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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: August ::
Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0468  Monday, 31 August 2009

From:       Michele Marrapodi <
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Date:       Saturday, 29 Aug 2009 01:37:20 +0100
Subject: 20.0458 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0458 Frame Story for _Taming of the Shrew_?

(...)
"What's the purpose of the frame story?"

It is the interpretive key to the whole play. A complex interplay of 
correspondences and parallelisms between characters and dramatic 
situations, iterative imagery, and linguistic and rhetorical strategies 
provide the necessary connections to the play proper, guiding us towards 
the right reading of Katherina's innovative role and of her 
unconventional marriage, which disrupts the traditional New Comedic 
solution. A few years ago, I traced in the commonest intertexts with 
Italian prose and drama the dramatic unity of this extraordinary 
three-part play (induction, main plot, and subplot), which assimilates 
and reinvents Italian theatregrams and narremes specifically deriving, 
among other direct and indirect allusions, from Aretino's _Marescalco_, 
Boccaccio's _Decameron_, and Ariosto's _Suppositi_.  It is especially 
the unconventional, subversive, and anti-Petrarchan theatre of Aretino 
that provides the kind of pretence, playacting, and make-believe that 
link the induction scenes and the beffa-motif to the metatheatrical 
quality of both main and subplot and to the fictitious and "sly" 
character of Katherina.

(See my contribution to Shakespeare Yearbook, 10, 1999).

Cheers,
Michele Marrapodi,
University of Palermo

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