“The Taming of the Shrew”

Although Shakespeare often shows women with power, it’s typically in a very unflattering and misogynistic light. For example, in the Tragedy of King Lear, Goneril and Regan get their power from deception and ambition. The exact opposite values that men of power are supposed to show. Cordelia, the only honorable woman, ended up without a home and essentially forgotten about by her sisters and her father. 

Likewise, in the movie Ran by Akira Kurosawa, the women control the sons and get them to fight against their father. In one particular scene in the movie, Taro’s wife (Lady Kaede) is able to successfully convince him to take over the entire Ichimonji clan. Lady Kaede is the most prominent female character and while she has wonderful characteristics, like intelligence, her most powerful attributes seem to be the ones that allow her to fully run the kingdom down and create utter chaos. 

In both stories, the most powerful man, Hidetora and Lear, are treated sympathetically despite their actions and madness, while the women, with the exception of Cordelia, have few redeeming qualities. Also, both stories show the downfall of the kingdom when the women are given their first glance at power. In King Lear, it occurred when his daughter obtained their land, and in Ran, it happened when the sons got married and their wives started demanding things. 

Shakespeare often explores power and ambition in women in his works, such as: Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear, however, like “The Taming of the Shrew”, the depiction is often of a small, disagreeably, aggressive, sneaky character like a shrew.

Is it Possible For Meursault to Love?

At the beginning of The Stranger, I would have said that it was not possible for Meursault to find love whether it be within a person or an object. But now, having read the ending of the story, I’m not sure if that is quite the case. Or if it’s as simple as a yes or no answer. With love, comes many social constructs that the world has provided for people to make them feel happier about the life that they were born into. With Meursault, he strays away from ordinary societal expectations and doesn’t give into those ideas. 

When Marie asks him if he loves her and if he wants to marry her, he says if that’s what you want to do then we can, but it doesn’t matter. Meursault understands that there are social constructs built upon the world but he also understands that for himself to be completely content with what life is, he doesn’t have to play into those structures. 

At the end of the story, we find Meursault talking to the priest and becoming quickly enraged with what the priest is saying. He gets so fed up that he insults and grabs the priest and we are finally able to see Meursault act and react. Given this final picture of Meursault, I know that he can feel emotion and can allow himself to be overcome with emotion, so much so that he just reacts without thinking about it. With that, I think Meursault might be able to accept love into his life. 

So, maybe?