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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: June ::
Re: A Shrew
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1224  Friday, 15 June 2000.

[1]     From:   Stephen Miller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jun 2000 16:19:53 +0100 ()
        Subj:   A Shrew

[2]     From:   David Nicol <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 14 Jun 2000 09:53:21 PDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1218 Re: A Shrew


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Miller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jun 2000 16:19:53 +0100 ()
Subject:        A Shrew

Though Mike Jensen cited Laurie Maguire as a caution against accepting
memorial reconstruction in A Shrew; she classifies it 'Part MR' in
SHAKESPEAREAN SUSPECT TEXTS.

The old 'bad quarto' argument for A Shrew depends upon how you define
that term.  When Mike says 'I don't remember any Qs I have read ...
having such radical departures' he is quite right.  Compared to the
usually list of Shakespearean 'bad quartos' A Shrew varies far more from
the Folio version.

However, if you define 'bad quarto' as a text probably deriving from
someone who heard a performance, A Shrew certainly can be classed as
derivative.  It has a three-part structure paralleling The Shrew, the
two equivalent character names and numerous short verbal parallels.  A
Shrew has, as well, several borrowings from Marlowe, some from
unpublished plays, as well as lines from a DuBartas poem not published
in English until after 1594.

My best guess, after years of research, is that A Shrew represents a
deliberate adaptation of The Shrew and I think my evidence is pretty
conclusive, at least for the parallel I discuss in my full edition for
New Cambridge Shakespeare (pp 9-10), though like Mike Jensen, I too
would be interested to hear what members of the SHAKSPER list think.

Sincerely, Stephen Miller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Nicol <
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Date:           Wednesday, 14 Jun 2000 09:53:21 PDT
Subject: 11.1218 Re: A Shrew
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1218 Re: A Shrew

On the subject of differences between "A Shrew" and "The Shrew", I think
the most revealing one is the last lines of the play-within-the-play,
when Polidor confronts his newly-shrewish wife:

EMILIA:         How now Polidor, in a dump? What sayest thou, man?
POLIDOR:        I say thou art a shrew!
EMILIA:         That's better than a sheep.

Isn't that great? It undercuts Kate's capitulation beautifully. Much
better than the nasty Shakespeare version.

David Nicol
 

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