The Woman's Prize

The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tamed is a Jacobean comedy written by John Fletcher. It was first published in the first Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647, though it was written several decades earlier (Fletcher died in 1625). There is no doubt that the play is the work of Fletcher alone; his highly distinctive and characteristic pattern of linguistic preferences is continuous through the text.
The play is a counterpart to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, in which (as the subtitle indicates) the gender tables are turned and Petruchio the "tamer" is "tamed" by his second wife Maria, whom he marries after the death of Katherine, the "shrew" in Shakespeare's text. As a "reply" to Shakespeare's play, The Woman's Prize attracted critical attention in later generations and centuries. Maria's principal weapon, a refusal to consummate her marriage, shows the influence of Aristophanes' play Lysistrata.
Petruchio's stormy marriage to Katherine ended with her death. Petruchio is now married to Maria, who is even more resistant to domination than Katherine initially had been. Petruchio's tactics and manipulations are no longer effective, and Maria has some resourceful tricks of her own. Maria refuses to consummate their marriage till Petruchio changes his ways; she bands together with other women in abstension from sex with their husbands. The women barricade themselves with provisions in the upper floor of Maria's house, to the displeased surprise of their husbands below.
In Act Three Maria settles in to pursue a career of scholarship and horsemanship at Petruchio's country estate, but the peace is again broken when Maria once more refuses to perform her conjugal duties and imposes further demands on her husband. Petruchio resolves to play ill in an attempt to awaken his wife's pity. His ruse fails totally when Maria catches on: in an extremely effective and humorous scene has Petruchio walled up in his house on the pretext that he has caught the plague.