Taylor Anne Brooks
9 January 2009
A Controlling Change
The attempts are brave, unimaginable, and impractical. These are definite ways to describe Petruchio’s attempts to marry and tame Katherina in William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Just the thought of marrying Katherina is considered foolish, but Petruchio just wants to marry a woman with a wealthy father. His attempts to tame Katherina have nothing to do with making their marriage work. He only wants to control her. Surprisingly his controlling behavior forces her to transform to his image of what a wife should be.
By saying the following, Petruchio lets the reader know he is not concerned with the actions of his wife to be, “Signor Hortensio, ‘twixt such friends as we few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know one rich enough to be Petruchio’s wife; as wealth is burden of my wooing dance; be she as foul as was Florentius’ love, as old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd as Socrates’ Xanthippe” (I.ii.62-69). Petruchio is shameless when he tells Katherina that his sole concern is her fathers inheritance when he says, “Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented, That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on” (II.i.261-263). Petruchio informs Katherina that she is his property. Petruchio proves he will wed when he says, “will you, nill you, I will marry you” (II.i.264). Proof of Petruchios controlling conduct emerges when he informs Katherina, “For I am he am born to tame you, Kate, And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate; Conformable as other household Kates. Here comes your father. Never make denial. I must and will have Katherine to my wife” (II.i.268-272). The result is that Katharine is only called Kate.
A furthering of the transformation starts at the wedding Petruchio arrives late, dirty, and in unacceptable apparel. When pushed to tide up his wardrobe he replies, “To me she's married, not unto my clothes. Could I repair what she will wear in me, as I...