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The Taming of the Shrew - Arden Shakespeare: (The Arden Shakespeare) [Paperback]

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Item description for The Taming of the Shrew - Arden Shakespeare: (The Arden Shakespeare) by Brian Morris...

The Arden Shakespeare is the established edition of Shakespeare's work. Justly celebrated for its authoritative scholarship and invaluable commentary, Arden guides you a richer understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare's plays. This edition of The Taming of the Shrew provides, a clear and authoritative text, detailed notes and commentary on the same page as the text, a full introduction discussing the critical and historical background to the play and appendices presenting sources and relevant extracts.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.6" Width: 4.9" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 17, 1981
Publisher   Arden
ISBN  1903436109  
ISBN13  9781903436103  

Availability  0 units.

More About Brian Morris

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Brian Morris is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, at the University of London. His many publications include Chewa Medical Botany, Animals and Ancestors, Kropotkin: The Politics of Community, Insects and Human Life and Anthropological Studies of Religion: An Introductory Text (Cambridge University Press, 1987).

Brian Morris has an academic affiliation as follows - University of London.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > Shakespeare

Reviews - What do customers think about The Taming of the Shrew - Arden Shakespeare: (The Arden Shakespeare)?

Taming of the Shrew Review  May 20, 2008
This is not the book I ordered--If it was a book for personal reading I would have no problem, but it was ordered for academic purposes.
It did arrive in a timely manner though.
Great resource for students or teachers.  May 19, 2008
The whole Cambridge series is very valuable. It offers helpful footnotes without cluttering the page, and actually indicates within the text when a footnote will appear. Text appears on right-hand side, and left-hand page offers thoughtful questions and activities to spur engagement, including comprehension and analysis, get-out-of-your-seats and act, and staging/directorial decision-making, and thematic extensions.
hoo-hum  May 4, 2007
"The Taming of the Shrew," by William Shakespeare, is, essentially, about the taming of a shrew. However, in this case, the shrew is in fact a woman, not an animal. The best translation of shrew into modern English is a stubborn, mean woman. About half of the book is about courting, marriage and domesticating Katherine, the shrew. The other half is about Bianca, Katherine's sister, and her dozen suitors.

Being written by Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew" is well regarded in academic eyes. This fame is not entirely deserved. The play is blessedly short, but lacks a solid plot. What plot the story contains is throughly confused by how indistinguishable the characters are. Two thirds of the cast's names end in `io,' making it almost impossible to tell them apart. The theme of male domination is adequately achieved throughout the book. In the end, man triumphs over woman, but has not succeeded entirely in domesticating her. This play is far less amusing than the rest of Shakespeare's works, for they contain a mostly understandable plot.
Terrible.  Jan 7, 2007
OK, I know I'm going to get hammered for this; once again, there goes my reviewer rating. But I just HAVE to be honest: this is a terrible story. OK, being that it's Shakespeare, it's prettily told, but it's still a HORRIBLE story, and I can't imagine why otherwise sensible people like it. Perhaps they feel that Shakespeare is telling it tongue-in-cheek (it IS a comedy, after all) and poking fun at the system of fathers marrying off their daughters without any concern for whether they want it or not; that would almost make it tolerable, if I could believe it. But given that it IS a Shakespearean comedy, we must assume that the ending is supposed to be a "happy" one, and the situation at the end is far from pleasant. Or perhaps people believe (I've heard this claimed in all seriousness) that Kate has actually "triumphed" at the end, having figured out how to manipulate Petruchio so as to get her way subtly and underhandedly. Even if this were true, I'd hardly consider it a "happy" ending, and personally, I see little evidence of it.

No, what we actually have here is a story of a strong woman (some people seem to like it simply because there IS a strong woman to be found in it) being married against her will to a scheming golddigger who "Tames" her by blatent if indirect spousal abuse (he doesn't beat her, simply starves her and sleep-deprives her, as well as forcing her to wear muddy rags until she behaves exactly as he wants, up to and including winning him a bet by lecturing her contemporaries on their duties as obedient wives.) Her spirit may or may not be broken, depending on how the part is played, but the fact remains that she's forced to BEHAVE as if it is, and that's not a message that should be bruited about in a "comedy". This is absolutely the WORST of Shakespeare's plays.
"Archieve the elder, set the younger free."  Sep 7, 2005
Unlike any other Shakespeare's plays, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has an induction, which lives up to its name in the sense that the prologue scene does indeed lead into the play that follows. It seems likely that Shakespeare had adopted the device from medieval narrative poetry, where it was extensively used to introduce a story in the form of a dream. In the induction, far more is involved than the mere setting of a scene and the informing to audience. In fact, Christopher Sly seems to have lapse into a dream as he is forced to adopt a new identity. The brief yet vigorous altercation between Sly and the hostess with which the induction begins is a curtain raiser for the dramatic struggle between Petruchio and Katherina that is to follow. Equally as significant is the Lord's instructions to his servant-boy as to the behavior he is to assume when he appears disguised as Sly's wife forebode the main theme of the play.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has a powerful appeal for the Elizabethan audience at the time it opened because the struggle for mastery in a marriage remained a fact of existence and hot topics for writers. A true-to-life domestic scene opens the play and instantly grasps attention: Signor Baptista forbids all suitors to court his younger daughter Bianca until he finds a husband for the ill-tempered, difficult, and waspish elder daughter Katherina. She is notorious for her hot temper, foul tongue, and caprice. Out of jealousy and the qualm not remaining single, she often vents out her anger on her sister. Suitors of the younger sister, who decide to put aside their rivalry, contrive to find a match for Katherina.

Gremio and Hortensio bear the cost of Petruchio's courting Katherina while Lucentio, who is madly in love with Bianca, and his crafty servant Tranio cunningly switch role to infiltrate the Baptista house. What inevitably follows is a facetious pursuit of love and a farcical melodrama that culminate in a riotously funny final scene in which Lucentio's real father, who has no clue of his son's betrothal, confronts the pedant-disguised impostor who reverse-accuses him of a charlatan. Equally as clueless of the entire crafty scheme is Baptista whom the suitors have tricked and outmaneuvered. He is consistently mistaken about everything and everybody, so that he does not even understand why Bianca later asks for his forgiveness. He and Vincentio are merely the butts for all the intrigues that go on throughout the play.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW maintains an irresistible appeal among the comedies owing to the intriguing trickery with which characters rival for courtship. Just as suspenseful and entertaining is Petruchio's calculated, punctilious campaign to tame his wife. His line of attack is psychological, although persuasive words carefully planned for each step accompany his actions. He somehow outsmarts his wife and deliberately outdoes her in his perversity and bad temper. The quintessential spleen of tantrum flourishes in the scenes in which Petruchio abuses his servants and tailor. His being abusive, tyrannical, violent, and capricious functions more than a reflection - it is evident of a caricature of Katherina through an exaggerated parody of her wild behavior. His evaluation of her mind is confirmed by her softening and surrender for she welcomes the opportunity of meeting an antagonist who will put up a good fight.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is highly rhetorical (even more so than AS YOU LIKE IT). Whether it is Petruchio's aggressive, vituperative taming or the milder courting of Bianca, the play never lacks an elite style with which Shakespeare exploited language to a linguistic virtuosity. For example, Petruchio's taming distinguishes from the usual method that might involve violence. What differentiate his campaign are the subtlety, the sophistication, and the ingenuity of his conceiving of Katherina's mind. His perspicacious mind justifies the use of highly rhetorical, puny, and literary discourse that somehow alienates the ordinary speech in the play and paradoxically brings in a fuller, more intimate possession of his witty scheme.

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