Walking on Sunshine

Shakespeare – The Taming of the Shrew – 2010/020

The Back of the Book: An international team of scholars offers:

  • modernized, easily accessible texts.
  • ample commentary and introductions.
  • attention to the theatrical qualities of each play and its stage history.
  • informative illustrations.

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular yet controversial plays.  The Introduction considers its reception in the light of the hostility and embarrassment it often arouses, taking account of both scholarly defences and modern feminist criticism of the play.

For this updated edition Ann Thompson has added new sections to the Introduction which describe the ‘deeply problematic’ nature of debates about the play and its reception since the 1980s.  She discusses recent editions and textual, performance and critical studies.

NotJustLaura’s Review: To tell you the truth, I was rather dreading reading Shakespeare.  I don’t mind watching his work, or reading about it, but I have memories of High School English lessons that have put me off approaching the texts themselves.  I was also very unsure of my reactions to The Shrew – the synopsis I’d read hardly made ‘shrewish woman tamed by new husband’ seem an appealing prospect!

I am very glad to report, however, that this edition, edited by Ann Thompson, was heavy-going in some places but certainly readable and, dare I say, even enjoyable.

Ms Thompson provides the reader with a clear and, I think, well-researched text with lots of foot-notes to guide the way.  She has also given an extensive Introduction to the play and detailed analysis of the text at the back of the book.

I have surprised myself by understanding this book – at least to some degree – on first reading and look forward to gaining a deeper appreciation of it as I progress in my studies.

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