1997

Re: Christopher Sly and Shrew Queries

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0961.  Friday, 26 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 97 20:46:00 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Sly

[2]     From:   Sean Kevin Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 11:04:26 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 8.0957  Re: Christopher Sly

[3]     From:   Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 16:06:08 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re:  SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

[4]     From:   Shaula Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 15:45:25 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Another Shrew Question

[5]     From:   Carol A. Cole <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 20:30:30 -0400
        Subj:   Shrew Ending


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 97 20:46:00 -0400
Subject:        Re: Sly

To: Julia Spriggs

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

 JS> The Taming of the Shrew is famous for being a play inside a play.
At
 JS> the beginning, they're talking of that drunken slob who the Lord
(if I
 JS> correctly recall) convinced Christopher Sly that he was the Lord,
and
 JS> then the actual Lord got his page to dress up as Christopher Sly's
 JS> wife.  Then that traveling acting company comes through and puts on
 JS> The Taming of the Shrew.  But Shakespeare never once went back and
told
 JS> whatever happened to Christopher Sly!  I have questioned my English
 JS> teachers ever since then about that.

Others will probably mention this, but there is an Elizabethan play
called the "Taming of *A* Shrew," that for many years was considered an
immediate source the "The Taming of *The* Shrew."  However, some people
think it may be a bad reconstruction of "The Taming of the Shrew."
Anyway, "*A* Shrew" features Christopher Sly (same name) throughout the
play, and it ends with him dumped back in the alley where he started,
telling the Tapster ("A Shrew's" version of the "Hostess") about the
dream he had.  The wrap-up goes like this:

        TAPSTER   I marry but you had best get you home,
      For your wife will course you for dreming here to night,

        SLIE    Will she?  I know now how to tame a shrew,
      I dreamt upon it all this night till now,
      And thou hast wakt me out of the best dreame
      That ever I had in my life, but Ile to my
      Wife presently and tame her too
      And if she anger me.

        TAPSTER  Nay tarry Slie for Ile go home with thee
      And hear the rest that thou hast dreamed to night.

                   *Exeunt Omnes*

Some scholars feel that this may be an inaccurate version of "The Taming
of The Shrew," reported by the actor who played Sly.  (NOTE: There are a
lot of problems with the theory that they are the same play.  Despite
the similarities, there are also some large differences.  I don't
actually endorse the view, but nobody has ever figured out exactly what
"A Shrew" is, and exactly what its relationship is to "The Shrew."
However, if that theory *is* accurate, then it seems likely that Sly's
lines may have some claim to accuracy.)

I have heard that sometimes the "extra" Sly scenes are lifted from "A
Shrew" and acted in some modern productions of "The Shrew," although I
have never seen one.

If you have any interest in "A Shrew," the full text is in the first
volume of Geoffrey Bullough's "Narrative and Dramatic Sources of
Shakespeare" (Library of Congress Number 57-9969), which is probably
available in your local library.

        - Carl (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Kevin Lawrence <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 11:04:26 -0700
Subject: 8.0957  Re: Christopher Sly
Comment:        RE: SHK 8.0957  Re: Christopher Sly

Dear All,

The recent thread on Christopher Sly seems to miss something I think
essential to looking at the induction's place in the play as a whole:
the number of 'plays' in this play (therefore the number of levels of
'realities'), and their tendency to cross over.

The lord's 'practice' must be considered to itself be included within
the frame of the induction, and to include the whole of the trick on
Sly, including main plot, presented for his benefit.  In this case,
though, the play threatens to become overliteralized and collapse as Sly
demands to go to bed.  Similarly, Tranio identifies the entry of
Baptista, Katherina, Bianca, and Hortensio as "some show to welcome us
to town."  At first they stand aside to observe it, but then enter into
the action, violating the distinction between the show which welcomes
them and their own position as audience.  The pedant plays the role of
Vincentio, but overplays it, almost getting everyone into a mess.  And
this is not to touch upon the many roles played by Petruchio, or foisted
upon Katherine, that are made literal.

Playing, in this drama, seems to represent a force of instability,
threatening not only social and gender roles, but also sense of self
(Kate's and Sly's); moreover, it threatens our own sense of reality,
bolstered by our containing the play as something remote and enclosed.
Efforts (by Pope, for instance, who revived the final induction scene)
to enclose the play by tacking on a final induction, playing it matched
with _The Tamer Tamed_ or contextualizing it in sociological / political
terms seem to betray our uneasiness with it, our desire to keep it in
its place and to keep it from subverting our own enlightenment
prejudices.  Ultimately, the play itself, the play which violates
metaphysical and ontological categorization, is the shrew that we all
too often attempt to tame.

Cheers,
Sean Lawrence

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 16:06:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0953  Christopher Sly
Comment:        Re:  SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

Julia keep on truckin' despite teachers just  finished teaching Taming
to a group of Senior citizens...I think the best theory is that
Shakespeare wrote it fairly quickly, started out with an interesting
gimmick and was rushed to get it staged and dropped the Sly story...the
other theory is similar and that is that actors were doubling and he
just decided not to continue to story because it put too much stress on
them...

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Shaula Evans <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 15:45:25 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        Another Shrew Question

First off, many thanks to everyone who some weeks ago responded to me
request for scene suggestions for one female and one male actor.  We
have wound up going with the meeting scene of Katherine and Petruchio
from Shrew (2.1)...so I am immensely enjoying all the Shrew discussion
going on right now (and trying desperately to decide how we will
pronounce P's name....)

A point of interest:  has anyone else remarked how Katherina states
quite plainly in our scene that while Petruchio insists on calling her
Kate, her name is Katherine...and yet all of *us* call her Kate as
well?  Somehow the feminist in me noticed how tradition has carried on
Petruchio's power of naming Katherine, rather than reflecting her own
wishes.  Interesting.

And a question:  early in 2.1, Petruchio lists of an enumeration of
names, including Kate of Kate-hall.  Hmmm  I have stretched my  limited
resources, and haven't found an explanation of what Kate-hall means, or
to what it might refer.  Any takers?

Thank you
Shaula Evans
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Shakespeare Kelowna

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol A. Cole <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 20:30:30 -0400
Subject:        Shrew Ending

Julia's recent question about Taming of the Shrew is prompting me to ask
one of my own.  This summer I saw the play performed at Stratford,
Ontario, where it was set in a 1950s Italian immigrant community in "New
Padua," aka New York.  What took me by surprise was the ending.  After
Katherine's submission in 5.2 that wins Petruchio's bet (and doubles her
dowry), they cut to another scene showing Katherine and Petruchio in bed
together gleefully counting their loot and throwing it around.  It
looked like the bet and submission scene were all a setup that they had
planned together ahead of time.  If any of you saw this production, did
you take it this way too?  Have any of you interpreted this scene as a
setup?  I should add that in this production, at the end of 5.1, where
Kate kisses Petruchio, Kate and Petruchio clearly realize that they love
each other.

Carol

UMabatha and adaptations

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0960.  Thursday, 25 September 1997.

From:           Jung Jimmy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 16:25 -0500
Subject:        UMabatha and adaptations

UMabatatha, which is subtitled "The Zulu Macbeth" just left Washington
DC, apparently bound for California, New York, New Jersey and Ohio, at
least that's what the T-shirts in the lobby said.

I was wondering what other "cultural adaptations" of Shakespeare are out
there.  Somehow I began visualizing a Kabuki Lear (knowing nothing about
Kabuki, including how to spell it).  Oddly enough, I saw the Zulu
Macbeth right after finally locating and reading Bohannan's "Shakespeare
in the Bush," where she highlights the difficulty in translating meaning
into the West African Culture.  But Umbatha does a remarkable job of
using and retaining the story, while making it wholly African.

That being said, seeing UMabatha for the Shakespeare I assume is roughly
like seeing Verdi's Otello; unless you speak Italian, you better enjoy
the music.  Unless you speak Zulu, you better enjoy drums and dancing.
If you do enjoy drums and dancing then you will be amazed, blow away
even.  But the subtitles provide little more than a synopsis of the
scenes; any poetry is lost.  There may have been poetry, the translated
script on sale in the lobby looked interesting, but exceeded my budget
and there definitely was drama.  Macbeth/Mabatha and Lady
Macbeth/KaMadonsela's deliver monologues that argue for some human
moments that transcend culture; likewise when Macduff/Mafudu learns of
his family's death.  On the other hand the first appearance of the ghost
seems almost comedic and KaMadonsela's urging of Mabatha seems almost
like nagging, without being able to understand the words.

jimmy

Re: Ophelia; Videos; Vocabulary

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0958.  Thursday, 25 September 1997.

[1]     From:   David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 13:02:20 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0901  Re: Ophelia and Clau

[2]     From:   Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 12:56:54 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0950  Re: BBC tapes are nice, how about

[3]     From:   Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 14:18:35 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0952  Re: Shakespeare's  Vocabulary


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 13:02:20 -0400
Subject: 8.0901  Re: Ophelia and Clau
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0901  Re: Ophelia and Clau

On the matter of Ophelia's songs.  From a naturalistic perspective it is
useful to recall a couple of features of early modern English life by
contrast with ours.  First, that people lived closer together,
physically and socially.  Houses tended to be clustered together; most
country folk lived in villages, or in large farmhouses housing not just
the farm family but their domestic servants and farm laborers, while
city houses opened onto crowded streets and shared walls with neighbors
on either side.  The exceptions were large mansions that housed, again,
not just the owner's family but servants and other dependents.
Aristocrats like Ophelia shared domestic space with the menials who
emptied the chamberpots and groomed the horses; a young girl might well
wander into the scullery or the stableyard at a time when somebody was
singing a bawdy song, or hear it at night from somebody out in the
street reeling home from the tavern.  the likelihood grows in a society
as devoted to singing as early modern English society appears to have
been.

But we might also look at it from dramatic perspective.  As our Welsh
Harrier never tires of reminding us, Ophelia is a complicated figure of
speech, not a person, and need not be accounted for by anything in
particular outside the text.  If that figure becomes more moving and
pertinent by singing lewd songs the songs need no other explanation.

Dave Evett

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pixley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 12:56:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 8.0950  Re: BBC tapes are nice, how about
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0950  Re: BBC tapes are nice, how about

> Abigail Quart's plea for regional theater productions to become
> available to all interested, will probably remain unrealized for the
> foreseeable future.
>
> The reason I was given by theater professionals in Oregon, California,
> and Utah, is that they do not want their work seen that way.  While most
> regional theaters would love for PBS or CBS to properly tape and
> broadcast their productions - if it could be done in the Live From
> Lincoln Center style - that doesn't happen very often.  Many (most?)
> theaters tape their productions for archival purposes only.  This is
> usually done with one camera covering the entire stage.  It is not
> aesthetically pleasing.  Nothing comes over well.
>
> Theaters do not want tapes available to the public.  These tapes give a
> false impression of their work and would make them look bad, or at least
> worse.  Unless something unexpected changes, I suspect it will be a very
> long time before reputable theaters want their archival work available
> to the public.
>
> Best,
> Mike Jensen

Mike,  Your point makes sense as a general principle.  However, the
productions Abigail refers to, as well as the "King Lear" I ask for, and
the Guthrie "School for Scandal" (c. mid-70s) that I would also like to
see again and use in my classroom, were all broadcast on nationwide
television.  Despite Terence Hawkes' satisfaction at not being subjected
to them, I am still able to draw on the directing choices in all of
those productions for my teaching of Shakespeare, Sheridan, and Rostand
in the theatre.  I had no opportunity to see any of them in live
production (though the Lear was shot before a live audience at the
Delacort), and I cannot imagine any advantage to be gained from having
missed them on television.  Kathleen Widdoes' drenched (and later
"stuffed") Beatrice is the most memorable I have ever seen; James Earl
Jones' exit to prison handling his chains as reins and Raul Julia's rude
gesture on "Phht!" are as clear to me today as though I had seem them
last night; Lady Sneerwell's sudden loss of her wig when her plotting is
exposed is as vivid a tying together of word and action as the theatre
can provide.  Unfortunately, I believe the problem is legal.  Too many
contracts were involved in the original broadcast, and sorting out of
them for rebroadcast is almost impossible.  So for those who privately
taped those original broadcasts, and whose tapes have long since become
unusable, hope that our TV executives will renew their interest in
making new productions (as brilliant as those were) available to those
of us who do not have such ready access to the great theatre companies
of the world.

Ed Pixley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Eric Armstrong <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 14:18:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 8.0952  Re: Shakespeare's  Vocabulary
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0952  Re: Shakespeare's  Vocabulary

For an interesting take on Shakespeare's "mammoth" vocabulary compared
to our "wee" ones, read Stephen Pinker's exceptional _Language Instinct_
in which he shows how difficult it is a. to prove how big someone's
vocabulary is and b. how our personal vocabularies are really incredibly
huge because we have the ability to understand words developed out of
their component parts. He uses this 30,000 word vocabulary as a unit of
measurement ("8 Shakespeares"), much to my delight.

Eric Armstrong

Q: Macbeth Witches

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0959.  Thursday, 25 September 1997.

From:           Curt L. Tofteland <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 10:32:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Macbeth Witches

Greetings,

We are producing MACBETH for our 38th season of free Shakespeare in
Louisville, Kentucky --- I am interested in research materials regarding
the witches --- I do have Garry Wills' excellent book WITCHES & JESUITS
--- I have also been recommended Deborah Willis' book MALEVOLENT
NURTURE: Witch-Hunting & Maternal Power in Early Modern England

Please forward your resource suggestions to my e-mail address ---
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks for the help,

Curt L. Tofteland
Producing Director
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival

Re: Christopher Sly

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0957.  Thursday, 25 September 1997.

[1]     From:   Imtiaz Habib <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 97 13:27:06 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

[2]     From:   Kristen L. Olson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 13:53:12 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Christopher Sly

[3]     From:   Lauren Bergquist <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 14:58:16 -0400
        Subj:   Christopher Sly

[4]     From:   Joseph "Chepe" Lockett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 20:27:35 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

[5]     From:   Ed Peschko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 03:33:38 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Imtiaz Habib <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 97 13:27:06 EDT
Subject: 8.0953  Christopher Sly
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

Do you think it could have something to do with the way that Elizabethan
drama inevitably implicates "art" in the perceptions of "life" itself?
Do you think, as in the case of Chaucer's famous "incompleteness" in the
Canterbury Tales, the fact that Sly and co's watching of the Taming of
the Shrew is never completed so to speak, could have something to do
with the performativity  of life itself?  A good question, and one that
I just finished discussing in one of the upper div Shakespeare classes
that I teach.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kristen L. Olson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 13:53:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Christopher Sly

Julia Spriggs wonders what becomes of Christopher Sly, the character for
whom _The Taming of the Shrew_ is allegedly performed, the central
question being: should we wonder what becomes of a "play-within-a-play"
if we're never shown the audience again at its conclusion?  While in
most "present" editions of the play  Sly disappears after the opening,
reference source I quickly checked notes his fuller presence in quarto
editions of _Shrew_: "Although Sly's story ends abruptly after 1.1 in
the oldest edition of _The Taming of the Shrew_, in the First Folio of
1623 it is complete in _The Taming of A Shrew_, believed to be a Bad
Quarto version...containing Sh's original rendition of Sly's adventure:
in three further interludes, Sly remarks on the play, eating and
drinking all the while.  In a fifth episode, he has fallen asleep, and
the LORD [from Act I] orders him returned to the spot [outside the
tavern] where he had been found.  In a 23 line epilogue...Sly is
discovered by the tavern owner who warns him that Sly's wife will be
angry that he's stayed out all night.  Sly replies that he need not fear
his wife for he has had a dream that has taught him how to deal with
her."  (Charles Boyce)

It's not so much that Shakespeare was "sloppy", as your teacher
suggested, it's probably more accurate to say that the entire procedure
of theatre production and the eventual print appearance of dramatic
texts was not structured or regulated in the way that we might imagine
it to have been.  There were likely to be many incarnations of a
particular play, and comparing different versions can be a very
intriguing exercise...or career.  Anyway, for an interesting overview of
the process I'd recommend Peter Blayney's _The First Folio of
Shakespeare_ (Folger Library Publications, 1991), if you can get your
hands on it.  Possibly more readily available is the section of the
Into. to the _Riverside Shakespeare_ on " Shakespeare's Text".  (See
also in this edition Anne Barton's reference to Folio/Quarto versions of
Sly in her Intro. to the play.)  Each "version" of the play, however,
provides you with a compelling set of questions.  For instance, the
premise that the play itself is a "joke" played on Sly raises an
interesting set of problems; if Sly considers it a "dream"-you might
compare the Bad Quarto epilogue to Puck's lines at the close of _A
Midsummer Night's Dream_--what problems or possibilities does that
raise?  What sense of irony might Sly's pronouncement of his new
competence produce?  Comparing the differences (and/or similarities)
suggested by each version (questions like how is a joke different from
or similar to a dream?  On whom is the audience's attention focused and
what are the consequent effects?) might give you interesting things to
think about.  It sounds to me like you're onto a really good paper topic
here...depending on whose class you're in this year.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Lauren Bergquist <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 14:58:16 -0400
Subject:        Christopher Sly

In response to Julia Sprigg's <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> query regarding the
purpose of the induction (the Christopher Sly episode) in The Taming of
the Shrew,  I quote from Stanley Wells book,Shakespeare  A Life in Drama
(W.W. Norton & Company, 1995):

"Nevertheless the Sly episodes are thematically very relevant to this
story of a man, Petruccio, who uses imagination, words, and action to
transform a woman, Kate, from a shrew to an obedient and loving wife. To
omit them is to strip the play of an important, and humanizing,
dimension." (page 47)

Petruccio employs various techniques (words, game, action, costume) to
create a new reality and role for Kate; through his innovations, she is
transformed from wench to wife.  Similarly, the Lord in the induction
uses game (role-playing), words, action, and costumes to transform
Christopher Sly, a mere tinker, into a Lord.  Imagination can create
(and maybe overcome) reality, and perhaps that is why the induction
melts into the play-within-a-play, never to reappear.

 Hope this helps!

Also, notice how Wells spells "Petruccio"-I guess, therefore, the "cc"
would be pronounced as "ch" (like in "church").  This is in response to
another question that has been posted recently.

 Lauren Bergquist

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph "Chepe" Lockett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 24 Sep 1997 20:27:35 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 8.0953  Christopher Sly
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

Regarding Julia Spriggs' question about the purpose of the Induction in
SHREW, I'm quite fond of (my former professor) Dr. J. Dennis Huston's
thoughts in "Enter the Hero: the Power of Play in THE TAMING OF THE
SHREW," collected in his 1981 book _Shakespeare's_Comedies_of_Play
(Columbia U.  Press).  He sees the Induction as setting up the drama as
an essential practice of play-making (in several senses of the word).
"Although the Induction may be incomplete, it is not incoherent, since
its themes foreshadow those of the main play.  Many of its
concerns-uncertain and imposed identity, change of dress, violence, war
between the sexes, and an insistent focus, in Anne Righter's phrase, on
the idea of the play- reappear in the Bianca and shrew-taming plots."
(p. 64)

On the more practical "why does Sly disappear?" thread, I've often heard
it supposed that it's to set up a small timebomb in the heads of the
audience, so that on their way home they suddenly realize that the plot
they've just seen completed wasn't the whole of it, rekindling interest
and discussions of what it all meant (as we see here).  Others think
SHREW is just a sloppy play, and point out assorted textual cruxes and
so forth.  For what it's worth, the only production I've ever been
involved in (as Grumio, some ten years ago), while using some of
Huston's ideas about the Petruchio-Kate relationship as one of "learning
to play", also incorporated several of the passages from the
contemporaneous and much-debated THE TAMING OF _A_ SHREW.  Audiences
seemed to like it, but critics were divided.

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Peschko <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 25 Sep 1997 03:33:38 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: 8.0953  Christopher Sly
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0953  Christopher Sly

> 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

how about Martin Chuzzlewit ?

> 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?

I saw a production once at Stratford upon Avon, where it must have
bugged the director some - because he had the Lord drug Christopher
Sly's drink, have him fall unconscious, and then have Sly marvel at the
vividness of his 'dream' (Now I know how to tame a shrew... he says
about his wife).

It kind of bothers me too, but I don't know why Shakespeare did it. Kind
of like playing

do re mi fa sol la ti

on a keyboard. You just have to hit 'do'.

Ed

(PS: ironically, Taming of the Shrew reminds me of 'Godel Escher Bach'
by Douglas R. Hofstader. In the above respect, that is. His two
characters - Achilles and the Tortoise, are given a 'pushing potion' and
a 'popping potion' which let them slip in (push) and out (pop) of
paintings. In that particular essay I think they ended up popping more
than they pushed, and causing all sorts of problems. Interesting book.)

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