The Taming of the Shrew

This is a controlled conditions piece designed to give you practise at writing and thinking under exam conditions. You will be given a grade, so concentrate.

Read Katherina's speech very carefully at least twice (p 154-156 lines 135-178) and carefully answer the following questions:

  1. Who is the speech aimed at?
  2. How does she describe husbands?
  3. How does she describe men's role in life?
  4. How does she describe the female's role?
  5. How does Katherina think that a woman should act towards her husband?
  6. What does she describe in detail as women's weaknesses?
  7. What does she say she will gladly do at the end of the speech?
  8. Go back through the speech and note down the lines where it moves on to another subject or changes tone or approach. Think about who each section is aimed at and try to jot down a subject heading for each different section.
  9. Why does Katherina give this speech? Put down as many reasons as possible explaining why you believe / disbelieve each reason.
  10. Katherina says 'Thy husband is thy lord'. What do you think about this? Write as much as you can, explaining in detail both what you think about this statement (and the speech as a whole) and whether you think this play is sexist or not.

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