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Differences Between Carol Ann Duffy's and Shakespeare's Way of Portraying Relationship Between Men and Women

  • Date Submitted: 05/26/2012 09:13 AM
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Compare the ways in which any two texts in this topic area examine relationship between men and women.

Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare and Carol Ann Duffy’s poems examine relationships between men and women. According to their themes, both texts would talk about women being seen as objects of desire by men, women being dominated by men and women being on the losing end in a marriage. However, they differ in ways which some themes like women being dominant in a relationship and women objectifying men are mentioned in poems like Queen Kong and Dear Norman by Carol Ann Duffy but not mentioned in Taming of the Shrew.

Both taming of the shrew (TOTS) and poems such as Standing Female Nude and Shooting Stars by Carol Ann Duffy shows the sexual objectifying of women by men. In TOTS, at their first encounter, Petruchio keeps twisting Katherine’s words into sexual innuendos ‘women are made to bear, and so are you’ as well as ‘with my tongue in your tail?’ . Petruchio’s pun on the word ‘bear’ can either mean as women bearing children or women bearing the weight of a man in sexual intercourse. Also ‘my tongue in your tail’ suggests an act of oral sex. These show how men sexually objectify women as Katherine is suggested of such sexual advances even at their first encounter.

Similarly, in Standing Female Nude, the painter ‘stiffens for my (her) warmth’ and ‘he dips the brush repeatedly into the paint’. ‘Stiffens’ suggests the arousal of sexual desire in the painter and the act of dipping ‘the brush repeatedly’ suggests the act of relieving his sexual desires. Also, in Shooting Stars, the phrases ‘One saw I was alive.Loosened/his belt”. This means that the only thing that comes on in the soldier’s mind after seeing her alive is to rape her and that she is merely an object for him to quench his sexual desires .This shows the sexual objectification of women by men as the painter could not help but ‘stiffen’ for the nude model infront of him and the soldier could not...


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