Taming of the Shrew and Shrek 2
- Shrek 2 is the sequel to Shrek and it takes place in the kingdom of Far Far Away. There Fiona and Shrek meet Fiona’s parents and they do not approve of Shrek, their disapproval most visibly manifested in her father’s attitude towards Shrek. Her father, coerced by the Fairy God Mother, wishes for Fiona to marry the handsome Prince Charming, who, by all means, tries to gain Fiona’s love. In the Taming of the Shrew which is set in Padua, Italy. The main character, Katherine is the daughter of the affluent Baptista, who wishes for her to marry a bachelor by the name of Petruchio. The submissive female has seemed to remain resilient in cinema despite all of significant progress made throughout the years. While these two texts differ in many ways, they both portray their female leads as submissive figures.
“If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?”
(Act 3, Scene 2, line 10-11)
The bachelor Petruchio was speaking to Baptista about his daugher, Katherine’s, hand in marriage. While Baptista wanted Petruchio to marry Katherine, Baptista felt that Petruchio was coming across very strong in a short amount of time, hints the context of the quote. This quote objectifies Katherine because it does not acknowledge her whatsoever, this objectification is synonymous with submission in this case, as Katherine as an object is in a perpetual state of submission.
In this scene in Shrek 2, Shrek is arguing with Fiona’s father, after he comments on the living conditions Fiona is “subject to” living in a swamp. While doing this, Shrek and Fiona’s father are tearing their dinner to shreds (Not figuratively, but literally).
The situations are similar as both husbands (or future husbands) are the within the middle of a conflict with their wives’ fathers. However, Shrek is actually on the good side of Fiona, whereas Petruchio is not by any means on Katherine’s good side. In this scene specifically Shrek initially attempted to gain her father’s approval, as did Petruchio, but both ended up in some sort of conflict.
“My husband and my lord, my lord and husband; I am your wife in all obedience.” - Katherine to dinner guests.
In the quote above, Katherine at a dinner party and has since married Petruchio and become ‘tamed’, now, Katherine is extremely submissive and telling the guests about her new found submission.
In the scene below, Shrek and Fiona are treading towards Fiona’s parents.
Shrek does not, by any means trying to meet Fiona’s, however, she becomes obedient and attempts to comfort him. As stated before, obedience is synonymous with submission.
The portrayals in both Shrek 2 and Shrew speak volumes to society’s views of women both past (in Shrew) and present. While we have many subversive depictions of female’s in cinema and pop culture, submissive depictions still exist, and this is due to the idea of patriarchy present in both Shrek and Shrew.