Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 11, 2023
October 4, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
The boastful, selfish, mercurial Petruchio is one of the
most difficult characters in The Taming of the Shrew:
his behavior is extremely difficult to decipher, and our interpretation
of the play as a whole changes dramatically depending on how we
interpret Petruchio’s actions. If he is nothing more than a vain,
uncaring, greedy chauvinist who treats marriage as an act of domination,
then the play becomes a dark comedy about the materialism and hunger
for power that dictate marriages under the guise of courtly
love. If, on the other hand, Petruchio is actually capable of loving
Kate and conceives of taming her merely as a means to realize a
happy marriage, then the play becomes an examination of the psychology
A case can be made for either interpretation, but the
truth about Petruchio probably lies somewhere in between: he is
unabashedly selfish, materialistic, and determined to be his wife’s
lord and master, but he also loves her and realizes on some level
that domestic harmony (on his terms, of course) would be better
for her than her current life as a shrew in Padua. To this
extent, Petruchio goes to alarming lengths to impose his mastery
on Kate, keeping her tired and hungry for some time after their
marriage, but he also insists on framing this treatment in a language
of love, indicating his eagerness for Kate to adapt to her rightful,
socially appointed place and his willingness to make their marriage
a happy one. Above all, Petruchio is a comic figure, an exaggerated
persona who continually makes the audience laugh. And though we
laugh with Petruchio as he “tames” Kate, we also laugh at him, as
we see him satirize the very gender inequalities that the plot of The
Taming of the Shrew ultimately upholds.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Taming of the Shrew!