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TOPIC: Wiving Wealthily ....

Wiving Wealthily .... 6 years 1 month ago #2194

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Petruccio:
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.

Money? Or something else as well: From the root weal. Linked to the word commonweal - an implication of much wider usage than just goods and money (and that is still used in its wider sense, eg the Catholic Publication and the Commonweal Institute).

Wealth is a word that is used much in some of the Homilies preached every Sunday from the pulpit in Elizabethan England - on the one on good Order and obedience, for example, it is a word used 10 times - never once meaning money. In the homily against drunkeness it appears four times, including this -
so they haue worldly wealth and riches aboundant to satisfie their vnmeasurable lustes, they care not what they doe. They are not ashamed to shew their drunken faces, and to play the madde man openly.


where the 'worldly' is necessary to distinguish other types of wealth.

Does Petruccio, when he says he comes to 'wive it wealthily' mean this worldly wealth - or is he saying something else?

There was a saying in Elizabethan England about it not being possible to gain both a wife and wealth in the same year - is Petruccio out to prove it wrong?

There are other attempts at wealthy marriages and other talks of money in the play - don't forget, Kate's father is as anxious to find a rich suitor for Kate as Petruccio is for himself (which puts pay to the idea Petruccio doesn't have money); and he selects a partner for his other daughter on the same criteria; the widow at the end of the play is 'rich'.

Aren't we being faced with a dilemma - isn't Shakespeare asking the question - wherein lies true wealth?

Katherina and Petruccio make a 'rich' match - but they are also wealthily married - I'm not too sure about the other two couples.

BBA :roll:
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Wiving Wealthily .... 6 years 1 month ago #2197

No. We talked about this in English. Petruchio is rich, but he wants to marry a woman with more money so he can get her dowry.
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Wiving Wealthily .... 6 years 1 month ago #2198

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Goodness, I am impressed you discussed the Elizabethan Homilies and the use of the word 'wealth' in Elizabethan times and in the religious context of marriage in your English Class!

I will say I wrote:
Money? Or something else as well:

So I don't deny the money aspect - although interestingly the Burton film suggests Petruccio is poor - for which there is contradictory evidence in the text. But I did say 'as well' indicating that the simplicity of taking the money idea at face value is not justified.

I think I made the point in one of the other threads that equality of money is considered necessary - he gives as much as he takes to the marriage. The dowry is necessary - but not sufficient in itself.

In my classroom, people tend to end up, after discussion, thinking my way! Doesn't mean I'm right - just that the evidence is skewed the way I want it.

8)
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Wiving Wealthily .... 4 years 3 months ago #4973

I just played Petruchio, and I confess I had to fight my way past more than a couple of preconceptions about him. This was one.

The quote in my post title, "It is a lusty wench! I love her ten times more than ere I did!" comes from Petruchio after Hortensio comes in complaining that Kate broke his lute over his head.

To me, it was something akin to going on The Bachelorette. Sure, when you first sign up on their web site and get your buddies to help you make an entrant video, you're thinking about fame, fortune, etc. But then, you see the intro video of the woman in question-- your heart stops-- and you think, "Oh, man, I am SO winning this! What a gal!"

Do you stop caring about fame and fortune at that point? No, you're the same person you were before. But now your infatuation with this fabulous woman has overtaken your desire for "worldly wealth".

That's my take on it. I don't think he gives the money a second thought after he meets and falls for Kate.

Akfarrar, thank you for the research, I might take it to my dramaturg (who insisted in even Q&A with the audience after my performance that I was wrong, that P does only want the money) for a belated, "I told you so!" :lol:
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Re: Wiving Wealthily .... 4 years 2 months ago #4999

Just a quick observation: there seems to be a quality of the put-on artist built into Shakespeare's conception of Petruchio that makes it very hard to be sure about his motives. Maybe he purposely misleads us a little. Is he simply a golddigger, or a man sincerely motivated by affection, or as (Mr.? Ms.?) Swanson implies, does he perhaps move from the former to the latter? He seems determined to keep us guessing. And maybe it's all to the good: the ambiguity of P's search for the perfect wife-- whatever that means, whether rich, beautiful, spirited and/or determined to break the mold-- is exactly the kind of question that leaves the character (and play) wide open to interpretation, and keeps interest in it alive. I imagine Petruchio looking on amused from Shakespeare-character heaven as we try to tease out his true character-- much as, in a more serious context, we try to do with Iago. (Who, of course, would have to do it from Shakespeare-character Hell.)
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