Saturday, February 8, 2020

Review of "The Taming of the Shrew: A Shakespeare Story," by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross

Review of

The Taming of the Shrew: A Shakespeare Story, by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross ISBN 9781626866997

Four out of five stars

 This is one of the Shakespearean plays that will likely run afoul of the modern self-declared PC police. It depicts a woman (Katherina) that is foul tempered and cannot get along with anyone. Her reputation for nastiness is so great that no man in the area has any interest in being her husband. Her younger sister Bianca has a temperament that is completely opposite, so she is considered prime bride material by many of the local men.

 Knowing how difficult it will be to marry Katherina off, their father Baptista proclaims that desirable Bianca will not be wed before Katherina is. This leads to a group of men entering into a pact of deception, if it is successful the man that loves Bianca will be able to marry her. A man named Petruchio comes into town and serves as the man that courts Katherina in a very odd way. Like Katherina’s traits, his are also exaggerated.

 This book captures the essence of the story, although it does not have a single line of dialog from the Shakespearean play. It is meant to be a comedy of the times of Shakespeare and it loses a great deal of the humorous features when placed in the modern context. Despite her faults, when the play opens Katherina is a strong, independent woman and by the end she is totally submissive to her husband.

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