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The Taming of the Shrew Gender Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton edition.

Quote #1

LUCENTIO, aside to Tranio
But in the other's silence do I see
Maid's mild behavior and sobriety.
Peace, Tranio. (1.1.71-73)

When Tranio sees Bianca for the very first time, he gives voice to the reason why men find Bianca so attractive and suitable for marriage – silence and obedience to her father make her an ideal woman and an attractive candidate for wifehood. Too bad for Lucentio that Bianca turns out to be none of these things.

Quote #2

By this reck'ning, he is more shrew than she. (4.1.79).

The term "shrew" is often reserved for railing women. Here, Curtis learns of Petruchio's behavior and calls him a bigger "shrew" than Kate. We know that this is Petruchio's plan. But, Curtis's choice of words raises the question of whether or not Petruchio's masculinity is compromised in any way when he rails like a woman, so to speak.

Quote #3

"Katharine the curst,"
A title for a maid of all titles the worst. (1.2.130-131)

Grumio's insistence that being labeled a shrew is the "worst" fate a woman can suffer is odd – we're used to hearing that being labeled a "whore" is the worst reputation for a woman in Elizabethan comedy.

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