A relentlessly witty battle of the sexes, William Shakespeare's comedy The Taming of the Shrew is edited by G.R. Hibbard, with an introduction by Margaret Jane Kidnie in Penguin Shakespeare. The beautiful but sharp-tongued 'shrew' Katherina has sworn never to accept the demands of any would-be husband. Her younger sister Bianca, meanwhile, is ...
A relentlessly witty battle of the sexes, William Shakespeare's comedy The Taming of the Shrew is edited by G.R. Hibbard, with an introduction by Margaret Jane Kidnie in Penguin Shakespeare. The beautiful but sharp-tongued 'shrew' Katherina has sworn never to accept the demands of any would-be husband. Her younger sister Bianca, meanwhile, is forbidden to be married until Katherina finds a suitable match - much to the dismay of Bianca's suitors, Hortensio and Gremio. But when Katherina is pursued by the wily Petruchio, it seems that she has finally met her match. And as he meets her own caustic words with a feigned, capricious cruelty, Katherina quickly comes to understand the absurdity of her shrewish behaviour, in one of the greatest of all comic conquests. Famously adapted into Cole Porter's musical Kiss Me, Kate and filmed as 10 Things I Hate About You with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, The Taming of the Shrew is an unforgettable battle of wits. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to The Taming of the Shrew, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. If you enjoyed The Taming of the Shrew, you might like Love's Labour's Lost, also available in Penguin Shakespeare. "I pity the man who cannot enjoy Shakespeare." (George Bernard Shaw).
I don't think that, these days, we should be exposed to play in which women are portrayed as irrational lunatics. It is offensive to those of us who know that they are nothing of the sort. Shakespeare, clearly, did not understand women. Of course, it is always possible that he based this play on his own experience, for which there is no accounting.
May 22, 2007
Shakespeare's comedies get me every time. This was the first of them that I read, and I have to say it is one of my favorites. The subtle humor found within the pages makes it such a lively read. I have to say that I bought the one with the original version on one page and the modern English translation on the opposite page and it was easier to understand the complexities of the writing that way. This play is one of those things I read in high school English classes that I actually enjoyed.
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