The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0468 Monday, 31 August 2009
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).
University of Palermo
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