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Some of Bev's Favorite Quotes...



Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Taming of the Shrew: Mini Review

I would normally feel a little intimidated trying to write a review on Shakespeare.  I, mean, seriously after hundreds of years you'd expect everything that needed saying to have been said.  But that wouldn't stop me from throwing my two cents in as well.  However, this time, I really feel at a loss.  I started The Taming of the Shrew 10 days ago (which is a long time in Bev reading time) and didn't touch it all over vacation.  I expected to have reading time while on the road (and even brought along three other books--"just in case"), but it never materialized.  So...by the time I got back to Kate and Petruchio, I had a hard time getting back into the ol' Shakespeare mood.  And maybe I should give this one another go sometime.  But for now, I've finished it and here's what I've got....

Rather than try to do my usual longer, more indepth review and synopsis, I'm just going to throw a few thoughts out here.

First, I expected to like this one way more than I did.  Thus far, I've read Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Othello and I've really like all of them, with Othello being my favorite.  But I'm just not into Kate being rude and downright nasty to anyone and everyone without even a hint of a reason.  Sure, she's got a father who expects her to marry when she doesn't want to....but it's the 16th Century.  Every woman is expected to get married...and it's not unreasonable (for the times) for fathers to meddle in the matrimonial proceedings.  So, that's not really a legit reason for her unspeakable behavior.  I agree that she needs a lesson or two.  BUT....

Second, I take great exception to Petruchio's method of "taming" her.  Lessons are one thing...out and out abuse is another.  Starving her and depriving her of sleep is extreme to say the least.  I sort of see the point of the extreme "lesson" being needed to meet her extreme behavior...almost, but not quite.

Third, the subplot of Bianca and her suitors.  I had a hard time keeping the players straight and just found Bianca boring in the extreme.  I guess it was good that she had her looks, 'cause I can't figure out any other reason why these guys would want to marry her.  

Fourth....well, at this point I can't really think of a fourth.  I'm all out of steam.  Hopefully, once I'm back in the work routine, I'll get my reading and reviewing act together.  I'm giving this one a nice middle of the road, three star rating.  Mostly because it's Bill Shakespeare, darn it, and it's supposed to be good.   I think maybe I should take one of the Goodreads reviewer's suggestion and go watch the Elizabeth Taylor version of the movie.....


2 comments:

Peter Reynard said...

Hi Bev, I just finished reading The Complete Works of Shakespeare, and I totally see what you mean. I just couldn't get into some of them but there was a part of me going "This is Shakespeare, you are missing something!"
I read somewhere that nearly all of Shakespeare's work has at least three different interpretations/layers - the straightforward interpretation, the sexual connotation and the allusion to current events concerning the nobility and royalty. Suffice to say, I only got the straight interpretation unless the editor's comments explicitly pointed out one of the other two.

Bev Hankins said...

Peter: Yeah, I wasn't feeling like digging through all the layers and figuring out all the interpretations. And the story just didn't do it for me this time....