The Taming of the Shrew by Corinne J. Naden, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

by Corinne J. Naden

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Since one-third of each volume of this "Shakespeare Explained" series is taken up by an introduction to Shakespeare's world, Sobran, an ultra-conservative writer who believed Shakespeare was really the Earl of Oxford, seems a rather perverse choice of author. He highlights several candidates nominated as the "real" Shakespeare over the years, while stressing that much of the playwright's life remains unknown. What is known, however, convinces most historians that William Shakespeare was no impostor. (Interested readers may enjoy Marchette Chute's Shakespeare of London). That said, the rest of each volume summarizes and analyzes its play in detail accessible to teens. Naden explains that Taming of the Shrew is a rowdy farce applauded by Elizabethans, but hard to stomach today, especially by women. Feisty and independent Katherina (the shrew) must wed before her sister, beautiful Bianca, can choose a suitor—but who would marry Kate? Actually, Petruchio, an unashamed fortune-hunter who has "come to wive it wealthily in Padua." While Bianca's suitors engage in silly subplots, Petruchio sets out to make a submissive wife of Kate, resorting to humiliation, contradictions, deprivation of food, sending back the lovely new gown he bought her. Does he "tame" her or does Kate shrewdly learn to play the part required? Naden suggests they really do fall in love, each respecting the other's spirited nature, though Kate's final speech of surrender makes modern audiences wince. "A Closer Look" explores language, themes (disguise, sexual domination, cruelty), motifs (animal imagery, fathers and children), and symbols (Petruchio's wedding rags, Kate's fine gown). Also helpful are discussions of historical context and possible essay topics. Readers might find DK's Essential Shakespeare Handbook (2004) enlightening, keeping in mind Sobran's advice to seize every opportunity to see Shakespeare films and live theater performances. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
Publication date:
Shakespeare Explained Series
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 8.86(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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