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The Taming of the Shrew Prof. Simonetta Gatto Istituto Comprensivo di Casella.

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Presentation on theme: "The Taming of the Shrew Prof. Simonetta Gatto Istituto Comprensivo di Casella."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Taming of the Shrew Prof. Simonetta Gatto Istituto Comprensivo di Casella

2 THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Author: William Shakepeare Written between 1590 and Genre: a comedy play First performance: 1593

3 STRUCTURE OF THE COMEDY A play within a play - Frame device William Shakespeare used a frame device for The Taming of the Shrew. He imagined a scene in a tavern where a group, made up of a Lord, his servants, a drunkurd and the hostess, watch a play. The comedy has a prologue (frame) and is divided into five acts.

4 What is a frame device? A frame story is a literary technique which aims to introduce or emphasize a main narrative, in this case a play. It is a story in a story. It is also called frame tale or frame narrative. Famous examples of frame stories are Canterbury Tales by Joffrey Chaucer and Decameron by Boccaccio.

5 THE CHARACTERS OF THE FRAME CHRISTOPHER SLY: a drunkard fooled by a lord who lets him believe he is a rich lord, married to a beautiful lady. L0RD: owner of the tavern where the comedy is performed and author of the trick. HOSTESS: running a tavern. SERVANTS and PAGES helping the lord with the prank.

6 CHARACTERS OF THE PLAY BAPTISTA, a rich Gentleman of Padua KATHARINA and BIANCA, daughters to Baptista VINCENTIO, an old Gentleman of Pisa LUCENTIO, son to Vincentio, in love with Bianca PETRUCHIO, a Gentleman of Verona, suitor to Katharina GREMIO, HORTENSIO, Suitors to Bianca TRANIO, BIONDELLO, Servants to Lucentio GRUMIO, CURTIS, Servants to Petruchio PEDANT, set up to personate Vincentio WIDOW

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8 SETTING Like numerous other Shakesperean plays, The Taming of the Shrew is set in Italy, in this case Padua. Other Shakespearean settings are: Coriolanus: Rome, Corioli, and Antium Cymbeline: partly in Italy. Julius Caesar: Rome The Merchant of Venice: partly in Venice, and partly at Belmont. Much Ado about Nothing: Messina Othello: Venice (for first act) Romeo and Juliet: Verona and Mantua The Taming of the Shrew: Padua

9 WHY SO MANY SETTINGS IN ITALY? Because he studied Latin and Latin authors, in particular Tacitus. Some more modern Italian writers, like Boccaccio and Ariosto, were popular in England. A lot of plots had ancient Roman or Italian Renaissance sources, so it made sense to use the original settings. The Italians were considered sophisticated, cunning and a little licentious. These qualities went well with comedies where deception and sexual passion were basic elements. All his comedies, except The Merry Wives of Windsor, are set in Italy.

10 The plot The merchant Baptista from Padua has two daughters. Bianca is younger and more beautiful than Katherina, but she cannot be married before her strong-willed sister.

11 Lucentio, a student from Pisa, falls in love with her and changes identity with his servant Tranio to meet the girl. Bianca already has two other suitors: the old Gremio and Hortensio. Gremio asks Lucentio, disguised as a Latin tutor, to court Bianca on his behalf, while Hortensio disguises himself as a musician to woo her.

12 Petruchio, a young man from Verona, visits his friend Hortensio. He hears about Katherina and decides to court her because she is very rich, aided by both Gremio and Hortensio.

13 Baptista, the father, is happy about Petruchio and organizes the wedding. Katherine, the shrew, is badly treated by both her husband and his servants. At the end she submits to him.

14 Hortensio, rejected by Bianca, marries a widow. Vincentio, Lucentio's father arrives in Verona and tries to explain Baptista the complicated situation and the exchanges of identity. Meanwhile Lucentio has secretly married Bianca. Baptista organizes a wedding party for both his daughters. Petruchio devises a competition to prove whose wife is the most obedient. Bianca and the widow fail to come to their husbands when called, while Kate teaches the women on the duties of a wife.

15 Themes of the comedy Relationship between men and women: they are cruel to each other. Baptista has a complete control over his daughter. Petruchio is very cruel to Katherine and tames her. Money and greed for it. Appearance and reality: nothing is what it is: Bianca, apparently sweet and compliant, shows some rebellion. Kathrenine, apparently strong- willed and shrewish, reveals herself an obedient wife Change of roles and disguise.


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