Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

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September Books 23) The Taming of the Shrew

23) The Taming of the Shrew

Well, I knew there would be at least one of these: I really didn't like The Taming of the Shrew. The basic storyline is simply too unpleasant: Katherina, obviously a very unhappy person, is intimidated into submission by a bloke called Petruchio who appears out of nowhere and for no apparent reason decides to marry her. There is lots of beating of servants; how hilarious.

It's not totally awful. The suitors trying to court Katherina's sister Bianca are moderately funny, and the Katherina / Petruchio relationship, though generally very dodgy, is almost sweet in the penultimate scene. But it's not really enough to mask the general nastiness of the plot. I did wonder a bit to what extent the complex father-child relationships, and the difficulties of managing households in two different cities, were drawn from Shakespeare's own experience.

The Arkangel version is lifted a bit by Frances Barber as Katherina and especially Roger Allam, of whom I don't think I had previously heard, as Petruchio. But the rest I'm afraid tried to get by with comic accents and speech defects. My advice is to give this one a miss.

Henry VI, Part I | Henry VI, Part II | Henry VI, Part III | Richard III | Comedy of Errors | Titus Andronicus | Taming of the Shrew | Two Gentlemen of Verona | Love's Labour's Lost | Romeo and Juliet | Richard II | A Midsummer Night's Dream | King John | The Merchant of Venice | Henry IV, Part I | Henry IV, Part II | Henry V | Julius Caesar | Much Ado About Nothing | As You Like It | Merry Wives of Windsor | Hamlet | Twelfth Night | Troilus and Cressida | All's Well That Ends Well | Measure for Measure | Othello | King Lear | Macbeth | Antony and Cleopatra | Coriolanus | Timon of Athens | Pericles | Cymbeline | The Winter's Tale | The Tempest | Henry VIII | The Two Noble Kinsmen | Edward III | Sir Thomas More (fragment)
Tags: bookblog 2008, writer: shakespeare
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