The Taming of the Shrew (Folger Shakespeare Library Series)

The Taming of the Shrew (Folger Shakespeare Library Series)

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Love and marriage are the concerns of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio’s marriage to Bianca is prompted by his idealized love of an apparently ideal woman. Petruchio’s wooing of Katherine, however, is free of idealism. Petruchio takes money from Bianca’s suitors to woo her, since Katherine must marry before her sister by her father’s decree; he also arranges the dowry with her father. Petruchio is then ready to marry Katherine, even against her will.

Katherine, the shrew of the play’s title, certainly acts much changed. But have she and Petruchio learned to love each other? Or is the marriage based on terror and deception?

The authoritative edition of The Taming of the Shrew from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books

-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Karen Newman

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743477574
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 12/23/2003
Series: Folger Shakespeare Library Series
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 19,889
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.

Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

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The Taming of the Shrew (Arden Shakespeare, Third Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 60 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is not one of a woman tamed, but of a passionate relationship between two equally matched, brilliant, and attractive people, who have an immediate attraction for one another. When Katharina agrees with Petruchio that the sun is a candle rush, she is not so much acquiescing as she is learning to be playful. She is becoming civilized and using her ample wit and passion in a more focused way. Her family had always given in to her bad temper and tantrums, but had not shown her love. Petruchio really loved and wanted her, and not just for her money. Initially he said that he was out for a rich bride, but after seeing her, he wanted her! She loved and wanted him, as evidenced by the fact that she cried when he was late to their wedding, not of broken pride, but of a broken heart. When he asked her to kiss him in the street, she did so, as an act of rebellion WITH him! In the end, her speech was very tongue in cheek, and she and Petruchio were playing the others. Chastising those who had chastised her so often gave her great pleasure. She was the most intelligent and respectful wife after all - because she was respected! The other wives were not as good as Kate, and certainly not as interesting! Petruchio had gotten the best woman, an equal in his eyes, and they had the utmost love and respect for each other. Shakespeare loved his women, and made all of them strong!
Uncle_Doc More than 1 year ago
Having performed "Taming of the Shrew" for a local college, I was already familiar with Shakespeare's ubiquitous Comedy of the Sexes. Reading this edition, not only was I pleasantly reminded of the genius of the Bard, but surprised by the depth and richness of the supplemental articles and information contained in this book. The footnotes and language clarifications are terrific, and the articles themselves (including the obligatory description of Elizabethan England and a cross reference of plays, films, and performance pieces inspired by "Shrew") are full and informative. Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is terrible. The play is wonderful, but the way nook formats sucks. I have repeated pages and it's very difficult to find which ones I missing. I bought a nook because it came from an actual bookstore Vs. Kindle which comes from amazon. I assumed that because nook came from a bookstore thet would care about their ebooks. Now I have to purchase a hard copy of the book for school because this version is crap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this but did not read it. When reading Shakespeare, I rely on the hyperlinked notes. The hyperlinks work, but the pages with the notes are solid black with no text. Ebook not usable. I will try to get my money back.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Taming of the Shrew is one of the best Shakespeare's comedies. It is absolutely hilarious and, for once, the plot is fairly straightforward. Everyone should read this.
mattviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unlike any other Shakespeare's plays, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has an induction, which lives up to its name in the sense that the prologue scene does indeed lead into the play that follows. It seems likely that Shakespeare had adopted the device from medieval narrative poetry, where it was extensively used to introduce a story in the form of a dream. In the induction, far more is involved than the mere setting of a scene and the informing to audience. In fact, Christopher Sly seems to have lapse into a dream as he is forced to adopt a new identity. The brief yet vigorous altercation between Sly and the hostess with which the induction begins is a curtain raiser for the dramatic struggle between Petruchio and Katherina that is to follow. Equally as significant is the Lord's instructions to his servant-boy as to the behavior he is to assume when he appears disguised as Sly's wife forebode the main theme of the play. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has a powerful appeal for the Elizabethan audience at the time it opened because the struggle for mastery in a marriage remained a fact of existence and hot topics for writers. A true-to-life domestic scene opens the play and instantly grasps attention: Signor Baptista forbids all suitors to court his younger daughter Bianca until he finds a husband for the ill-tempered, difficult, and waspish elder daughter Katherina. She is notorious for her hot temper, foul tongue, and caprice. Out of jealousy and the qualm not remaining single, she often vents out her anger on her sister. Suitors of the younger sister, who decide to put aside their rivalry, contrive to find a match for Katherina. Gremio and Hortensio bear the cost of Petruchio's courting Katherina while Lucentio, who is madly in love with Bianca, and his crafty servant Tranio cunningly switch role to infiltrate the Baptista house. What inevitably follows is a facetious pursuit of love and a farcical melodrama that culminate in a riotously funny final scene in which Lucentio's real father, who has no clue of his son's betrothal, confronts the pedant-disguised impostor who reverse-accuses him of a charlatan. Equally as clueless of the entire crafty scheme is Baptista whom the suitors have tricked and outmaneuvered. He is consistently mistaken about everything and everybody, so that he does not even understand why Bianca later asks for his forgiveness. He and Vincentio are merely the butts for all the intrigues that go on throughout the play. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW maintains an irresistible appeal among the comedies owing to the intriguing trickery with which characters rival for courtship. Just as suspenseful and entertaining is Petruchio's calculated, punctilious campaign to tame his wife. His line of attack is psychological, although persuasive words carefully planned for each step accompany his actions. He somehow outsmarts his wife and deliberately outdoes her in his perversity and bad temper. The quintessential spleen of tantrum flourishes in the scenes in which Petruchio abuses his servants and tailor. His being abusive, tyrannical, violent, and capricious functions more than a reflection - it is evident of a caricature of Katherina through an exaggerated parody of her wild behavior. His evaluation of her mind is confirmed by her softening and surrender for she welcomes the opportunity of meeting an antagonist who will put up a good fight. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is highly rhetorical (even more so than AS YOU LIKE IT). Whether it is Petruchio's aggressive, vituperative taming or the milder courting of Bianca, the play never lacks an elite style with which Shakespeare exploited language to a linguistic virtuosity. For example, Petruchio's taming distinguishes from the usual method that might involve violence. What differentiate his campaign are the subtlety, the sophistication, and the ingenuity of his conceiving of Katherina's mind. His perspicacious mind justifies the use of highly rhetorical, puny, and literary discourse that somehow
Arten60 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable, funny and entertaining Bacon was a gifted writer.
paulinaturnsthepages on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My second review (check out my review of The Count of Monte Cristo) and this book is an amazing play. I had to read this for school and I thought this was going to be boring and non-entertaining but, to my surprise, It is hilarious! This book is a clever comedy in which Shakespeare shows two very different sisters and a plot so complex and difficult It is interesting. Some people may think Shakespeare is dull and I can see why but, this is a book i recommend from middle school to the rest of your life. You see Bianca (the innocent, boy fanatic girl who is very vain) and Kate (a feminist who is more reserved to herself and never wants to marry). Kate is very strong and has her dignity. This play is a page turner for sure. I have also seen the movie and the TV series (now gone) and none of them compare to the humorous English vernacular of Shakespeare. (Even though Elizabeth Taylor plays one hell of a Kate!)- Paulina
paradox98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite Shakespeare comedy, and a personaly favorite in classical literature.
samlives2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I recently read this in my tenth grade English class. Of course, the play itself was at it always is: hilarious and incredible. Every time I read something by Shakespeare, I marvel at his creativity, originality, and skill for crafting puns and witty wordplay.The version of this book that I read included many other sections relating to Shakespeare's works: his life, his writings, and how his plays were shown, plus a section entitled "A Modern Perspective," which was somewhat of an overview of the themes in the play and revealed many things people in my English class missed while reading the text (not that they actually looked at the extra stuff: that's like watching Lord of the Rings without the bonus footage). I found all of the extra details quite interesting and it gave me enough background to participate fully in class discussions where most of my peers were left behind. Thank you, Folger Library!
collingsruth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm sure we could argue the feminist interpretation for ages, but though full of Shakespeare's usual wit I couldn't figure out what he was going for here and it ended up just being a frustrating read.
maccy_P on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a clever play. However, it revolves massively around the directors interpretation of Bianca (sweet and innocent, or scheming and bitchy) and more importantly on the dynamic between Petruchio and Katherine (does he break her, or does she finally understand him and willing go along with it). I really wanted it to be the later but, as a feminist, I couldn't understand how a free minded woman would say the things said in Kate's last speech.And one MAJOR nit pick; where did Sly go? He's there at the beginning, but not anywhere else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hullo! We can discuss here!
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Great Writing....!... Wonderful...! LOVE it...!
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I had to read this book/play for my language arts class. At first I wasn't excited to read it at all, but I ended up loving it! It takes a little bit of work to understand but it is hilarious as well as the movie with Elizabeth Taylor. I truly think this was one of Shakespeare's best plays. I absolutely loved it, Katherine was my favorite character! :)
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