She at once did so, throwing down the meat and drink and breaking the glasses. It is at least partially based on the 1935/1936 Theatre Guild production of Taming of the Shrew, which starred husband and wife Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, whose backstage fights became legendary.

This is him investigating misogyny, exploring it and animating it and obviously damning it because none of the men come out smelling of roses. He has gained her outward compliance in the form of a public display, while her spirit remains mischievously free. [74], Alexander returned to the debate in 1969, re-presenting his bad quarto theory. "[117] Coppélia Kahn suggests "the transformation of Christopher Sly from drunken lout to noble lord, a transformation only temporary and skin-deep, suggests that Kate's switch from independence may also be deceptive and prepares us for the irony of the dénouement.

At the end, there is no wager. When I shall ask the banns, and when be marrièd. Petruchio, as the architect of virtue (Politics, 1.13), brings Kate into harmony with her nature by developing her "new-built virtue and obedience", (5.2.118), and she, in turn, brings to Petruchio in her person all the Aristotelian components of happiness – wealth and good fortune, virtue, friendship and love, the promise of domestic peace and quiet (Nicomachean Ethics, 1.7–8). He encourages Lucentio to disguise himself as a teacher for Bianca and he himself pretends to be Lucentio for much of the play.

He also agrees to help Hortensio disguise himself as Litio, a music teacher, so that he can secretly woo Bianca.


By the time you get to the last scene all of the men – including her father are saying – it's amazing how you crushed that person. Each man was to warn his wife to do whatever he might bid; afterward he was to set a basin before her and bid her leap into it. [90] This lends support to the theory that A Shrew could be both a reported text and an early draft.

[193] In 1954, the full-length play aired on BBC Home Service, directed by Peter Watts, starring Mary Wimbush and Joseph O'Conor, with Norman Shelley as Sly. Karen Newman points out, "from the outset of the play, Katherine's threat to male authority is posed through language: it is perceived by others as such and is linked to a claim larger than shrewishness – witchcraft – through the constant allusions to Katherine's kinship with the devil.

She cites the reference to "Simon" in A Shrew, Anthony Chute's allusion to The Shrew in Beauty Dishonoured and the verbal similarities between The Shrew and A Knack to Know a Knave as supporting a date of composition prior to June 1592. This, he argues, is evidence of an adaptation rather than a faulty report; while it is difficult to know the motivation of the adapter, we can reckon that from his point of view an early staging of The Shrew might have revealed an overly wrought play from a writer trying to establish himself but challenging too far the current ideas of popular comedy. The roughness is, at bottom, part of the fun: such is the peculiar psychology of sport that one is willing to endure aching muscles and risk the occasional broken limb for the sake of the challenge.

[187] In 1927, a forty-three-minute truncation of the play was broadcast on BBC National Programme, with Barbara Couper and Ian Fleming. Hortensio in the 2012 production of The Taming of The Shrew.

The question of whether the play is misogynistic has become the subject of considerable controversy, particularly among modern scholars, audiences, and readers. It's amazing how you lobotomised her. When the special thing is well obtained, Bianca says she has yet to see that ‘special face’.

An adapter might well have seen his role as that of a 'play doctor' improving The Shrew – while cutting it – by stuffing it with the sort of material currently in demand in popular romantic comedies. "[112] Of Katherina's speech, he argues: this lecture by Kate on the wife's duty to submit is the only fitting climax to the farce – and for that very reason it cannot logically be taken seriously, orthodox though the views expressed may be [...] attempting to take the last scene as a continuation of the realistic portrayal of character leads some modern producers to have it played as a kind of private joke between Petruchio and Kate – or even have Petruchio imply that by now he is thoroughly ashamed of himself.

And for thy maintenance; commits his body It shall be what o'clock I say it is. (2.1.27–29).

Act 2 . In a letter to the Pall Mall Gazette, George Bernard Shaw famously called the play "one vile insult to womanhood and manhood from the first word to the last. Instead, he argues it is an adaptation by someone other than Shakespeare.

For example, in Act 3, Scene 2, Petruchio explains to all present that Katherina is now literally his property: She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house,

[56], In 1926, building on Hickson's research, Peter Alexander first suggested the bad quarto theory. As though she bid me stay by her a week. The play is performed in order to distract Sly from his "wife," who is actually Bartholomew, a servant, dressed as a woman.

Shrew taming stories existed prior to Shakespeare's play, and in such stories, "the object of the tale was simply to put the shrew to work, to restore her (frequently through some gruesome form of punishment) to her proper productive place within the household economy.