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Home :: Archive :: 2007 :: October ::
Problem Shrews
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0723  Monday, 22 October 2007

[1] 	From:	Charles Weinstein <
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	Date:	Sunday, 21 Oct 2007 14:53:07 -0400
	Subj:	RE: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

[2] 	From:	Richard Regan <
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	Date:	Sunday, 21 Oct 2007 18:47:32 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

[3] 	From:	Robert Projansky <
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	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 00:54:29 -0700
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

[4] 	From:	Cary Dean Barney <
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	Date:	Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:29:06 +0200
	Subj:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Charles Weinstein <
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Date:		Sunday, 21 Oct 2007 14:53:07 -0400
Subject: 18.0713 Problem Shrews
Comment:	RE: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews


Katharine, we know, is physically abusive towards others, and is so 
repeatedly. She hits Hortensio over the head with a lute; she binds her 
sister's hands; she strikes Petruchio. Is it wholly unreasonable to 
expect her victims to respond in kind? "In kind," of course, involves 
the concept of pulling one's punches in equitable fashion--though it is 
an open question whether Katharine is truly weaker than some of the men 
in the play.

--Charles Weinstein

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Richard Regan <
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Date:		Sunday, 21 Oct 2007 18:47:32 -0400
Subject: 18.0713 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

In Mark Lamos' all male production at Yale Rep, such casting revealed 
that the play can reveal men's ideas about women. The next  summer, the 
all female Shrew at the New Globe presumably revealed women's ideas 
about men. Either device takes us away from the tired war between the sexes.

Richard Regan
Fairfield University

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Robert Projansky <
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Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 00:54:29 -0700
Subject: 18.0713 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

Hardy says, "Melissa [Cook] married a few years ago and is now Melissa 
Ralph."

Hmm . . .  Melissa Submissa?

Sorry, couldn't resist, beg forgiveness.

The repartee in Shrew is as good as in Much Ado (and it does have the 
dirtiest line in the canon), and there's too much good stuff in it to 
throw the play out, but the only production I've ever seen that I've 
liked at all is the very handsome 1967 Taylor/Burton movie. With her 
crockery-breaking and screeching Elizabeth Taylor's Kate did seem not 
only to need some behavior modification but to be well worth the 
trouble. P's taming efforts, though, do make me cringe.

I've enjoyed this discussion a lot, but I do have one small request: 
that Sam Small be let back in the room. The common run of mankind -- and 
womankind, too -- really does include all kinds.

Best to all,
Bob Projansky

[Editor's Note: No doors were closed to anyone. Fearing that responses 
would be directed to the man rather than to subject at hand, I requested 
responses to be private, selfishly hoping to save myself time and to 
learn from the past.]

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Cary Dean Barney <
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Date:		Monday, 22 Oct 2007 11:29:06 +0200
Subject: 18.0713 Problem Shrews
Comment:	Re: SHK 18.0713 Problem Shrews

It's instructive to come to this thread fresh from the recent one on 
authorial intent. All of these alternative "Shrews" seem to be ways of 
escaping what is perceived to be Shakespeare's intent and find ways to 
"mean by Shakespeare"...which we assume we must do if we don't want the 
play to deliver the message Sam Small takes from it. Luckily there are 
so many other meanings latent in it. Whether or not that's by 
Shakespeare's design or intention or just by accident or blind 
inspiration is the question.

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