Monday, January 08, 2007

The Taming of the Shrew

While I found The Tempest and Twelfth Night much more delightful than I recalled, I found The Taming of the Shrew to be disappointing. From the first long scene that just leads up to the real play, it seemed scattered --a total contrast to the compact and efficent presentations of character, plot, and emotion of the other two plays.

"Such a mad marriage never was before" (III, ii, 184) says Gremio, one of the servants whose prose-expressed antics reflect Shakespeare's view of them. The Bard reserved prose for the lowly, bawdy, disorderly classes, I learned once. And the lowly, bawdy, disorderly servants seemed to me to dominate this play. What sticks in the mind is one scene where Petruchio pretends to protect shrewish Kate from bad food, poorly made clothing, and improper beds: thus depriving her of nourishment, proper dress, and sleep. And so he tames the shrew. But it's only one little scene in a long play.

At least I'm still keeping my resolution.

No comments: