(2012) #45 review: The Taming of The Shrew

The Taming Of The Shrew



108 pages

Published in 1590

Great edition!
ISBN: 0521221951, Cambridge University Press 1984, edited by Ann Thompson

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:



I finally had some fun with this comedy, The Taming of The Shrew!

I especially liked Katherine, and her witty remarks. I know this play is controversial, because it can be understood as very anti-feminist, but I actually think it shows a very smart and strong woman, much more interesting than the “ideal” Bianca!

I would like to highlight this special edition I read it in: great introduction, good footnotes with vocabulary and sources, textual analysis, and informative appendix on:

– The Taming of A Shrew

– The staging of Induction 2

– The music in the play

I highly recommend this edition.


Renowned as Shakespeare’s most boisterous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men, the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio, and the two sisters they meet in Padua.
Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can marry, Bianca’s formidable elder sister, Katherine, must be wed. Petruchio, interested only in the huge dowry, arranges to marry Katherine -against her will- and enters into a battle of the sexes that has endured as one of Shakespeare’s most enjoyable works. [Goodreads]


William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon” (or simply “The Bard”). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s.

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare’s genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called “bardolatry”. In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.



8 thoughts on “(2012) #45 review: The Taming of The Shrew

  1. The most intriguing thing about Shakespeare is that we know so little about him. Most of what we read is conjecture. Including of course the biggest question of all – did he really write these plays? For me, that’s almost irrelevant – I enjoy them for what they are whoever wrote them


  2. I only know this play by title, but it does seem like a good read indeed. This particular edition sounds like the (only) one to get! I see you’re still going strong with your Shakespeare challenge 🙂


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