Sexism in Taming of the Shrew

Sexismand feminism are two distinct but closely related words used inlobbying for gender entitlements. Sexism is described as the genderdiscrimination of a sex, and in most cases it reflects the prejudicesaffecting women. On the other hand, feminism is the advocacy ofequality between men and women rights. Such equality perspectives arebased on the grounds of political, economic and social entitlements.Shakespeare, in his book ‘Tamingof the Shrew,’described the issues that affect women, in terms of prejudices andinjustices that they experience. The discussion of these issuescreate the difference between the two definitions, and help to shedmore light on the play (Hodgdon&amp Barbara 87).

Inseveral cases, Katherine is seen as fighting for her rights andasserts that she is not ready to be controlled. Her marriage withPetruchio faces various challenges owing to their differences inunderstanding each other. In these cases, Katherine is not sodemanding but insists on settling their disputes on a rational basis.During this period, male dominance was very prevalent and women wereexpected not to speak out. The decisions of their spouses were takenas final, and this was the main argument that Shakespeare tried toaddress in his book. Katherine was well informed as she could easilybeat men in arguments, and this was taken as unconventional.Moreover, the play is trying to emphasize on sexism and not feminism.Favouritism is discouraged, and there is an expectation of equaltreatment for both men and women (Bate &amp Jonathan 87).

Secondly,Bianca is portrayed as being manipulative. This is another dimensionof sexism. She manipulates her father and always acquire preferentialtreatment at home. In her marriage, she uses the same manipulatingtechniques on her husband, and in most times, she is dominant overher husband. Having an ability of using different methods ofmanipulation to control what she wants, makes Bianca a sexist, andso, feminism is overridden in this case. (Hodgon &amp Barbara 51).

Lastly,Katherine argues with the father about the selection of husband forher. She believes that she can get the best man who suits her dreams,without the involvement of her father. Therefore, Katherine is anindependent woman and a feminist. She frequently expresses the needto make her own decisions without interference. Onthe other hand, Bianca trusts her father with the responsibility ofhelping her to choose for a spouse (Gregor &amp Keith 34).

Inconclusion, the play by Shakespeare brings a clear understanding ofsexism and feminism. He attempts to create awareness and bring genderequality that is neither dominated by men or women. There should besharing of political, social and economic roles, and thus womenshould come out of suppression and oppression. Sexism was majorlydriven by men, and directed towards women, in most scenes of theplay. It was apparent that men have continuously oppressed women.Furthermore, women were sexist in few sections only and thereforeit’s is obvious that women should be treated as men in all aspects.The whole play has different scenes in the depiction of the sexism(Gregor&amp Keith, 73).


Bate,JonathanRasmussen, Eric. The Taming of the Shrew. The RSC Shakespeare.Basingstoke: Macmillan 2010. p. 87

Gregor,Keith (2010). Shakespeare in the Spanish Theatre: 1772 to thePresent. London: Continuum. pp.&nbsp 2010: 34–73.

Hodgdon,Barbara. The Taming of the Shrew. The Arden Shakespeare, ThirdSeries. London: Methuen. 2010 p. 51