Taming of the Shrew

In Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, one topic that has been debated, interpreted, discussed, reinterpreted and adapted has been the character of Katharine, the shrew, and whether she was tamed, liberated, or just a good enough actress to make everyone think she was in fact, tamed. There are many arguments for and against each of these points, as well as an argument that discusses one television adaptation of Taming of the Shrew that presents Katherine not as the expected shrew, but as Petruccio's tamer. In addition to the television show, two different movies also discuss the present different adaptations of Katherine. The first movie is the Franco Zaffirelli adaptation staring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. This movie presents an adaptation in which Petruccio tames Katherine, but leaves it open for the viewers to interpret whether or not Katherine is just acting. The other example I am using is a movie called 10 Things I Hate About You. This movie is a 1999 adaptation of the Taming of the Shrew. Although the directors have changed almost every part of the Shakespearean play, the underlying story is mostly the same. Kat and Patrick are thrown together, and it becomes Patrick's job to tame Kat. In this adaptation, both Kat and Patrick learn and change from each other. Though there are many adaptations and interpretations of Katherine and the way she turns out, she is not tamed, and she does not tame, instead she is liberated, and learns to live and love.
There is much evidence, which supports the argument that Petruccio tamed Katherine. For instance, in the opening of the play, Katherine is very vocal and aggressive. Men, women and children trembled whenever she came around, including her father and sister. An example of this is when Katherine is talking with her father about his love for her sister. "What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see/ She is your treasure, she must have a husband. / I must dance barefoot on her wedding day, / and for your love to her lead apes in hell. / Talk not to me. I will go sit and weep/ Till I can find an occasion of revenge" (Act 2 Scene 1, Lines 31-36). From the moment that Katherine and Petruccio meet, Petruccio vows to tame the shrew. He begins the taming process immediately.
After Kate and Petruccio are married, Kate attempts to assert control in her life. "Nay, than, do what thou canst, I will not go today, / No, Nor tomorrow- not till I please myself" (3.3 lines 79-80). Kate is struggling to remain in control of the situations in her life. Unfortunately for her, Petruccio will not allow it.
"? But for my bonny Kate, she must with me.
?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" (4.1 Lines 98-104).
Petruccio issues a challenge to anyone who assists Kate in her defiance. He makes it know; too not just Kate rather to all that will listen; that she is his property and will do what he says. By the end of the play, however, she is presented as being mild and submissive to Petruccio, leading up to her greatest speech in the dialogue of the play.
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 labor 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. (5.2. 150-58)

In looking at this outtake of Katherine's speech, it can be seen that she has been tamed by Petruccio's actions throughout the first four acts. It is difficult to take Katherine's message here and say, "She is still the same person." Her monologue reveals that she now sees it is her duty to respect her husband and to be submissive to him. Her speech leads the audience to see that this duty of the wife is one that is a repayment