„The Taming of the Shrew” — patriarchy and power in a relationship, family, culture
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Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychiatrii, Klinika Psychiatrii i Psychoterapii Dzieci i Młodzieży, Pracownia Psychologii i Psychoterapii Systemowej
Submission date: 2021-07-11
Final revision date: 2022-01-29
Acceptance date: 2022-03-01
Publication date: 2022-04-30
Corresponding author
Barbara Józefik   

Pracownia Psychologii i Psychoterapii Systemowej Kliniki Psychiatrii i Psychoterapii Dzieci i Młodzieży UJ CM
Psychoter 2022;200(1):63-75
Summary What is Shakespeare’s „The Taming of the Shrew” about? Is it a simple and easy to read comedy? What does it tell modern readers and viewers? The article presents the reflections developed from the perspective of a psychotherapist sensitive to the issues raised by the feminist movement and gender studies. The author shares her interpretation of the play and draws the attention to the definition of a woman’s role in a patriarchal culture, the resulting power dynamics in intimate relations, in family, in society, and to the difficulty in acquiring autonomy. She reflects on the meaning of the language, the meaning of narration in defining an identity, in defining relations, including those abusive ones. She comments on the confinement in stereotypical descriptions of the sexes which seems to be mirrored also in the classification and experiencing of the emotionality of women and men by psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychologist. Finally, she examines possible hypotheses related to the relationship dynamics in the family of the protagonist. All these considerations touch upon the key issues on every level: individual, relational, and social, making the play still truly relevant.
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