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on 16 January 2017
one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and this is a great cheap copy of it, I have found it very useful for dissertation writing as it is not bulky and I can take it in and out of university easily.
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on 5 July 2016
more of a need than a want A'level English Literature but nothing wrong with the product
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on 30 November 2016
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on 9 November 2015
arrived in excellent condition as described. the speed of delivery was excellent too well done
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on 31 August 2017
It's not a perfect version and it's missing some important notes and has a bit of misspelling, but it overall does the job :)
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on 20 February 2012
This is an excellent, much needed edition which shows the value of careful scholarship. It offers the evidence suggesting that the Taming of A Shrew was based on the manuscript or performance of the earliest version of the Taming of The Shrew and NOT vice versa. This is intriguing indeed and deepens the mystery as to who was responsible for this text with its quotations from Marlowe. A parallel text edition would now be welcome to clarify how the two texts look side by side. One unresolved mystery is why the Induction is so much more substantial in A Shrew than in the final First Folio edition of The Shrew. It suggests Shakespeare may well have revised the old text before finalising it, cutting material he had previously created which was preserved in A Shrew.
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on 6 July 2013
The Signet edition introductions are good, but they have made a complete pigs ear of formatting the text of the play and all the notes.
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VINE VOICEon 22 January 2015
In post-feminist times especially, The Taming of the Shrew has not been without its detractors. Theatre critic Michael Billington once called the play 'disgusting and barbaric', while director Greg Doran confessed that he'd have been uncomfortable staging the play (RSC, 2003) without its Fletcherian 'sequel' The Tamer Tamed as a counter-balance. But for Arden 3's editor, Barbara Hodgson, Shrew is a 'brilliant, ambitious ... remarkable play'. Disgustingly misogynistic Petruccio may appear, but the play is 'great fun' in performance, and Hodgson is generous and perceptive enough to appreciate its protean qualities.

Her Introduction reminds us that Shrew isn't necessarily the 'sexist and brutal polemic' we might suppose, and points out that the long shrew-taming tradition of ballad and folk-lore is considerably more disturbing and macho (there is no wife-beating in Shakespeare's play, after all). Shrew, she argues, inhabits the 'theatre of illusions', and is full of 'gender slips' and instabilities generally, where inversions of class and hierarchy take their place alongside those of gender.

Hodgson admits that untangling the chain of events relating Shakespeare's play to others of similar name (whether real or imagined) is an intractable problem. Mercifully, she devotes more space to the play's long theatrical and critical histories than to its composition and early years which, all too often, can become an exercise in speculation based on supposition built on surmise. (It may be worth noting that the predecessor, Arden2, finally gets round to discussing the play proper only on page 88, and then with exclusive reference to 'the text', avoiding anything theatrical as far as possible.)

While Hodgson's explanation of Katherine's controversial last-scene transformation, in which she becomes the dutifully submissive wife and spouts a reactionary doctrine of male supremacy, is perhaps unconvincing, she does note that her sister, Bianca, shows signs of becoming a proto-shrew at the play's conclusion, providing an equality of sorts.

Laudably, Hodgson reprints the whole of A Shrew as an appendix, then summarises its troubled relationship with THE Shrew. Another bonus is her listing of all major theatre productions (until 2007) in her bibliography, together with lists of promptbooks, and film, tv and audio adaptations. An inspired innovation indeed. Her Commentary, meanwhile, is detailed and informed throughout, and incorporates numerous references to the play in performance.
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on 28 March 2017
The Taming of the Shrew starts off purely as a noble man playing a prank on a drunkard in a bar. It’s a mean joke, making out this drunkard has always been a noble man his entire life, making out as though nothing has ever changed. It seems funny at first and has made me laugh plenty of times – although some of that may be down to my own humour of finding the way Shakespeare writes (phrases such as Sir! Give him head!) – but it is enjoyable.

Quickly, a play arises within the play and this is where my issues lie with The Taming of the Shrew. Now I am aware that Shakespeare’s plays and any and all plays written within the Shakespearean era are quite misogynistic, and I do give them the benefit of the doubt. However, the pure misogyny in the play of The Taming of the Shrew makes me feel very uncomfortable.

Slight spoilers below.

– Asking a woman to marry you, and then when she says no, arranging a wedding date without her permission either way –

Spoilers over.

This is so worrying to read and it makes my stomach churn slightly. The Taming of the Shrew could really have done without this play inside of it, full of pure disrespect of women. Again, I know misogyny was a thing back then, but again, there’s just so much of it, it’s so uncomfortable to read.

Either way, I didn’t let this distract me from the original play I was reading and pushed on through it.

Around half way through, the play began to lag terribly. I couldn’t focus properly on it, I had to reread lines four or five times to understand what was being said, my attention just wouldn’t sit still on it. I started getting headaches, trying to follow all the dialogue, long text after long text. It was disappointing that this happened, really, because I had been enjoying the play before hand. I feel like I’m now just trying to trudge through tar to get to the finishing line. I’ve always had a small love for Shakespeare, especially when it comes to sonnets, so finding that The Taming of the Shrew is getting increasingly harder to read is really quite upsetting.

The drama in the later chapters did make this a little more exciting to read but it was still trivial to read and get through. I found myself taking forever to read it, eyes skimming over and not taking words in, trying to find something to distract myself with because I just couldn’t focus on the writing, and it’s a shame, really. The ending was poor, had no weight to it and was just a train wreck after five ‘chapters’ of the play.

I could not wait for this to be over, I just wanted it to be done with so I could shelve it as read and move on to ultimately forget such a boring play. Honestly I wouldn’t recommend reading this; read a sonnet or two instead, and find another play to read. Give this one a miss. I hope The Comedy of Errors isn’t this trivial or I may just have to give up on Shakespeare completely.
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"The Taming of the Shrew" is probably William Shakespeare's second most controversial play -- nobody can figure out if it's misogynistic or a biting double satire on the sexes. Whatever it is, it's still a witty and hilarious comedy that pits the titular "shrew" against a crazy guy determined to browbeat her into traditional subservience... and while they're no Beatrice and Benedick, it is lots of fun.

Framing device: a local lord and his hunting party stumble across a drunken tinker, and decide to play an elaborate prank on him. They dress him in rich clothes, arrange fine food for him, and even drag a protesting servant boy in to pretend to be his wife. And they put on a performance for him as well: Baptista Minola has two daughters, the hot-tempered razor-tongued Katharina and the quiet, demure Bianca.

Since Bianca is not allowed to marry until Katharina is, her suitors form an alliance to get the elder sister out of the way, which is made more complex when a young student named Luciento falls in love with Bianca, and comes up with a clever plan to woo her. Enter Petruchio, an impoverished nobleman with as sharp a wit as Katharina -- and since he's the only one willing to marry her, her father jumps on the chance. From the very beginning, Petruchio beats her over the head with crazy reverse psychology, a ridiculous wedding ceremony, and a honeymoon from hell.

It's often debated whether "The Taming of the Shrew" is a sexist play or not, since the strong-willed, independent Katharina ends up another little obedient wifie, lecturing the other wives on giving their husbands "love, fair looks and true obedience." Blech.

But consider: this speech comes from a woman who, after years of intimidating the men around her, has been browbeaten, emotionally abused and humiliated until her boorish hubby finally "breaks" her... not exactly a rousing celebration of "the taming of the shrew," or of Petruchio! If anything, Shakespeare seems to be hinting that women should be subtle about their rebellion (as Bianca is) rather than broadcasting it to the world... and perhaps that is what the "shrew" had really learned.

And as usual, Shakespeare wraps the play in delicious wordplay ("You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate,/And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst"), weird situations (the ridiculous wedding), and an farcical romantic tangle centering on Bianca. And Shakespeare has some fun with the framing device about Christopher Sly -- while the lord is being a jerk, the whole situation is just so hilarious that it's impossible not to enjoy it.

And the characters are pretty fun as well, even when you want to kick them in the backside -- Katharina is delightfully witty, bombastic and very intimidating, and Petruchio is a hilarious, witty jerk who knows just how to counter her. Bianca seems like a subservient doormat at first, but Shakespeare hints that (in her own way) she's just as rebellious as Katharina, unbeknownst to her clownish admirers and her worn-out dad.

"The Taming of the Shrew" seems like a pretty offensive piece until you see all the little barbs sticking out of the surface. Really uncomfortable, and truly brilliant.
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