Figure 69: Essay Excerpt on Petruchio, “Homily on the State of Matrimony,” William Shakespeare

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Wordy Phrasing.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “W” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

In the following sample excerpt, the student uses elevated wording to convey meaning within the literary text.

Let’s read the excerpt.

Sample Excerpt

The theme of “concord” runs rampant through A Homily of the State of Matrimony and The Taming of the Shrew.  As the homily suggests, matrimony is declared and instituted by God.  God expects man and woman to live in a “perpetual friendship” avoiding all levels of lust and fornication, rejecting the notion to go against the will of God.  But within this theme of concord various levels are inherent.  A Homily presents these levels by first examining the prerequisites of marriage.  For example, if concord is preserved within marriage, then husband and wife can obtain mercy from God.  And because God ordains marriage, He sets the criteria.  In this respect, marriage is a gift from Him.  The role of man and woman within the context of concord sets up the next level.  Women are considered weak creatures, incapable of strength and constant behavior.  So, it follows that concord can be initiated and reached only through the man.  The homily requires that the man nourish concord.  The third and final level of concord centers on the devil’s opposition and the need of prayer.  The devil is discord.  This analysis will center the play around the homily by examining levels of concord within Petruchio’s speech to Kate coupled with the homily’s definition and assertion of concord.

Figure 69: Essay Excerpt on Petruchio, “Homily on the State of Matrimony,” William Shakespeare


1) How can a theme “run rampant”? Is it your purpose to personify this theme?

2) How does the Homily define “concord”? Where is the in-text evidence of the Homily’s suggestion?

3) Does the Homily suggest that man and woman both live in perpetual friendship and avoid all levels of lust and fornication?

4) Does the Homily present a clear picture of the “will of God”? Or does the analysis represent a contemporary assessment of a 17th century context?

5) What are the actual levels that the Homily presents?

 Revision Considerations

Revise those sentences where you apply personification.

Group Activity

Read the “Homily on the State of Matrimony.” You may access the document online here.

Based upon your understanding of Shakespeare’s work, rewrite the student’s analysis.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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