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Kate and Petruchio are very unique among Shakespearean couples; though Petruchio is hardly a hero by the Shakespearean norm of gallantry, he is the man who “tames the shrew.” However unorthodox a hero, Petruchio is the perfect match for Kate in his gruffness, his unkempt demeanor, and his social shortcomings. The two have only their resilient personalities in common; Kate is more polished and presentable than her wily husband, but the two both have a natural contempt for life that can only be quelled by their marriage. Their relationship is one of servant and master, the power balance shifting constantly. Though Kate detested the pandering of her past suitors, her attraction for Petruchio budded because he was precisely the opposite of what society (and her father) wanted for her. To keep her interest piqued, Petruchio naturally appealed to Kate and had to maintain a certain air about himself. Following their marriage, Kate became subservient, accepting Petruchio’s odd tendencies and orders to pacify him (he never would have expected a docile Kate, and receiving one shifted manipulation back into Kate’s hands). Though their personalities are strong, society’s favor puts the advantage in to Petruchio’s hands as in addition to a wife he also gained financial means. Kate is merely a means to an end for Petruchio, whereas Petruchio is the only means for Kate to attain what society expects of her.


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