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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: September ::
Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0472  Tuesday, 1 September 2009

[1] From:   Larry Weiss <
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     Date:   Monday, 31 Aug 2009 18:03:28 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0468 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?

[2] From:   John Briggs <
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     Date:   Tuesday, 1 Sep 2009 3:28:45 +0100
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0458 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Larry Weiss <
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Date:       Monday, 31 Aug 2009 18:03:28 -0400
Subject: 20.0468 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0468 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?

The Sly frame continues in The Taming of A Shrew text, at the end of 
which Sly returns as a tinker and has a conversation with the tapster. 
He tells the tapster that he has had a rare dream in which he learnt how 
to tame a shrew, a lesson he will go home and apply to his wife. The 
audience's contemplation of what Sly had in store if he did that would 
have probably induced uproarious laughter.

That little scene ties things up very neatly; it makes the point better 
than anything else could that the main action of the piece -- the play 
within the play -- is a pure farce, not to be taken seriously.

Even the partial frame which we have in F1 makes this point. For 
example, in I.ii.18, when Grumio, being cuffed soundly by Petruchio, 
says "Help, Mistress, help, my master is mad." There are no female 
characters on the main stage, so whom is Grumio addressing?  It seems to 
me that he is penetrating the fourth wall by pleading with the page 
dressed like Sly's lady and, thus, emphasizing the farcical character of 
the main action. Unfortunately, since Theobald this likely reading has 
been lost as a result of his too hasty emendation of "mistris" to "masters."

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John Briggs <
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Date:       Tuesday, 1 Sep 2009 3:28:45 +0100
Subject: 20.0458 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0458 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?

Conrad Cook wrote:

 >What are the critically most-accepted theories concerning the inclusion
 >of the "induction" in _Shrew_?

You know, we would have had a clearer idea of that if Barbara Hodgdon's 
Arden 3 edition had ever been published. The last publication date was 
given as 15 September 2005, and Amazon.co.uk still has that -- complete 
with an image of the cover design. What actually happened seems a bit 
mysterious -- it seems awfully premature to produce a cover design for a 
book which hasn't been written -- and the suspicion must be that it was 
a victim of the blood-letting under the previous owners of Arden.

John Briggs

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