The Taming of the Shrew
Society and Class Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh,
Till I be brought to such a silly pass! (5.2.6)
We left this character's name attached to her lines for a reason – First, "Widow's" name is nothing more than her marital status. In other words, she's a stereotypical figure. Second, she's still referred to as "Widow" even after she remarries. Given that a widow had much more freedom (not to mention a genuine legal status as a human being) than married women and unwed daughters, widows were viewed as being dangerously unattached to men who could keep them in line and take care of them. Blegh. This is probably why Hortensio feels the need to attend Petruchio's little training camp for husbands who want to boss around their wives. "Taming school" doesn't help much though – in this scene, Widow mocks her new husband for thinking that he could bend her to his will. We just hope Hortensio didn't have to pay a high tuition rate.