The Taming of the Shrew
How we cite our quotes:
Be patient, gentlemen; I choose her for myself:
If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?
'Tis bargain'd 'twixt us twain, being alone,
That she shall still be curst in company.
I tell you, 'tis incredible to believe
How much she loves me: O, the kindest Kate! (2.1.39)
Petruchio obviously lies when he says Kate has agreed to marry him. His alliterative insistence that it was bargained "twixt [them] twain" underscores the fact that the marriage was bargained between Petruchio and Baptista, not between Kate and Petruchio.
I promised we would be contributors
And bear his charging of wooing, whatsoe'er.
And so we will, provided that he win her. (1.2.13)
We know that marriages are treated like business transactions between father and son-in-law. In the play, matrimony is also a thing to be negotiated among competing suitors rather than between a man and woman exclusively.
He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,
Make feasts, invite friends, and proclaim the banns;
Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd.
Now must the world point at poor Katharina,
And say, 'Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,
If it would please him come and marry he'r Katherine and she feels as though her reputation depends on the way her husband treats her in public. (2.1.1)
We've seen how a wife's reputation can influence and determine her husband's reputation and credit, but here, it's clear that Katherine fears marriage is yet another institute that will cause her public embarrassment and pain.