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The Taming of the Shrew: Texts and Contexts (The Bedford Shakespeare Series) Paperback – March 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Series: The Bedford Shakespeare Series
  • Paperback: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; 1st edition (March 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312108362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312108366
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A triumphant addition to our times.' - Fiona Shaw, The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Like every other play in the Cambridge School Shakespeare series, The Taming of the Shrew has been specially prepared to help all students in schools and colleges. This version aims to be different from other editions of the play. It invites you to bring the play to life in your classroom through enjoyable activities that will help increase your understanding. You are encourage to make up your own mind about the play, rather than have someone else's interpretation handed down to you. Whatever you do, remember that Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted, watched and enjoyed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I read this book for a class in high school.
tweeti_pi@hotmail.com
Though a tad difficult to keep the many characters and their doubles straight, it is an enjoyable read.
D. Wallace
The Folger Library editions of the Bard's plays are excellent.
Tom Liner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By S. N. Harris on June 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all of Shakespeare's plays that I have read, this is the most enjoyable. The characters are real and engaging - the sweetly stupid Bianca and her hoard of suitors, Baptista, who is more interested in selling his daughters to rich husbands than making them happy, the sly and masterful Petruchio, and most of all, Katherine, the Shrew. The play is full of action, comedy, and enough mistaken and hidden identities to keep the reader happily confused.
Katherine, who appears to be "tamed" by Petruchio's cruelties, learns the art of subtlety and diplomacy that will enable her to survive in a society ruled by men. Her speech in the last scene is not a humbling affirmation of the superiority of men, but a tounge-in-cheek ridicule of Petruchio, Lucentio, and Hortensio, who think that a woman can be tamed like a wild animal by a few days of bumbling controll.
The Folger Library of Shakespeare's plays are the most readable editions that I have seen. There are detailed side notes and definitions of unfamiliar words, which are perfect for the reader who is not familiar with Shakespearean English.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Taming of the Shrew" is probably William Shakespeare's second most controversial play -- nobody can figure out if it's misogynistic or a biting double satire on the sexes. Whatever it is, it's still a witty and hilarious comedy that pits the titular "shrew" against a crazy guy determined to browbeat her into traditional subservience... and while they're no Beatrice and Benedick, it is lots of fun.

Framing device: a local lord and his hunting party stumble across a drunken tinker, and decide to play an elaborate prank on him. They dress him in rich clothes, arrange fine food for him, and even drag a protesting servant boy in to pretend to be his wife. And they put on a performance for him as well: Baptista Minola has two daughters, the hot-tempered razor-tongued Katharina and the quiet, demure Bianca.

Since Bianca is not allowed to marry until Katharina is, her suitors form an alliance to get the elder sister out of the way, which is made more complex when a young student named Luciento falls in love with Bianca, and comes up with a clever plan to woo her. Enter Petruchio, an impoverished nobleman with as sharp a wit as Katharina -- and since he's the only one willing to marry her, her father jumps on the chance. From the very beginning, Petruchio beats her over the head with crazy reverse psychology, a ridiculous wedding ceremony, and a honeymoon from hell.

It's often debated whether "The Taming of the Shrew" is a sexist play or not, since the strong-willed, independent Katharina ends up another little obedient wifie, lecturing the other wives on giving their husbands "love, fair looks and true obedience." Blech.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on May 24, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This play is one of Shakespeare's most ribald, but I enjoyed it just the same. It's lusty, earthy and somewhat farcical. It's a very popular play because it is funny and fast-moving. And Shakespeare's wordplay is at its best here. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud numerously as they read this play. It is wonderful!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Ares Hirsch on March 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I had not been spoiled by Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors," this could very well have been my favorite comedy. It is comical that the 2 rival suitors for Bianca are able to work together to get Kate married somehow so as to free the "seemingly sweet" Bianca for possible marriage. Petruchio (Kate's eventual husband) offers us a comical passage in 2.1. Another humorous aspect of this play is all the alias identities. Lucentio alias Cambio, Tranio alias Lucentio, and Pedant alias Vincentio. I can not overemphasize Shakespeare's brilliance when all seems well. Towards the end, Petruchio and Kate seem to be doing fine and Lucentio and Bianca will marry. But leave it to Shakespeare. Vincentio (Lucentio's father) goes to visit his son only to be locked out of his son's house by Pedant alias Vincentio. This hilarious scene is such a perfect climatic point. We are exposed to comedy and tension simultaneously when the play suddenly becomes violent. But leave it to Shakespeare to reconcile everyone and end the play with all of the characters including Vincentio and Pedant alias Vincentio enjoying a merry feast!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Rockwell on February 16, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are many reviews of the play below,, so I am reviewing this particular edition of tthe play. As someone reading all of Shakespeare for the second time, I am always alble to learn something from the World's Classics introduction. They are scolarly and complete and the text always has footnotes on the same page. I have tried other editions but these are the best.
The Taming of the Shrew although it does contain episodes that are misogynistic to modern ears does portray a couple truly in love. As an early play Shakespeare is beginning to find his own voice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By darragh o'donoghue on September 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
'The Taming of the Shrew' is Shakespeare's most purely enjoyable play, especially in the theatre. Its language is easy to understand, with very little of the elaborate figures that can be difficult to follow on stage; the plot, with various suitors vying for the hands of sisters beautiful Bianca and shrewish Katerina, a web of disguises and mistaken identities, with servants pretending to be masters and vice versa, is pure bawdy farce. this fluidity of social roles is quite subversive - fixed hierarchies are shown to be merely a case of good acting.
Formally, 'Taming' is one of Shakespeare's most audacious, as a play-withing-a-play-within-the-play - it starts with an aristorcrat and his servant playing a joke on a drunken peasant, by making him believe he is a lord; the play put on for him, 'The Taming of the Shrew', is full of comic and thematic echoes of this framing plot, in thich the servant dresses as the peasant's noble wife. Within this play, characters play roles and stage plays for various unwitting audiences.
for all its entertainment and brilliance, however, 'Taming' has always been one of Shakesepeare's most notoriously uncomfortable plays - we are asked to watch the subduing of a strong, vocal, witty, satirical, indepedent woman by a bullying braggart. There are moments within the general sneering, when we are allowed sympathise with Kate in her loneliness and feelings of being made the butt of abuse and jokes, but it is difficult to watch scenes with a gang of men holding the stage, deciding the fate of the women.
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