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The Taming of the Shrew

18th July, 2020. Time 3.30pm

My new complete Shakespeare dvd library. Thank you ebay!

One thought on “The Taming of the Shrew

  1. I think there is a secret in The Taming of The Shrew. Shakespeare put in an idea and it is hiding in plain sight.

    Why is Katherine treated in such a brutal and sexist way, not just by Petruchio, but by the author? It’s not just that she is forced to do what she is told, she is made to say she believes whatever Petruchio tells her. She has to say the sun is the moon if Petruchio says it is.

    Maybe the answer can be found looking at some Elizabethan history. Here is the text of the Oath of Supremacy published in 1559, when Shakespeare was 5 years old. Anyone taking public office had to swear to it. This would have been an abomination for catholics.:

    I , do utterly testify and declare in my conscience that the Queen’s Highness is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other her Highness’s dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal, and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority ecclesiastical or spiritual within this realm

    The most Catholic parts of England were the north. Shakespeare’s family, and their network of contacts, were Catholics. I do not know that W Shakespeare was a practicing Catholic, but I think his father may have been.
    So, Catholics were forced to say they believed something they didn’t, just like Katherine.

    What we have in the Taming of the Shew may be an expression of the unfairness felt by Catholic England, but sufficiently disguised that Shakespeare could get away with putting it on the stage. I wonder if this might also explain the slightly unfinished opening framing device with Christopher Sly – it allows Shakespeare to distance himself from these ideas by making them a play within a play. The “intro” feels like it was an afterthought. Could this have been because the material was close to being too hot to handle?


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