The Taming of the Shrews’ Power Relationships
The theme of Power has been used for many, many years. Power has been used from the olden days up until now and will continue being used into the future. Power isn’t always just used; it is also abused quite often. People who are abused by another’s power typically tend to have the desire to have power over others. In the play The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare uses the theme of power relationships amongst many characters. The theme of power is used, abused, and subverted throughout the play in many relationship including Petruchio and Katherina, Bianca and Lucentio, and Baptista and Katherina.
The theme of power is used in the Relationship of Petruchio and Katherina. It is used because, around the time that this play takes place; the men had more power over the women. This is shown in many ways throughout The Taming of ...view middle of the document...
Therefore, this is showing how Petruchio uses power over Katherina.
Within the relationship of Bianca and Lucentio, power is abused. This is because Lucentio, being the male and the husband, should have power over Bianca, the female and wife; however, Bianca abuses this. This is shown in multiple places, such as in the following quote after Lucentio tells Biondello to get Bianca, “Sir, my mistress sends you word that she is busy, and she cannot come.” (5.2.81-82). Power is being abused because Bianca is refusing to do as she is told to do by Lucentio, her husband, even though he has power over Bianca. Therefore power is being abused in The Taming of the Shrew.
The relationship of Bianca and Katherina shows how the theme of power is subverted. Katherina undermines the power and authority of Baptista. One example of this is while Katherina and Bianca are fighting. Baptista walked in spoke to Katherina saying “What, in my sight? Bianca, get thee in.” (2.1.30). Katherina then responds to this by saying,
“What, will you not suffer me? Nay now I see, she is your treasure, she must have a husband. I must dance barefoot on her wedding day and, for your love to her, lead apes in hell. Talk
not to me! I will go sit and weep till I find occasion of revenge.” (2.1.31-36)
These quotes show how Baptista is telling Katherina to stop tormenting Bianca, and Katherina believes that he loves and favours Bianca, and hates her. She then says that she will seek revenge on Baptista even though he has power over Katherina. Therefore showing how power is subverted in the play The Taming of the Shrew.
Within the play there are multiple relationships that use, abuse, and subvert power. These relationships include Petruchio and Katherina, Bianca and Lucentio, and Baptista and Katherina. These relationships are because of many reasons, including men and husbands having more power over women and wives, and fathers having power over their children. The use, abuse, and subverting of power relationships, is a very obvious theme used throughout the play, The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare.