Theatre The Taming Of The Shrew Discussion

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03:54:12 PM Jul 18th 2012
If anybody gets a chance, watching the film version with Elizabeth Taylor is a good idea. They stick to Shakespear's script very closely but the way the actors play the main two characters makes the more objectionable trends in it easily palatable. Kate starts out completely rabid and obviously unhappy but she isn't broken by Petruchio. Rather, she seems to mellow out a bit and play along with his games while still being strong willed. Petruchio is more likable in this version, possibly because of how over-the-top violent Kate is, and his actions to reform her are always following her slipping into old habits. It also seems like he is ashamed at his own actions at certain points and genuinely comes to care for her. Besides which, he takes a lot of abuse from her and keeps his temper remarkably well.
10:30:00 PM Feb 25th 2011
Moving the bullet points below here because while it is interesting, it is discussion in the main page.
  • Which would be Completely Missing the Point; Sly's bits are pretty important to the interpretation of the rest of the play.
  • It's worth noting that earlier versions of the story include an ending for Sly. There's a theory that someone lost the script for Shakespeare's version of that ending.
  • The University of Arizona student production of the play featuring the Sly scenes attempts to resolve this by putting the drunkard on a balcony embedded on the stage during the body of the play, having him clap and laugh along with the narrative. The lord's players acknowledge his presence.
07:30:50 AM Sep 3rd 2010
Here's a radical Alternate Character Etcetera: after marrying her for her money, and as a favour to his oafish friends, Petruchio deprives Kate of food and sleep, and tortures her psychologically, until she becomes completely obedient to him. The play ends with her publicly defending his actions, with her friends and family looking on approvingly.
02:40:20 PM Mar 4th 2011
Yeah...My school got some actors to show us edited scenes. The actors were wonderful and convinced Kate was actually a proto-feminist...and then they started the argument scene, where Petruchio keeps trying to get Kate in sexually suggestive positions, and the only thing going through my head was, "Oh my god, I know there's at least two sexual-violence victims in the audience". Then I actually read Shakespeare's work. I'm sorry, that was not a play. That was torture porn.
02:45:57 PM Mar 4th 2011
edited by Iaculus
One common thing to consider in academic circles, though, is the play-within-a-play aspect. If the play's only purpose was to deliver some sort of creepy antifeminist screed, why was the whole thing framed as an elaborate con on some fat, drunken idiot of a peasant?

Now, I don't have the answer to that one either, but I think it's worth bearing in mind.
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