.. so aids in this view is that when Katharina and Petruchio arrive in Padua, after Katharina gives the above speech, Petruchio scoops her into his arms and carries her into the church, all the men applauding him. It is at this point Katharina looks out to the audience and gives the crowd a knowing wink and signs the word for “Okay,” as if she is the one who got him instead of the other way around. I find this evidence plausible as well, since it is difficult to see Katharina willing to give in to Petruchio and find a middle ground with him, even if their aggressive nature is so much alike. After all, if Katharina is just acting as if she were tamed, then it is likely she would still have her shrewish attitude.
If this is the case, then Petruchio is in for a big downfall when she decides to remove her disguise and unleash herself upon her unsuspecting husband. Katharina: The Tamer of the Shrew So far, all the examples I have given have presented Katharina as the tamed, liberated or acting shrew. I would like to present a different view of Katharina as something other than the one being tamed, and look at a modern interpretation that displays her as the tamer. I recently had an opportunity to see a recording of the 80’s television comedy Moonlighting, starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. In this show, a special was done on a revision of Taming of the Shrew with Willis’ character as Petruchio and Shepherd’s as Katharina. For the first part, this version follows the original Shakespeare text, with some liberties taken by the writers of the show, showing some tongue-in-cheek humor – Petruchio rides in on a horse with both of them wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses, the saddle has the logo for BMW on the side, and Katharina has a closet full of “cheap” vases to throw at her suitors.
But, as the comedy progresses, an interesting twist is given – beginning when Petruchio and Katharina return to Padua for the wedding of Bianca and Lucentio. Petruchio is confronting Baptista about receiving the promised dowry for wedding Katharina, and Baptista demands proof that Katharina has been tamed, a part of the bargain for receiving the dowry, because he had heard rumors that K atharina was not tamed or liberated, but that Petruchio was the one that had given in to Katharina’s aggressive nature. To prove he had tamed Katharina, Petruchio states to her the globe in the sky is the moon at noon-time. Katharina turns to the blazing sun, and after a few moments of silence from the whole town waiting for her response, says “My husband, you are mistaken. For it is the sun.
I beg you, look again.” The shocked crowd turns to Petruchio who, instead of getting mad and threatening they return to his home as in the other performances when they are on the road to Padua, stares back at the sun, and says, “Why, you are right. How foolish of me.” The rest of the tale ends with a variation of Katharina’s speech in an 1980’s fashion – that man and woman are to be equals and should not try to be dominant over the other, and that it was Petruchio’s kindness towards her that won her heart, for she was still the same opinionated woman. She states that what women truly want is for men to treat them with respect and they will receive the same respect in return. In other words, Katharina was not the one needing to b e tamed, but the brash attitude of Petruchio. Final Arguments Throughout this essay, I have presented four different arguments about the subject of Katharina’s taming.
In analyzing the text of the play and seeing how different interpretations have presented the taming, I find that I have to agree with two of the interpretations, the first that Katharina is acting tamed, and second that she was liberated. First, I feel that she was just acting on the road to Padua, that she was still just pretending to be tamed so she could see her family one more time. I feel this with how quickly she changed her attitude when Petruchio threatened to return home and forego the wedding. But, I also feel that her acting job here backfired against her emotionally. When she saw that by being obedient to Petruchio he treated her as an equal, she realized she needed to compromise her nature to keep this man she was falling in love with, which leads to her being liberated. I say Katharina is liberated because she still displays some of her shrewish attitudes during the feast for Lucentio and Bianca’s wedding, when she drags out the two stubborn women, who refused to come out when the husbands called for them. If she was tamed at this point, she would not have been aggressive towards the two ladies.
If she was acting, she would have risked being discovered if she showed herself being aggressive with the ladies. If she was liberated and able to be as an equal with Petruchio, she would have acted the way she did – aggressive towards those who were being stubborn about their husband’s authority. I see it as Katharina was trying to show them that if they are obedient to their husband, the husband would treat them as an equal. I also find I have to agree with the Moonlighting version of the play, in a sense. It has to be seen that if Katharina gave in some of her attitude towards Petruchio, Petruchio also had to give in some of his own attitude. The attitude of show respect and obedience and receive respect and equality, although carried to an extreme in the Moonlighting episode, can be seen in all the versions of the play discussed.
In conclusion, I believe that Katharina is not the only one who became liberated through the course of the play, but Petruchio as well, from his own super-masculinity.