The Taming of the Shrew (Annotated with Biography and Critical Essay) William Shakespeare Author
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The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy, was first published in the Folio in 1623. It is considered to be a rewriting of an earlier play – possibly called Love’s Labour Won. The play was written to entertain - it is full of bawdy jokes, puns, and double entendres. By today’s standards it could be considered sexist, but its value must be examined within the time that it was written. The Taming of the Shrew is set in Padua, in Renaissance Italy and Shakespeare uses the device of a play within a play. During the Induction (or set-up for the plot) the character Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker, watches a play in which two stories are interwoven. The first, and main strand, involves Katharina, the daughter of Baptista, a rich gentleman of Padua, and Petruchio. The second strand is about Katharina’s sister Bianca and Lucentio.The story revolves around the courtship and marrying off the two young women. Tradition of the time and place held that the second daughter (Bianca) could not marry until her older sister, Katharina (also called Kate), was married. The dilemma for Baptista is that Bianca, attractive, sweet and gentle, had plenty of suitors while her older sister is considered something of a “shrew” – bad tempered and hard to handle – most men were not interested in wooing her. The ultimate “taming” of Katharina by Petruchio is the main plot.This annotated edition includes a biography and critical essay.


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