The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1277 Thursday, 15 July 1999.
From: Clifford Stetner <
Date: Wednesday, 14 Jul 1999 23:54:21 -0400
Subject: 10.1269 Shakespeare vs. Shakespeare...
Comment: Re: SHK 10.1269 Shakespeare vs. Shakespeare...
There is perhaps an analogy with the "Murder of Gonzago" in Hamlet. As
a tragedy, Gonzago is trite and melodramatic, sort of a poor to middling
Elizabethan tragedy (well, poor), but as a play within a play it becomes
part of a far more complex discourse which, among other things, concerns
the nature of drama (and therefore the play in which it appears). The
same can be said for Shrew. In itself it is a sitcom for the
groundlings, perhaps somewhat improved by Shakespeare from an earlier
lost play. As part of a metadiscourse involving Sly, however, it takes
on a greater complexity of meaning concerning the nature of drama and
especially of comedy and laughter which, in my view, is akin to both
Freud and Baudelaire.
>In a spirit of play (and also in questioning my own "commonplaces" which
>I've noticed have, somewhat despite myself, become reified), would
>anybody care to argue that TAMING OF THE SHREW is a BETTER play than,
>say, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM? I would very much love to hear arguments
>(on either side) based on taste, ideology, whatever...