The play is believed to have been written between and
In the Shakespeare chronology, Shrew appears to have been written about years before Much Ado About Nothinganother comedy to which it is often compared. Although the plots themselves are dissimilar, each play gives us a bold and saucy pair of protagonists who enter into a battle of wits.
Much of the cleverness and verbal acumen found in Much Ado is already apparent in Shrew, suggesting that, even early in his career, Shakespeare was extraordinarily skilled in character development, able to pit a headstrong hero and heroine against each other with fantastic results.
Shrew shows us a dramatist who is sophisticated in his characterization and his ability to deal with multiple plots, as well as to address socially relevant topics, bringing them to the forefront for our consideration and discussion.
Like all of Shakespeare's other plays, The Taming of the Shrew can be traced to a variety of sources. Unlike most other plays, however, specific texts are difficult to pinpoint. We know that the primary plot, the story of Katherine and Petruchio, finds its roots in folk tales and songs common in Shakespeare's day.
In fact, while growing up, Shakespeare was surrounded by a very public debate over the nature of women, including specific arguments on a woman's duty and role in marriage. Shakespeare drew heavily from this debate.
Just as the main story line has its roots in popular debate, so too does the play's Induction. Although inductions were not uncommon in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dramas, The Taming of the Shrew is the only play in which Shakespeare features this particular framing device.
For The Taming of the Shrew's Induction, Shakespeare features the tale of a beggar who finds himself mysteriously in power in a rich man's world. Like the tales of shrewish wives, tales of beggars miraculously transformed were featured in a London jest-book and were commonly featured in sixteenth-century English ballads of which Shakespeare was quite likely familiar.
The Bianca subplot also has its roots in sources with which Shakespeare would have been familiar. Regardless of where Shakespeare drew the basis for the text, the fact remains that he masterfully presents us with a well-founded, carefully developed drama that can't help but get us talking.
From the Induction, which seems to end mysteriously and abruptly, to Katherine's final speech on wifely duty, we can't help but find layer upon layer of meaning buried in this early, but great, comedy. Shakespeare uses his skill expertly, bringing out themes we still debate today, over years later.
Performance History of The Taming of the Shrew Largely because of the themes addressed in The Taming of the Shrew marriage, duty, identity, family, and so onthe play has experienced great popularity through the years, although tracing the play's exact performance history is difficult.
Little evidence of early productions survives, though we know the play was popular at least into the s. Dramatist John Fletcher created a sequel to Shakespeare's work with his play The Woman's Prize, or The Tamer Tamed wherein Petruchio, now a widower, marries for a second time only to have his wife treat him much the way he initially treated Kate.
Aside from contemporary spin-offs, in the Restoration stage became home to a popular production of Shakespeare's Shrew. Afterthough, The Taming of the Shrew slipped off the boards, and we have no record of a production in its original form again until In the meantime, however, a number of adaptations flourished.
John Lacy's Sauny the Scota crude farce, was popular for about a century. Although Lacy opted not to include the Christopher Sly scenario, Charles Johnson included it in his largely political work, The Cobbler of Preston. It wasn't until David Garrick's abbreviated version of Shrew entitled Catherine and Petruchio that Lacy's Sauny was fully replaced.
Garrick's work eliminated the Induction, as well as the Bianca subplot. This adaptation also maintained its popularity for about a hundred years. Noted Shakespearean actor John Phillip Kemble also produced an abbreviated version of Shrew which competed directly with Garrick's and featured what would become one of Petruchio's trademarks during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Shakespeare's version of The Taming of the Shrew was revived inover years after it had last been produced.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Shakespeare's Shrew was favored over adaptations by audiences all over the globe. Since then, Shrew has been produced countless times for the stage, as well as for film and television. Although the advent of feminism has caused some audiences to question the relevance of Shrew, the play's eternal popularity suggests that this well-written and developed play possesses a timelessness which delights audiences, generation after generation.Rudolf Karel's The Taming of the Shrew is an unfinished opera upon which he worked between and Philip Greeley Clapp's The Taming of the Shrew () was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera.
Vittorio Giannini's The Taming of the Shrew () is .
No Fear Shakespeare by SparkNotes features the complete edition of The Taming of the Shrew side-by-side with an accessible, plain English translation. Home Page: Shakespeare Index The Taming of the Shrew Study Guide Introduction The following version of The Taming of the Shrew is based on the text in the authoritative Oxford Edition of Shakespeare's works, edited by W.
J. Craig. Raucous Fun. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare will have you laughing from the beginning of the first act all the way through to the last word spoken. We are entertained by battles of. Study Guide for The Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
In , The Taming of the Shrew and thirty-five other Shakespeare plays were published by two of the late author's friends, John Heminges and Henry Condell, in a book entitled Mr.
William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. This book has become known as the First Folio, so called because it was printed on folios.