Shakespeare’s Taming Of The Shrew, is about a man named Petruchio who is paid to “tame” a “wild” woman named Katherina. In the beginning of the story Katherina is portrayed as independent, and one that’s quick with words. Petruchio is portrayed as proud, and believes that he can “tame” Katherina with the right training, which he does so by starving her. “My Fair Lady” was created in 1964. A wealthy linguist’s friend challenges him, and states that he cannot make a poor woman (Audrey Hepburn) into an aristocrat. Much like Katherina, Eliza (Audrey Hepburn) is very quick with her words, as well as independent not only because she doesn’t have a home but because her father isn’t much of a father. Another parallel is Henry (Rex Harrison) is very similar to Petruchio. Henry’s goal throughout the movie is to try and “tame” Eliza, to make her into someone that society would respect. Though the storylines are similar, Petruchio and Katherina have different intentions than Henry and Eliza. Having to be tamed/worked to be acceptable in society shows that women are still being taken advantage of and are still seen as objects.
“I will be master of what is mine own: She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house, My household stuff, my field, my barn, My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything; And here she stands, touch her whoever dare.” This quote shows the beginning stages of Petruchio “taming” Katherina. Petruchio is showing dominance, by setting rules for Katherina. Petruchio in this scene has already started to take advantage of Katherina by implying that she has lost all her rights. By marrying Petruchio, Katherina has lost her right because she is his “property.”
In “My Fair Lady” Eliza finds herself in a situation similar to Katherina’s. Eliza has decided that she wants to be a part of the wealthy society, so she seeks help from Henry Higgins. Henry agrees to help her naturally since the bet has already been placed, but he doesn’t agree without making sure Eliza understands the rules:. “If you work hard and do as you're told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolates and go for rides in taxis. But if you are naughty and idle, you shall sleep in the back kitchen amongst the black beetles, and be walloped by Mrs. Pearce with a broomstick. At the end of six months you will be taken to Buckingham Palace, in a carriage, beautifully dressed. If the king finds out you are not a lady, you will be taken to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off as a warning to other presumptuous flower girls! But if you are not found out, you shall have a present... of, ah... seven and six to start life with as a lady in a shop. If you refuse this offer, you will be the most ungrateful, wicked girl, and the angels will weep for you.” Like Petruchio, Henry is beginning to “tame” Eliza.
“By George, she's got it! By George she's got it!” In both of these scenes we can see that Eliza has been molded into a beautiful aristocrat; she not only looks wealthy, she acts like it. The photo on right shows Eliza attending a horse race, in the scene on the left Eliza is attending a ball held by the queen. At the end of the scene on the right Henry says: “By George, she's got it! By George she's got it!” By saying “By George, she's got it!” Henry is implying that she has been tamed.
In the end of Taming of the Shrew Bianca speaks out in front of her husband. In the beginning of the book Katherina would have stood by what her sister said, but instead she turned to Bianca and said: “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 But love, fair looks, and true obedience, Too little payment for so great a debt. . . .My mind hath been as big as one of yours, My heart as great, my reason haply more, To bandy word for word and frown for frown; But now I see our lances are but straws, Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare, That seeming to be most which we indeed least are. 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.” Katherina is saying that she’s lucky to have Petruchio, she call him her lord, and that her role of the wife was to be obedient and loving. In this quote we learn that Katherina has been tamed. Petruchio managed to ruthlessly take advantage of Katherina and mold her into the “perfect” wife.
"Quotes." IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 20 Apr. 2015. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058385/quotes>.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "The Taming of the Shrew Education Quotes." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 20 Apr. 2015. <http://www.shmoop.com/taming-of-the-shrew/education-quotes.html>.