Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare

Nora and I watched the hilarious Shakespeare Retold version of Taming of the Shrew last night. Now I can't stop wanting to tell people to "swivel". Moaning Myrtle and Seth Starkadder are amazing in this! Having never read the play, I decided to read it today.

Then, of course, I had to see what Harold Bloom had to say about it:

"Petruchio gets to swagger, and Kate will rule him and the household, perpetually acting her role as the reformed shrew.

The swaggering Petruchio provokes a double reaction in her: outwardly furious, inwardly smitten.

Roaring on the outside, Petruchio is something else within, as Kate gets to see, understand, and control, with his final approval.

From this moment on [IV.v. 1-22], Kate firmly rules while endlessly protesting her obedience to the delighted Petruchio, a marvelous Shakespearean reversal of Petruchio's earlier strategy of proclaiming Kate's mildness even as she raged on."

I agree with Bloom's description of one of my favorite moments in the play:

"There is no more charming scene of married love in all Shakespeare than this little vignette on a street in Padua:


Husband, let's follow to see the end of this ado.

First kiss me, Kate, and we will.

What! in the midst of the street?

What! art thou ashamed of me?

No, sir; God forbid; but ashamed to kiss.

Why, then, let's home again. Come, sirrah, let's away.

Nay, I will give thee a kiss: now pray thee, love, stay.

Is not this well? Come, my sweet Kate:
Better once than never, for never too late."


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