Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 8.0186. Tuesday, 11 February 1997.
Date: Friday, 7 Feb 1997 14:55:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Taming of The Shrew
I'm TA'ing an "Intro to Shakespeare class this semester, and I'm looking for
some help in discussing "Taming of the Shrew." One of the areas to be discussed
next week involves the hostility between Katherina and Baptista. Of the many
reasons for this hostility the one I find most interesting suggests that "Kat"
may not have been Baptista's child. The issue surrounding the younger child
marrying before the eldest may have been frowned upon, but clearly it was not
uncommon when considering Kate's response to her father's obvious preference to
Bianca. She says:
"What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see
She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
I must dance barefoot on her wedding day,
And for your love to her lead apes in hell."
What do you think? Is it possible that "Kat" (I tend to run along lines of
animal imagery when speaking of her) was not a child of Baptista? If so, then
where does the need to marry her off come from, and his willingness to pay for
it? I am also comparing this relationship to that of Beatrice in "Much Ado", in
that Shakespeare does not give reason as to why she is living in her Uncle's
home with little reference to her mother or father. I have always contended
that she was born in shame (2.1.19), and the fact that she spoke "all mirth and
no matter" was as much a defense mechanism as Kat's tendency towards all matter
and no mirth.
Anyway, if you have a particular point of view it would be much appreciated.
Also, does anyone have info on the New Globe Theatre, or knowledge of a link