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Taming of the Shrew

The meaning and importance of love in marriage has changed throughout time. In our society, most marriages exist solely because of love. Marriages occur between all sorts of people; the influence of family, social status, and especially wealth has much less to do with the marriages of today compared to those during the time period of William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. This play demonstrates how money controls marriage and shows a much different role of love in a relationship. Courtship was customary in Shakespeare’s time. A man’s primary purpose in courting was not to have the woman fall in love with him, but rather to arrange the marriage with her father. In Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio succeeded in gaining Bianca’s love; however, it was only after Baptista was convinced Lucentio was richer than her other suitor, Gremio, that he allowed Lucentio to marry Bianca. He even went as far as to confirm Lucentio’s wealth by asking for his father to guarantee the dowry. When Baptista made his choice he spoke nothing of Bianca’s feelings towards either man: “I must confess your offer is best, And, let your father make the assurance, She is your own…” pg. 103. If Baptista had believed Gremio to be the wealthier of the two, Bianca would have had to marry him regardless of her feelings for Lucentio. While love was present before Bianca and Lucentio’s marriage, the same was not true for the relationship of Petruchio and Katherine. Petruchio’s only motivation to marry Katherine was her wealth, and even her shrew-like disposition could not discourage him. Once he received Baptista’s blessing (after another dowry was arranged, of course), Petruchio was confident that not only would the marriage result in his prosperity, but also in the taming of Kate. The two were wed – a marriage not based on love, but money. Today such a thing seems bizarre, scandalous, and even immoral; surely the marriage would end in disaste...

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Taming of the Shrew. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:49, August 22, 2014, from