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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Shrew Sources
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0724  Friday, 23 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Stephen Miller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 22 Apr 1999 15:12:30 +0100 ()
        Subj:   Shrew Sources

[2]     From:   Gavin H Witt <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Apr 99 0:20:21 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 21 Apr 1999 to 22 Apr 1999


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Miller <
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Date:           Thursday, 22 Apr 1999 15:12:30 +0100 ()
Subject:        Shrew Sources

If Stephanie Hughes is looking for an study of sources of the Katherina
/ Petruchio plot of THE TAMING OF A SHREW she might examine a book by
Jan Harold Brunvand called THE TAMING OF THE SHREW : A COMPARATIVE STUDY
OF ORAL AND LITERARY VERSIONS  (New York : Garland Pub, 1991).  The
research was done in the 1950s, but it strikes me as the most important
book written about the play in this century.

Stephen Miller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gavin H Witt <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Apr 99 0:20:21 CDT
Subject:        Re: SHAKSPER Digest - 21 Apr 1999 to 22 Apr 1999

Regarding Stephanie Hughes' inquiry:

>Does anyone have current (or not so current) and favorite scholarship on
>Taming of the Shrew to recommend?  I am interested in thoughts on
>Shakespeare's sources, its (to me) obvious connection with holiday
>reversal rituals, and the possibility it may have been written
>originally as a wedding roast, my idea, but probably not an original
>one. I know the source trail of the Bianca/Lucentio subplot
>(Gascoigne/Ariosto/Plautus), but am at a loss for a possible source for
>the Petruchio/Kate main plot.  I know that some commentators claim that
>there is no source for this, but perhaps more recent scholarship might
>suggest otherwise.

I expect to see a veritable deluge of responses to this, which I eagerly
await for selfish reasons.  I would say that given some of your
parameters, you could do worse than look at Jan Brunvand's definitive,
exhaustive though now somewhat antique study of folktale origins of The
Shrew and A Shrew, which I for one find convincing in tracing the
principle sourceline informing the Kate/Petruchio narrative in English
and northern European folktales (primarily oral, somewhat pamphlet and
subsequent literary derivations).  Plenty more to be said on the
subject, however.

Expectantly,
Gavin Witt
University of Chicago
 

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