio does not show up on time for her wedding. She actually starts crying. This does not seem like an independent woman's action, but instead shows her vulnerable side which has been hidden behind her fierce (shrew) facade. It is hard to find people taken advantage of another person's flaws and vulnerability and manipulating them funny.

Usually I have plenty to say in class about the plays we are reading. I love Shakespeare and have enjoyed conecting it to modern topics. However, I was so offended by this play that I felt it would be best if I said nothing. How anyone of anytime period can find humor in the degradation of women is beyond me. By the end of the play Pertucio has turned Kate into a mindless zombie. She has become his property, his slave. He enjoys degrading her and makes a point that everyone see's him do this. An example of this is when Hortensio is invited to taming school. Again when they meet the stranger and he makes her say the old man is a young maid, apparently it is important to humiliate her in front of not only Family and friends, but also strangers. It is sad how still after all this time there are men that feel this way. Men that see women in this way are more likley to enguage in relationship violence. During the Vietnam war more than 58,000 men were killed in combat. During this same time period over 51,000 women were killed by the men that "love them".

Shakespeare's time was a different culture. during that time, women has been like an object and most women has lost confidence for themselves or that they lowered self esteem.

But today, its good to say that women has learned how to be confident and independent. Well, it is important that we know how to be confident with ourselves so that people won't underestimate us.

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Plays are effective mediums of communication. Using the writers' communication skills, they can influence the audience with the message or the concept of the play. Even if it was a comedy, it was portraying the inferiority of women over men.

But today, women are more active. More developed in their communication skills in fighting for their right and for equality.

Women nowadays are more independent than in Shakespeare's time. But such discrimination against women are still evident today. This makes most women lower their self-esteem.

Women needs to be more positive to stay strong and independent. They should not let other people step down on them.