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Forum nameReading Challenges, 2010
Topic subject4. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=505&topic_id=6&mesg_id=175
175, 4. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Posted by alissaameth, Wed Jan-20-10 04:14 PM
Play - Comedy, 148 pages.

I don't feel like I have much to say about this play. I first read this at about the same time I first read King Lear--about four years ago. I didn't like it. After reading it a second time, I understand it much better and appreciate much more of the humor, but I still don't really like. I don't dislike it, either. It really is funny, but... I don't know. Maybe it's the theme of taming one's wife that bothers me.

There are two sisters: the youngest is portrayed as an angelic woman, while the oldest is a hot-tempered shrew. The youngest has many suitors, but the father has decided that no one may marry the youngest daughter until the oldest has been married off. The suitors despair, because they don't think that any man would ever want to marry the shrew. When Petruchio comes into town and hears of this situation, he takes it upon himself to marry the shrew (and tame her).

I think I feel somewhat indifferently about this play because I can't sympathize with either of the main characters. I don't understand why Katherine is so mean-tempered, and I don't understand why Petruchio wants to marry/tame her. The witty jokes, the disguises that various characters take and the verbal jousting are all funny and entertaining, but in the end I don't identify with or even care about any of the characters.

(Now, in terms of literary analysis, I like this play because there is a lot to discuss--in particular, gender roles. This is why I'm a literature major: I don't have to like it to enjoy analyzing it!)