I’m not a fan of The Taming of the Shrew, despite being a massive Shakespeare buff. This was a second year assignment, so it’s a little old. I had a lot of fun with it! I decided to write an internal monologue for Katherina, intended to be read alongside the original speech that she gave in Act 5, Scene 2 of the play. Based on the reading of Katherina not being truly sincere in her final words of wisdom about being an obedient wife, I aimed to not only write about what could possibly have been her true feelings, but also attempted to mirror, parody and offer alternate readings of the original text in order to relate back to it and help present it as a partner to the original, rather than just a rewriting of it.
It may be that I am imprisoned now
And shall never break the truth to another.
Lord, king, governor, you need not fear a wound
For I reserve the blow for my gaoler.
He moves me to more painful labours
But I shall lie and take them without a sound.
No! I’ll not stir when his hands break my peace
And take his desires till I start to hurt.
He is free within the confinement of our bedroom
And I am free between the four walls of my skull.
He cares not for me, for gold in his eyes
Is the most wanted prize; his heart will not race
At the sight of me. Thy husband is thy death,
Thy damnation, thy only enemy;
If I offered war I would be struck.
A body soft and weak and smooth
Is a defence of a worthy, strengthened mind.
No power in my arms but plenty in my thoughts
I need not strike with my hand to break his spirit.
Place down your lances, they are useless here
A smirk, a glance, a word will do damage enough.
Be not a lowly knight, but a divine queen
Who takes life with a smile, not a sword.
Keep thy mouths closed, my prison-mates,
Thy words waste not on strong, empty heads.