View Full Version : question regarding taming of the shrew

06-20-2003, 08:42 PM
Does anyone have any information regarding Shakespeare's inspiration for The Taming of The Shrew, or even the sources he used? Anything you can tell me would be greatly apreciated.

06-20-2003, 09:36 PM
Here's what I found:
"HISTORICAL DATA. This comedy is an adaptation of an older play The Taming of a Shrew, by an unknown author, published in 1594. It is generally agreed that in the working over of this play into its final form another hand than Shakespeare's is evident. Some critics have suggested Marlowe as his collaborator.
The plot follows closely that of the older play, but the style and diction are completely changed. The enlargement of the character of Petruchio, the sub-plot of Bianca and her lovers, and the genuine spirit of high comedy appear to have been added by Shakespeare.
The Induction, which is taken direct from A Shrew, is Oriental in derivation, a similar story having appeared in the Arabian Nights. The source of the main plot may be found in an Elizabethan poem A Merry Geste of a Shrewd and Curst Wife, written about 1575. Similar stories appear in Italian literature, notably the Notte Piacevoli by Straparolo (1550), in which Shakespeare probably found the name of his hero.
The underplot, Bianca and her disguised lovers, is parallel to passages in Gascoigne's Supposes, an adaptation of Ariosto's I Suppositi, performed at Gray's Inn in 1566." (p. 214)

Wright, William Aldis, ed. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. New York: Garden City, 1936.

07-11-2003, 12:05 AM
From what I've read, scholars seem to entertain three options for the origing of taming of A shrew; One is that is is simply a rough draft, written by a young, less experienced Shakespeare, two, it is a badly pirated version of a play preformed by a rival company or three, he adapted the play from an older play.

At any rate, he was quite liberal for his time. Many of the other similar "shrew" plays focus on the stripping and beating of a wife into submission.

10-04-2003, 06:09 AM
if this'll help, which i doubt it will, the movie 'ten things i hate about u' was based on this play. that's irrelevent info, though. )

10-06-2003, 08:06 PM
Fayefaye, my enjoyment of that movie may get me to pick up the actual play, though I don't know how I'll be able to read such language. But I'll try. :D

10-07-2003, 04:32 PM
You'll try your best, Rotty, we know. ;)

10-07-2003, 05:45 PM
Such is true. :D