Comparing “Taming of the Shrew” to “Falling in Love”
I am going to be comparing both the characters Katherine and Petruchio from “Taming of the Shrew”, and Molly Gilmore and Frank Raftis from “Falling in Love”. The situation of the people I’m analyzing has to do with Petruchio, who is trying to pursue Katherine and does so very aggressively. Katherine doesn’t show that much interest in the whole thing, but she still plays along with it. On the other hand, there’s Frank Raftis who is trying to get Molly Gilmore after practically falling in love with her at a train despite them being both married. Molly at first drifts away from his affection, but then she eventually gives into it.
Just like Petrucio, Frank Raftis is very ambitious and when he sees something he wants, he sets out to get it, even though there are circumstances that hold him from it. And Molly Gilmore, just like Katherine, is very willing to be wooed, but can play hard to get, and is even reluctant at times. Overall, the combination of these two strategies creates, in almost any romantic situation, a “cat & mouse” relationship between lovers.
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation:
Hearing thy mildness praised in every town, thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded (Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs), myself am moved to woo thee for my wife”(Act 2. Sc 1, 198-202).
In this quote, Petruchio expresses his desire to attain Katherine as a wife, despite her great renown and beauty. Usually a woman of such caliber would be intimidating to many men, but to Petruchio it doesn’t matter, since he’s motivated, he stretches his boundaries to get Katherine. When dealing with women who are beyond a man’s boundaries, they won’t always be an easy catch.
This is especially true with Molly Gilmore, who Frank Raftis is trying to get.
In this scene, Frank starts conversing with Molly to get to know her. Before he even starts the conversation, he tries to sit with her at the back of the train, but she immediately puts down his offer. In the conversation, they find out that they’re both settled individuals. Molly considers these things and tries not to be too intimate with Frank. This makes getting Molly’s love a challenge for Frank. But despite all the circumstances, just like Petruchio with Katherine, Frank still pursues her romantically, insisting on when she is free to hang out with.
“Katherine: Go, fool, and whom thou keep’st command.
Petruchio: Did ever Dian so become a grove
as Kate this chamber with her princely gait?
O, be thou Dian and let her be Kate,
And then let Kate be chaste and Dian sportful.
Katherine: Where did you study all this goodly speech?
Petruchio: It is extempore, from my mother’s wit.
Katherine: A witty mother, witless else her son.
Petruchio: Am I not wise?
Katherine: Yes, keep you warm.”
(Act 2. Sc 1, 272-281)
In this quote, Petruchio is making an extreme effort to woo Katherine. Katherine shuts down his preceding attempt to woo her by calling him a fool. However, this obviously doesn’t discourage Petruchio. This is because he wants her, and resorts to using poetic language, inspired from his mother, to express his “affection” for Katherine. Katherine finally lets go of her reluctant behavior and opens her heart to Petruchio and acknowledges his efforts and even compliments him on it. This shows how the right play and attitude can get a woman who plays hard to get, just like a mouse that is caught after having keen tactics used on them from a cat.
In this case, the mouse is Molly Gilmore and the cat is Frank Raftis.
Tamed! The rejoinder “Merry Christmas” and a bright smile is given from Molly after much struggle in wooing her. Before this happens, Frank is rejected and denied by her a few times when he tries to talk to her. His desire to talk to her is strong after they bump into the Christmas store, so when he sees her on the train he immediately wants to talk to her. When they get off the train, he keeps with her walking pace, although she looks pretty estranged by him. And even when he starts talking to her, trying to remind her that he is the stranger she bumped into at the Christmas store, she acts as if she didn’t know what he was talking about with the words “what?” and “sorry?” (She went into her mouse hole during this time). He disregards this and relentlessly continues to talk to her. She realizes his interest in her, stops playing hard to get and opens up to him: acting as if she just now remembers who he is. At the end of the chat, he greets her warmly, and she allows herself to be wooed, greeting him warmly back. (She essentially now comes out of the mouse hole and Frank, the cat tames her!).
Here, in all of this strife that Petruchio and Frank go through wooing Katherine and Molly, they had to push or else they wouldn’t have gotten their women. Society gives them a good reason to do so too, because the trend in common courtships is that the male has to be the pursuer, or the cat and the women has to be the pursued, or the mouse. And if the women isn’t pursued well enough from the male, that means he isn’t very interested in her. This is why at first Katherine and Molly were playing hard to get, because they believed that their suitor had to show their interest in them first, by chasing after them, before they could return the favor. They also did this because if they were to initialize, they would feel desperate. This is because society views women who go after men, without knowing their true feelings for them as desperate. Luckily, at the end of the day, Molly avoided feeling like this and Frank successfully wooed in the girl.
"Falling in Love Part 2/10." YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2010. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEhJklxnuI0>.
"Falling in Love - Scene - Dialogue on Train." YouTube. YouTube, 8 Aug. 2007. Web. 21 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oWy0-WlqS0>.