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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: September ::
Christopher Sly
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0953.  Wednesday, 24 September 1997.

From:           Julia Spriggs <
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Date:           Tuesday, 23 Sep 1997 14:29:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Christopher Sly

A couple years ago, I remember reading The Taming of the Shrew for an
English class.  Unlike most of the other students, I rather enjoyed it,
although one part had always bothered me.

The Taming of the Shrew is famous for being a play inside a play.  At
the beginning, they're talking of that drunken slob who the Lord (if I
correctly recall) convinced Christopher Sly that he was the Lord, and
then the actual Lord got his page to dress up as Christopher Sly's
wife.  Then that traveling acting company comes through and puts on The
Taming of the Shrew.  But Shakespeare never once went back and told
whatever happened to Christopher Sly!  I have questioned my English
teachers ever since then about that.  The teacher who I had read it
under told me that despite of Shakespeare's incredible writing skills he
was also horrendously sloppy.  My English teacher from last year had no
comment.  Indeed, I don't believe she's ever read The Taming of the
Shrew.  She's the type of person who derives all her ideas from Cliff
Notes.  She didn't care for me so much as I would argue with her
constantly on my own interpretations, like when we were reading The
Iliad.  And she also didn't seem so pleased when we were to read Great
Expectations I came up to her and told her I had already read that
several years ago.  "Then read A Tale of Two Cities!"  She was even
considerably more displeased when I told her that I had already read
that as well.  But I digress....  I asked my English teacher of this
year, and he said that he felt it was to keep the reader, or spectator
more or less interested.  And I can see his point because this
particular play has always intrigued me.  I'm wondering, is there anyone
else with any other theories why Shakespeare may have done this?

Julia Spriggs
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