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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
Petruchio's Blasphemy
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0063  Monday, 4 February 2008

From:		Jack Heller <
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Date:		Friday, 1 Feb 2008 16:09:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject:	Petruchio's Blasphemy

Along with Hardy and some others who have commented on a recent thread, 
I am not a fan of TAMING OF THE SHREW, but I decided to teach the play 
this semester because of some upcoming performances of the play in the 
Midwest.  And something occurred to me in my latest reading: some part 
of the early modern response to the play might be tempered by the 
audience's response to the report of Petruchio's behavior at his 
wedding. For those who might have viewed marriage as a sacrament, 
Petruchio's behavior crosses into blasphemy. I don't think identifying 
Petruchio's fault ameliorates our difficulties with this play, but I do 
wonder if there are any records of how early audiences responded 
particularly to his behavior at the church.

I have not yet read THE TAMER TAMED, so does that play give any insight 
to this question?

Jack Heller
Huntington University

[Editor's Note: A point of clarification, I would not say that my issues 
with _Shrew_ have to do per se with my being a fan of it or not. My 
concerns are more with how problematic the play is and how difficult it 
is, therefore, to teach. I do confess to being deeply troubled with 
parts of the realizations of the play that I have seen in performance on 
stage and on film.]

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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