The Taming of the Shrew (Folger Shakespeare Library)
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Love and marriage are the concerns of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio’s marriage to Bianca is prompted by his idealized love of an apparently ideal woman. Petruchio’s wooing of Katherine, however, is free of idealism. Petruchio takes money from Bianca’s suitors to woo her, since Katherine must marry before her sister by her father’s decree; he also arranges the dowry with her father. Petruchio is then ready to marry Katherine, even against her will.
Katherine, the shrew of the play’s title, certainly acts much changed. But have she and Petruchio learned to love each other? Or is the marriage based on terror and deception?
The authoritative edition of The Taming of the Shrew from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:
-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play
-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play
-Scene-by-scene plot summaries
-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases
-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language
-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play
-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books
-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading
Essay by Karen Newman
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
guests asked their host’s leave before departing 59 on 60 rattle along 61 rope-tricks = rhetoric (as the word is mangled by Grumio) 62 stand him = hold her ground against/resist/withstand him 63 rhetorical figure (way of expression) 44 act 1 • scene 2 For in Baptista’s keep64 my treasure is. He hath the jewel of my life in hold,65 115 His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca, And her withholds from me and66 other more Suitors to her, and rivals in my love, Supposing it a thing
and rates, that she (poor soul) Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak, And sits as one new risen from a dream. 170 Away, away, for he is coming hither. exeunt enter Petruchio Petruchio Thus have I politicly87 begun my reign,88 And ’tis my hope to end successfully. My falcon now is sharp,89 and passing empty. And till she stoop,90 she must not be full-gorged,91 175 For then she never looks92 upon her lure.93 Another way I have to man my haggard,94 86 (1) self-restraint,
crossing it. ( to Servants) Sirs, let ’t alone, I will not go today, and ere I do, It shall be what o’clock I say it is. 190 Hortensio ( aside) Why, so102 this gallant will103 command the sun. exeunt 96 account’st = reckon/consider it 97 be merry 98 about, roughly 99 large midday meal 100 late afternoon meal 101 look what = pay attention to whatever 102 thus, in this manner 103 (1) wishes, (2) will (future tense) 125 act 4 • scene 4 s c e n e 4 In front of Baptista’s house enter
blessèd sun. Kate Then God be blessed, it is the blessèd sun. But sun it is not, when you say it is not, And the moon changes even as your mind. What you will have it named, even that it is, And so it shall be so for Katherine. [4.5.1–22] From this moment on, Kate firmly rules while endlessly protesting her obedience to the delighted Petruchio, a marvelous Shakespearean reversal of Petruchio’s earlier strategy of proclaim-ing Kate’s mildness even as she raged on.There is no more charm-ing
the Age in Relation to Poetry and Religion. New York: Columbia University Press, 1933. Reprint, New York: Doubleday, 1955. Wilson, F. P. The Plague in Shakespeare’s London. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. Wilson, John Dover. Life in Shakespeare’s England: A Book of Elizabethan Prose. 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913. Reprint, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1944. Zimmerman, Susan, and Ronald F. E.Weissman, eds. Urban Life in the Renaissance. Newark: University of