You are Cordially Invited
To attend the Wedding Celebration
They will be joined
In Holy Matrimony
As Husband and Wife…
…Until Death They Do Part.
• When you marry, will it
be for money, or love?
• Would you marry
someone that you hated?
• Should wives be
submissive to their
• All of these questions are
asked in Shakespeare’s
comedy The Taming of
• The Taming of the Shrew is
a comedy by William Shakespeare,
believed to have been written
between 1590 and 1591.
• The Taming of the Shrew is one of
Shakespeare’s earliest comedies,
and it shares many essential
characteristics with his other
romantic comedies, such as Much
Ado About Nothing and A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.
• These characteristics include
lighthearted and slapstick humor,
disguises and deception, and a
happy ending in which most of the
characters come out satisfied.
• A play focusing on the concerns of
married life would have seemed
particularly relevant to English
audiences of the Renaissance
period. Theirs was a society
concerned with marriage in
• Of particular worry to this society
were “shrews” or “scolds”—that is,
cantankerous or gossipy wives,
who resisted or undermined the
assumed authority of the husband
within a marriage.
• The play celebrates the quick wit
and fiery spirit of its heroine even
while reveling in her humiliation.
• Katherina (Kate) Minola – the
"shrew" of the title
• Bianca – sister of Katherina;
• Baptista Minola – father of Katherina
• Petruchio – suitor of Katherina
• Gremio – elderly suitor of Bianca
• Lucentio – suitor of Bianca (spends
some of play disguised as Cambio, a
• Hortensio – suitor of Bianca and
friend to Petruchio (spends some of
the play disguised as Litio, a music
• Grumio – servant of Petruchio
• Tranio – servant of Lucentio (spends
some of the play disguised as
• In the play the "Shrew" is Katherina
Minola, the eldest daughter of
Baptista Minola, a lord in Padua.
• Katherina's temper is notorious and it
is thought no man would ever wish to
• On the other hand, two men –
Hortensio and Gremio – are eager to
marry her younger sister Bianca.
• However, Baptista has sworn not to
allow his younger daughter to marry
before the elder Katherina is
wed, much to the despair of her
suitors, who agree that they will work
together to marry off Katherina so
that they will be free to compete for
• The plot becomes more
complex when Lucentio, who
has recently come to Padua to
attend university, sees Bianca
and instantly falls in love with
• Lucentio overhears Baptista
announce that he is on the
lookout for tutors for his
daughters, so he has his
servant Tranio pretend to be
him while he disguises himself
as a Latin tutor named
Cambio, so that he can woo
Bianca behind Baptista's back.
• In the meantime, Petruchio arrives
in Padua, accompanied by his
servant, Grumio. Petruchio tells
his old friend Hortensio that his
main goal is to wed a wealthy girl.
• Hearing this, Hortensio seizes the
opportunity to recruit Petruchio as
a suitor for Katherina. He also has
Petruchio present to Baptista a
music tutor named Litio
(Hortensio himself in disguise).
• Thus, Lucentio and
Hortensio, pretending to be the
teachers Cambio and
Litio, attempt to woo Bianca
unbeknownst to her father, and to
• Petruchio, to counter
nature, woos her with reverse
psychology, pretending that
every harsh thing she says or
does is kind and gentle.
• Katherina allows herself to
become engaged to
Petruchio, and they are
married in a farcical ceremony
during which (amongst other
things) he strikes the priest and
drinks the communion
wine, and then takes her home
against her will.
• After more of this treatment on their
“Honeymoon” Bianca seems beaten. They return
to Padua, where everyone has become happily
• Because of the general opinion that Petruchio is
married to a shrew, a quarrel breaks out about
whose wife is the most obedient.
• Petruchio proposes a wager whereby each will
send a servant to call for their wives, and
whichever comes most obediently will have won
the wager for her husband.
• Katherina is the only one of the three who
comes, winning the wager for Petruchio. At the
end of the play, after the other two wives have
been hauled into the room by Katherina, she
gives a speech on the subject of why wives
should always obey their husbands.
• The play ends with Baptista, Hortensio and
Lucentio marvelling at how successfully Petruchio
has tamed the shrew.
Kate’s final speech has infuriated and confused Shakespeare lovers
for years. Here are five ways to interpret it:
• Katherina's speech is sincere and Petruchio has successfully tamed her
(this is how it is presented in the 1983 BBC Shakespeare adaptation, for
• Katerina's speech is sincere, though not because Petruchio has "tamed"
her but because she has come to see that they're well-matched in
• Katherina's speech is ironic: she is not being sincere in her statements but
sarcastic, pretending to have been tamed when in reality she has
completely duped or is humoring Petruchio (this is how it is presented in
the 1967 Franco Zeffirelli adaptation).
• Katherina's speech cannot be taken seriously due to the farcical nature of
the play within a play.
• Katherina's speech both satirizes gender roles and emphasizes the social
need for wives to be obedient to their husbands.
• There's small choice in rotten apples.
The Taming of the Shrew, 1. 1
• I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua
The Taming of the Shrew, 1. 2
• You are called plain Kate,
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation.
The Taming of the Shrew, 2. 1
• This is the way to kill a wife with kindness.
The Taming of the Shrew, 4. 1
• A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,-
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.
The Taming of the Shrew, 5. 2
• Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband.
The Taming of the Shrew, 5. 2
• I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace.
The Taming of the Shrew, 5. 2
• The Taming of the Shrew has been
adapted to Opera, Radio, Film and
Television, the first film adaption being in
• It was adapted in 1948 into a hit Broadway
musical by Cole Porter called Kiss Me Kate.
Here’s a scene where Bianca is being
wooed by her three suitors in a musical
number called “Tom, Dick or Harry”
• It was also made into a popular feature
film, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, in 1967,
with Elizabeth Taylor as Katherina, and
Richard Burton as Petrucio.
• In 2013, actress Anne Hathaway
announced that she is planning to star in a
modern-day version of The Taming of the
A Nutsy the Squirrel Production
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