To be, or not to be…tamed!
“Thou must be married to no man but me,
For I am he am born to tame you, Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate, to a Kate
Comfortable as other household Kates” (2.1 Line: 267-270).
Will Petruccio tame the wild cat from Kate? Will he be able domesticate this wild feline? It seems that Petruccio and Katherine is a match made in heaven. Both of them are very witty and seem up for the challenge.
Kate’s a hot-mess. She is witty, sarcastic, outspoken and at times physically abusive towards men that have come to call upon her. Her father, Baptista Minola, is a desperate man. He knows that no man will take her hand in marriage; no man until Petruccio comes along. He definitely seems like the right guy for the job. He is as shrewd as Katherine and appears to be as overly confident and cocky as the unruly and disobedient Kate.
Petruccio before meeting Katherine for the first time saw her as a spoiled, rich brat. After meeting Katherine he realized underneath her ruthless remarks she was an intelligent and highly spirited woman. After their wedding he announced she was his “anything”. I was taken aback by that because up until that point I wasn’t sure if Petruccio was genuine. I wasn’t sure if he had feelings for Katherine or if he was only after the dowry he was promised by her father. Petruccio made it clear when visiting is friend Hortensio that his father Antonia had died, “And I have thrust myself into this maze/Happily to wive and thrive as best I may. Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home, And so am come abroad to see the world” (Act 1.2 Lines: 52-55). It is obvious he is an adventurous man but then he goes on to say, “I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; If wealthily, then happily in Padua” (Act 1.2 Lines: 72-73). I understood this remark to mean that wealth means true happiness for Petruccio and as I said before I was taken aback by Petruccio calling Kate his “anything”. For me this meant that her love was more valuable than any wealthy possession obtained.
Katherine reminds me of a horse that needs to be broken. To gain horses loyalty one has to gain its respect and trust through firm and sometimes aggressive commands. I see this in Petruccio actions when he out matches Kate in the verbal dual when they first meet, when he shows up late for the wedding, rudely dressed and insults her by whisking her away before the reception. What I find most amusing is she allows all of this happen with very little resistance. Does she find his barbaric notions attractive? Is she capable of trusting herself to love another? Can she be a loyal and willing participant in this absurd relationship? Or does she think it’s a game and she plays along with him? Will she be, or not be…tamed, that is the question!