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Title: Taming of the Shrew
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Comedy
Format: Digital Edition
The play starts with a rich lord taking a drunk at an inn and doing everything in his power to convince the drunk that he, the drunk, is actually a lord who has been crazy for the last several years. He brings in some players to put on a play and thus the main story begins.
Younger Daughter is sought by all and sundry, as she is beautiful, accomplished and generally pleasing in every way. Her Older Sister is a Shrew with a tongue that can remove metal. Their father declares that he won’t allow the younger daughter to even be courted until the Older Sister is married. Thus several suitors put into action a plan to be tutors to the Younger Daughter and secretly woo her while teaching her.
A Bold Young Man enters the city and hears about the situation from his friends. He decides that Older Sister is the woman for him and he’ll have her no matter her tongue. He approaches the father, gets his approval, has a run in with the Older Sister where words are exchanged like primed grenades and the wedding is set for a week later. Bold Young Man begins acting irrationally to drive his almost wife to distraction and after they are married head back to his home. There he tames her to his behavior and forces her to accept his behavior and mood or go hungry. They return to the city.
The Younger Daughter has fallen in love and with some shenanigans she and the Suitor are married. The Older Sister and her husband return for the wedding and the Tamed Shrew is shown to all, eliciting amazement from all and sundry.
I was very annoyed when the play ended and the secondary play about the drunk and the nobleman didn’t end as well. It was obviously just a ploy to start the primary play and to get the audience into a jocular mood. I however, wasn’t jocular at the end, as I like things wrapped up neatly.
I definitely enjoyed this more than some of the other Shakespeare plays I’ve read. I am realizing that in those old books where characters quote Shakespeare from memory and everybody in the book recognizes it, well, that is a lot of bilge. Much like Pop Culture references, it isn’t somethat that EVERYBODY gets, but only the group that cares about it. Reading Shakespeare doesn’t mean you’ll recognize the many quotes that were tossed around in yesteryear. Only those who study the Bard will be able to do that.
Ok, enough of that. Let’s talk about that cover shall we? It took me a tiny bit to realize it was a movie cover, but once that clicked, 5 seconds of Gugle-Fu showed that it was from the 1967 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Obviously THIS cover was meant to draw the male eye while the movie poster I found has a virile Burton striding along with a huge smile while carrying Taylor over his shoulder while she pounds on his back with her fists. I wish I had chosen another cover from Librarything but that was the highest resolution one, I think, and the others (if I’m remembering correctly) reminded me of modern impressionistic paintings, brrrrrr!
Cover aside, I’d call this a successful foray into Shakespeare. With my enjoyment level so varied, I simply never know what I’m going to like or dislike every time I crack the cover on one of these plays.