Katherina's Speech in Act V, Taming of the Shrew

Length: 3 Pages 799 Words

In Shakespeare’s comedy Taming of the Shrew, the last scene of the play is a long speech by Katherina chastising Bianca and Hortensio’s wife, the widow for “wounding their lords.”(V,ii) The speech illustrates that Katherina is a dynamic character and changes her point of view throughout the book. In the beginning she is “Katherina Minola, Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.”(I,ii) In the end she has earned her husband money by being the most obedient wife. The fact that Petruchio never gave up on Katherina for the sake of being wealthy, actually turned into the true love in the end. Katherina first chastises Bianca and the widow for not obeying their husbands. Katherina tells them, “And dart not scornful glances from those eyes, To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor: It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads, Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds, and in no sense is meet or amiable.”(V,ii) Katherina is telling the women they are ungrateful for the care of their lords, and she tells them they do not deserve the care of their king. She has learned that if she listens to her master, she will get what is best for her; and because Kate Continue...


The men keep the women safe and obedience is not a large enough payment for such great care. "Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance commits his body To painful labour both by sea and land, To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe; And craves no other tribute at thy hands. She explains that the man is the head of the household. Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth, unapt to toil and trouble in the world, but that our soft conditions and our hearts. Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, and place your hands below your husband's foot: In token of which duty, if he please, my hand is ready; may it do him ease. did not, Petruchio taught her that lesson the hard way. She explains that they are weak and smooth because they need the protection of the men it their life. Second, Katherina chastises the women race in general. They now have a mutual understanding of what a marriage should be. Lastly Katherina chastises Bianca and the widow again, this time for having their priorities out of order. She says she is ashamed of women for no serving their lords. Women should seek rule, supremacy, and sway and serve, love, and obey their masters. Also, in this section she makes it clear that from now on she will obey her husband and do what he says. Such duty as the subject owes the prince. (V, ii) In this portion of her speech, she analyzes why women are built the way they are.