Feminism & Gender Roles in The Taming of the Shrew


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What is the anti-feminist twist in the conclusion of the play?

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1. Why might we think that The Taming of the Shrew was written as a feminist piece?

2. In the beginning of The Taming of the Shrew, which character best represents the ideal portrayal of a woman's gender role during this time period?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Elizabethans had very specific ideas about how a woman should behave, and Shakespeare wreaks hilarious havoc with these in The Taming of the Shrew. On this worksheet and quiz, you will answer test questions on who the shrew is, what a shrew is, and what objective brings Petruchio to Padua.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Questions on this quiz include:

  • The meaning of 'shrew'
  • What couple is the perfect husband and wife by the end of the play
  • Why Petruchio goes to Padua
  • Which character is described in the title

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge of The Taming of the Shrew to identify the lady who was seen as the ideal woman at the beginning of the play
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read and correctly interpret information about the couple that best exemplifies the proper husband-wife dynamic in the final scene
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the double meaning attached to the word 'shrew'

Additional Learning

Take a look at the lesson titled Feminism & Gender Roles in The Taming of the Shrew for additional study. Upon completion, you should be able to:

  • Explain who played female characters in Shakespeare's day
  • Discuss the arguments for and against The Taming of the Shrew as a feminist play
  • Describe how the play could be considered satire