A feminist reading of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shew throws up some interesting questions for a modern audience. We can appreciate that this play was written over years ago and, as a result, we can understand that values and attitudes towards women and their role in society were very different then than now. This play is a celebration of a woman being subordinated. Her final speech dictates that women must obey their husbands and be grateful.
Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
The Taming of the Shrew - Wikipedia
The shrew — an unpleasant, ill-tempered woman characterised by scolding, nagging, and aggression  — is a comedic , stock character in literature and folklore , both Western and Eastern. As a reference to actual women, rather than the stock character, shrew is considered old-fashioned,   and the synonym scold as a noun is archaic. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand collected over literary and oral version of shrew stories in 30 cultural groups in Europe in the middle 20th century. Being a " common scold " was once a petty criminal offense in the early-modern law of England and Wales and of colonial New England , during the 16th through 18th centuries. Punishments varied by region, but were usually meant to humiliate the guilty party. They included the imposition of the ducking stool , pillory , jougs , a shrew's fiddle , or a scold's bridle. Scold or shrew was a term which could be applied with different degrees of reprobation, and one early modern proverb allowed that "a shrew profitable may serve a man reasonable".
How should we interpret the dynamics between men and women in The Taming of the Shrew? This question has echoed around the play since it was first performed. We need only look at its incredibly varied production history to see that directors have convincingly interpreted the play in many different, even contradictory, ways. Many responses to the play are critical of the apparent inequalities it presents.
Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. Adapting the Shrew. The Taming of the Shrew has been prone to adaptations since the 17th century. In the early s, John Fletcher wrote a sequel called The Tamer Tamed in which Petruchio is himself tamed by a new wife. The Taming of the Shrew.