The Shrew and British Feminism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0195 Monday, 26 January 2004
From: John Webb <
Date: Sunday, 25 Jan 2004 12:26:03 -0000
Subject: Re: The Shrew and British Feminism
Is Taming of the Shrew really about "feminism", or is it about Platonic
The Induction depicts Sly waking from a dream, unsure about the reality
of his experience.
A footnote in the Arden edition, p134, says that some of these ideas
came to be expanded in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which certainly does
have a Platonic interpretation.
Two images occur throughout Taming of the Shrew - a shrew, and
references to taming a falcon. What is the significance of these symbols?
The editor of the Arden edition notes that from the 14th Century "shrew"
was a name for the Devil, and that the female sense came later. The
editor says "the long sense of Satanic must inform our understanding".
What is the significance of taming a falcon? In myths, birds often
represent the soul. The soul of the falcon, Horus, had an important
significance in, for example, Ancient Egyptian myth. Is there any
What is this play really about?
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