Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew is an early comedy by William
Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1590 and 1594.
The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the
Induction, in which a drunken tinker named Sly is tricked into
thinking he is a nobleman by a mischievous Lord.
The Lord has a play performed for Sly's amusement
with a primary and sub-plot. The main plot depicts the courting
of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong,
obdurate, and eponymous shrew. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling
participant in the relationship but Petruchio tempers her with
various psychological torments - the "taming" - until
she is an obedient bride. The sub-plot features a competition
between the suitors of Katherina's less intractable sister, Bianca.
The play's misogynistic elements have become the
subject of considerable controversy, particularly among modern
audiences and readers. It has nevertheless been adapted numerous
times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theatre; the most
famous adaptation being Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate.
The play's date of composition and genesis cannot
be easily discerned, due to its uncertain relationship with another
Elizabethan play with an almost identical plot but different wording,
entitled The Taming of a Shrew.