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William Shakespeare, One Of The Greatest Poets Of All Time

William Shakespeare was one of the greatest poets of all time. What made him that poet? Why hasnt he been forgotten? One answer was the fact that he wrote about ideas and concerns that remain close at heart with people of all cultures and backgrounds. His plays were not confined to local politics, and the ever changing religious practices of people at the time. Shakespeare sought a stronger base for his writings, a base that would not crumble with the tides of change. His plays displayed the elementary ideas of love, marriage, family, values, class distinctions, and relationships between men and women.

While his plays may have been affected by the political and religious arenas around him, one can clearly see that Shakespeare chose subjects that would touch the heart, while not bruising a persons pride. The Taming of the Shrew had four main subjects: 1) marriage, 2) money, 3) class distinctions, and 4) love. While marriage and courtship were the main focal points of this play, the other three subjects were made very obvious. Shakespeare chose these elements for his play not solely because they were basic, he chose them because they grasped peoples lives in his day.

While these subjects reached the heart, the thought of change was brought forth from these subjects. The change was not only in actions, but feelings as well. For example, Petruchio made it plain that he did not want to wed Katherine for his love of her, but instead he wanted to wed her for her money, “Signoir Hortensio, twixt such friends as we Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know One rich enough to be Petruchios wife, As wealth is burden of my wooing dance, Be she as foul as was Florentius love, As old as sibyl, and as curst and shrewd As Socrates Xanthippe, or a worse, She moves me not, or not removes, at least, Affections edge in me, were she as rough As the swelling adriatic seas.

I come to wed it wealthily in Padua; If wealthily, then happily in Padua. ” (Taming of the Schrew Act 1 scene 2 lines 66-77) In this line Shakespeare pointed out that as long as another person had enough money in their possession, it did not matter how they acted, looked, or how old they were, the most important bond in the marriage was not love, but instead it was money. The key figure deciding who the bride would marry was not the bride.

A womans father chose a husband for them from their class. There was a distinct class division in this marriage decision. “O monstrous beast! How like a swine he lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man. What think you, if he were conveyed to bed, Wrapped in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, A most delicious banquet by his bed, And brave attendants hear him when he wakes, Would not the beggar then forget himself? ” (Induction I line 37-44) The induction of this play introduced us to a character named Christopher Sly.

Sly was a beggar who was a slob, worse off, a slob of a lower class. A wealthy Lord came along and wanted to have some fun. Therefore, when Sly was unconscious because of over drinking, the Lord took Christopher into his own home, put the finest clothes on him, and acted as if Sly were the Lord when he awoke. Why would he deceive him like this? “Persuade him that he hath been lunatic; And when he says hes Sly, say that he dreams, for he is nothing but a mighty lord. This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs, It will be pastime passing excellent, If it be husbanded with modesty.

The Lords conviction, plainly and simply, was to change a man into what he was not. What was the result of this? Sly ended up stating, “Am I a lord? And have I such a lady? Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now? I do not sleep; I see, I hear, I speak; I smell sweet savors and I feel soft things: upon my life, I am a lord indeed And not a tinker nor Christopher Sly. ” (Induction II lines 74-79) Upon seeing the changes in Sly, one can conclude that he either began to think he was a different person, or just went along with the situation.

In either case, this proves the induction fits perfectly in place with the main play. While characters and events may be different, one of the themes remains the same, that theme is what one should look for in this play. Therefore the next logical question remains, what exactly is the theme? To view similar themes between play and induction one should look for similarities between them. One such similarity is between Kate and Sly. No one respects Kate because of the way she conducts herself; Sly is not respected by anyone because of the way he too conducts himself.

Kate is brought into a marriage that she does not agree with at first; Sly is brought into a house, made lord, and served upon, he does not agree with this at first also. The words and actions of others change Kates state of mind as well as her actions; Slys actions, and state of mind are changed by the actions and words of others. Once one can see that Kate in the play is Christopher Sly in the Induction, it becomes evident that the main thesis of the play is people can be changed by the actions of others around them.

Another resemblance between characters in the induction and main play is Petruchio and the Lord. In the Induction the Lord lowers himself, and becomes a servant, in order to convince Sly that he is a lord. Meanwhile, in the play Petruchio lowers himself by showing Kate that he is more shrewish than her, in order to convince her that she is not the Shrew, but instead a perfect gentlewoman. Thus, another similarity in the induction. Shakespeare shows here how he rose above his culture. When one lifts up others, that is when that one becomes exalted.

Some may have argued that this play was sexist, misogynistic, and patriarchal, Only one of the three descriptions was true. For the time, this play was not sexist. There was no hint as to men hating women, after all, it was a play about marriage. The patriarchy of this play remained unquestioned. Men were obviously the ones that had authority over women. Yet in that case, Queen Elizabeth remained in power over Great Britain. While writing the play Shakespeare was influenced by the world surrounding him. These influences included the worlds views of women, men, and various other aspects that existed in that time.

Though Shakespeare was writing a play that showed a different side of women, he didnt write about women needing to be saved, if he did think that then he would have written a play specifically on these issues. Womens rights activists shouldnt fret about this play, mainly because Shakespeare not only referred to Kate as a Shrew, but he also referred to Petruchio as being a shrew, while linking Kate (a shrew) to another MAN in the induction that went by the name of Christopher Sly. Due to this information, Shakespeare was referring to an attitude, not a sex.

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