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Taming of the Shrew Introduction
Transcript of Taming of the Shrew Introduction
Structure & Language
by William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
The most influential writer in all of English literature
Wrote 37 plays (tragedies, comedies and histories) and 154 sonnets
1590 – left family to become an actor and playwright in London
Eventually owned part of GLOBE THEATRE
Wealthy and renowned within his lifetime – the favorite of two monarchs, Elizabeth I and James I
(1564 – 1616)
The Globe Theatre
One of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies
Lighthearted, slapstick humor
A happy ending in which most characters come out satisfied
Differs from Shakespeare’s other comedies in that it does NOT end in a marriage rather, it examines the institution of marriage itself.
“The Taming of the Shrew”
Shrew: a woman of violent temper and speech
What does it mean to ‘tame’ a shrew?
Is this offensive?
Shakespeare was NOT the originator of the Shrew storyline
Shrew stories were popular during Shakespeare’s day
Often presented violent, ‘comical’ strategies of beating opinionated women into submission
Shakespeare’s adaptation can be viewed as modern
Taming isn’t reliant on physical violence
Women maintain voice and strength throughout the play
Renaissance ‘Shrew’ Stories
Marriage as an economic institution
Fathers and their Children / Sibling Rivalry
Vincentio (Lucentio’s father)
Baptista (Katherine and Bianca’s father)
Grumio (foolish – comic relief for much of the play)
Tranio (impersonates Lucentio)
Blank Verse (Unrhymed Iambic Pentameter)
Lines with 10 syllables with five feet of unstressed, stressed syllables.
Prose (everyday speech)
Language of Shakespeare
Poetic meter most naturally found in spoken English. Employed by Shakespeare in sonnets and plays.
An iambic foot is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
A line of iambic pentameter is five of these in a row
“Tis deeds must win the prize, and he of both
That can assure my daughter greatest dower”
“No shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced
To give my hand, opposed against my heart.”
Examples of Iambic Pentameter
Pun: the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications; a play on words.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
Did you hear about the fire at the circus? The heat was in tents.
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Shakespeare’s play are divided into 5 Acts
Act 1: Sets the scene and provides background info.
Act 2 & 3: Moves the action forward at ever-increasing speed with a climax in Act 3
Act 4: Turning point
Act 5: Concludes the story and provides the dénouement.
The 5 Act Play
denouement \day-noo-MAWN\, noun: 1. The final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work. 2. The outcome of a complex sequence of events.
Structure: open air theatre, seating 2000-3000 spectators.
Audience: “Microcosm of Man”
The social elite would rub shoulders with common vulgarians, drunken idlers and other streetwise sorts.
Shakespeare’s Company and The Globe were set apart because they were formally patronized by the Lord Chamberlain of Queen Elizabeth and by King James I himself
What is a "shrew"?
Social Roles and Expectations
Gender Roles and Expectations (in marriage and courtship)
Domestication (i.e., “taming”) and Animal Imagery
Katherine & Petruchio
Bianca & Lucentio
: Gremio, Horentsio
: Baptista, Vincentio
: Tranio, Biondello, Grumio
Kate is a big jerk of a woman, a "shrew", as it were.
Petruchio is looking for
a wife with $$
Bianca can't get date
until Kate gets married
Lucentio and a bunch of other guys want to date Bianca so they disguise themselves to get closer to her.
Kate's family has $$; Petruchio decides to pursue/"tame" her.
Things get crazy...
Contains an Induction in addition to the 5 acts of the play.
TotS, a full 5 act play, is being performed within another play, the frame story (Induction)
While many of Shakespeare’s plays feature “a play within a play,” TotS is the ONLY one in which the frame story is NOT the main story.
TotS: A Play Within a Play
What do you know about Shakespeare?
What are your thoughts on his work?
Why is his work so popular?
Why do we read them?
"If you look at any literary period between the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, you'll be amazed by the dominance of the Bard. He's everywhere, in every literary form you can think of. And he's never the same: every age and every writer reinvents its own Shakespeare. All this from a man who we're still not sure actually write the plays that bear his name."
-How to Read Literature Like a Professor, pg 38
"When pioneer families went west in their prairie schooners, space was at a premium, so they generally carried only two books: the Bible and Shakespeare.
-How to Read Literature Like a Professor, pg 42
"So there is a ubiquity to Shakespeare's work that makes it rather like a sacred text: at some very deep level he is ingrained in our psyches. But he's there because of the beauty of those lines, those scene, and those plays. There is a kind of authority lent by something being almost universally known, where one has only to utter certain lines and people nod their heads in recognition."
-How to Read Literature Like a Professor, pg 43
What makes a text
What are your thoughts on love and marriage?
Is love a necessary part of marriage?
Draw a chart similar to the one below. Define the gender roles, as you understand them, for each side (what is each gender responsible for in our society? relationship? family? etc.)
How do gender roles fit your ideas of marriage and love?
Wait. The play is INSIDE the other play?