Sunday, August 27, 2017
The Taming of the Shrew #ShakeTube
Frankly speaking Kathetina is one of my all-time favourite fictional characters. I just love this wild spirit that does not put up with the "accepted society norms". She is challenging everyone, even her family and thus put them to shame, but to me she is just trying to find her way, her place where she can calm her mind and spirit.
Actually, the whole play can be seen as a proper feminists' hell: no rights for women, they are forced to marry, they can be treated by their husbands with all physical and psychological cruelty, they are technically a piece of property. And this is probably a true depiction of society at that time, but again Kathetina shows that not everything was so bad: her father is afraid of her and she can get whatever she wants, she refuses suitors (and here I am sure she refused not out of bad character but most probably that those suitors are inferior to her) unless she meets Petruchio, in whom she finds a challenge worth trying. Of course, this does not excuse the whole process of "taming" which is just pure cruelty.
So, Kathetina has to adjust to survive and she has to scarify some stand points but I'd rather hope that her final dialogue is a disguise: Petruchio has a wife who “obeys” him in everything and he thinks he is the boss and finds pride in it, and she has a strong family and happy satisfied husband, probably in love with her, who, once confident in his success, will be far more generous and forgiving.
Secondly, in the final monologue Kathetina shows how "tamed" she is generally. The tone she is speaking with the widow and her sister - the sharpness and criticism did not go anywhere. I'd rather believe that Kathetina is still the same passionate, spirited and independent character with her point of view, she just rechannelled her energy and adjusted new requirements.
She actually shows more sense than both other ladies, especially Bianca, whose "perfection" I cannot stand. This passive, submissive creature decided to rebel only once and against her husband when she is on the safe ground, so Kathetina in her sensible obedience is much more superior to her beautiful but rather shallow sister.
So, as you guessed I just love Kathetina and call the play to myself not The Taming of the Shrew but The Taming of the Shrewd.