The Taming of the Shrew
2006 [ S1 ]
The Taming of theShrew [ S2 ]
In Shakespeare’s England, the pattern of wife-beating was common and endorsed by the patriarchal position against female gender [ S3 ] . Shrewish married womans were perceived as vocal and sexual menaces, and hubbies were warned to hush them. That is to state: ‘to maintain their ‘lips together’ , a mention to both a woman’s oral cavity and her genitalias [ S4 ] ’ . This belief so justified and ensured the popularity of Shakespeare’sTaming of the Shrew. To modern audience, nevertheless, the drama seems to be one of the most ‘old-fashioned’ comedies in about every sense, since it is packed with misogynous gags that are no longer applaudable [ S5 ] [ S6 ] .
Now, when it comes to re-
green goodsThe Shrew, managers and histrions likewise are faced with tough challenges [ S7 ] . Should they do it absurd or shocking when Petruchio beats Katherina [ S8 ] ? Should the twosome be portrayed as loving? How should one visualisze [ S9 ] their relationship [ S10 ] ? In general,The Taming of the Shrewis a drama about control and coercion that runs within the model of role-playing andsemblance of power. Shrewish Katherina is physically and mentally coerced to play afunction of a soundless and obedient married woman, while Petruchio ensures himself the function of a ‘good’ hubby [ S11 ] . In Propeller’s recent [ S12 ] production ofTaming of the Shrew ,the managerEdward Hallnon merely reaffirms this cardinal reading but enhances it through the complex usage of vesture, a agencies to visuali omegae the power dealingss between Petruchio and Katherina [ S13 ] .
To to the full understand Hall’s construct of vesture and control, it is necessary to advert that Hall’sShrewis marked by beds of semblance, which consequences from re-scripting and Petruchio/Sly duplicating [ S14 ] . Contending that ‘ [ T ] he chief action ofthe Shrewis in consequence the dream of Christopher Sly [ S15 ] ’ , Hall and Warren incorporate the Sly episode from an earlier printed text ofThe Taming of a Shrew( 1594 ) by an anon. dramatist to complement the model of Shakespeare’sTaming of the Shrew( 1623 ) . The show opens with Hall’s ain amour propre in which Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Christopher Sly [ 1 ] [ S16 ] stumbles onto the phase with a little bottle of intoxicant and sits down following to the marrying bar contemplating [ S17 ] . A minute subsequently, unbeknownst to most audience [ S18 ] , Sly disappears, while the smiling crowd gathers on phase and a nuptials carol is being sung. They are waiting for Slythe groomwho finally turns up to a great extent intoxicated and collapses onto the floor [ S19 ] . At this point, Hall makes it clear that this nuptials ceremonial is non existent but a visuali
omegaed dream of Sly who is rummy and kiping on the floor of an alehouse, while the crowd resumes their true function inA Shrewas retainers to Lord and plans a practical ‘life-changing’ gag on the bibulous organic structure of Sly [ S20 ] .
A sequence of coercive game-playing ensues, proposing the exposure of Sly’s organic structure [ S21 ] . Sly—still unconscious—is stripped off his old apparels and the new outfit—a brace of ruddy pants and a loose white gown uncovering his bare chest—is thrown on his organic structure [ S22 ] . He is woken up by a pail of H2O and finds himself engulfed by forceful, well-trained retainers, who are once the crowd in the nuptials scene. Despite his comically guiltless protests, Sly eventually agrees to believe that he is really a Godhead. Besides, the servants/players inform Sly that he is married, the intelligence Sly merrily receives [ S23 ] . At this point, Bruce-Lockhart puts on a nuptials ring. One degree of illusion—fancy apparels and a nuptials ring—is imposed on Sly’s organic structure and reconstructs his position in the drama. Sly accepts whatever is offered to him and is ready to believe whatever is told. In other words, he is a willing audience to the servants’ amour propre [ S24 ] .
The thought of player-audience is reinforced when a troop of participants [ 2 ] [ S25 ] cryptically come out of the Grey, mirror-fronted closets [ S26 ] . They play musical instruments, dance and encircle Sly. The drama within a drama here establishes another degree of semblance [ S27 ] . Sly is coerced to give up his prima function to the participants [ S28 ] . At this point, there is no limit between Sly as an audience and the existent audience [ S29 ] . Sly sits on one border of the phase and sees what we see in the audience. The drama within a drama is directed to both parties. The lone difference would be that Sly’s organic structure is more consumed by the semblance on phase. He is more eager agitating his caput in melody with Biondello’s music, aloud noticing on the show
,and what’s worse, Sly, fallen for Kate at first sight, efforts to near her. As expected, he is once more pushed back to his place [ S30 ] .
After the hubby chance for Kate [ S31 ]is discussed, Hortentio invites Sly on Centre phase, while the encircling histrions fast take his dark gown and set on a ruddy leather jacket decked with handlocks and ironss, proposing control [ S32 ] . Sly’s new function is constructed, and shortly after, he is given a Penguin edition ofTaming of the Shrewand encouraged to read his new portion as Petruchio. This is, of class, another piece of semblance [ S33 ] ; yet, this semblance is touchable for Sly. He has molded himself—or has been molded—according to the servant-players and now he embarks on a new function as Petruchio, a unmarried man hungry for a affluent married woman. The ( existent ) audience informants Sly’s transmutation from a drunken tinkerto a submissive Godheadto willful and self-assured Petruchio visually through a set of costumes [ S34 ] . The visualiszation [ S35 ] of Sly’s alteration of apparels non merely suggests that he has no control whatsoever over his organic structure [ S36 ] but reflects the degree of control the other characters maintain in the drama.
Sly’s caricature of Petruchio enables him to move harmonizing to his will. As the narrative progresses, Sly is swallowed up by Petruchio, whom Lockhart [ S37 ] himself describes as Sly’s ‘alter ego’ . Lockhart makes it clear that Petruchio enjoys his exercising of power well and he will subsequently direct it toward his intervention of Kate [ S38 ] . In contrast to Sly is Katherina, played by Simon Scardifield. S/he is one of the lord’s retainers, who
mis calledBoyinA Shrewand Bartholomew inThe Shrew. Scardifield looks shocked when he is handpicked by the Godhead to play Sly’s married woman. The thought is being laughed at by other retainers. The sense of coercion is clear, and like Sly, he has no pick but to follow [ S39 ] .
The audience, nevertheless, does non see Scardifield dolled up as Sly’s married woman because Hall closely follows the Initiation fromA Shrew, which excludes such visual aspect. What the audience sees is Scardifield dressed up as Kate—who appears in a black Elizabethan bodice, a short black mini-skirt, a brace of ruddy net stockings and a brace of flat-soled boots—who will finally go Sly’s married woman after the latter is reborn as Petruchio [ S40 ] . Kate lopes around the phase. S/he negotiations and walks and leaps like a chap, which is partially enabled by the comfort of her outfit. Kate’s menacingly broad spirit is set in blunt contrast with Bianca’s smooth and feminine visual aspect [ S41 ] . S/he is less willing to take part in role-play than Sly. Besides, Kate is the lone black sheep in the household, as Baptista and Bianca are both attired in white. Kate’s bodice laughably reveals the wearer’s hairy thorax. Scardifield as Katherina is, like Petruchio, half-ready for his function and besides an indicant that his organic structure can non to the full embody a female function [ S42 ] . The differentiation of colour in a manner non merely suggests Kate’s singularity but besides her autonomy [ S43 ] to have on whatever colour s/he likes as opposed to the household’s colour ( white ) . This broad pick of vesture diminishes as the show progresses.
Already wooed and won by Petruchio, Kate changes into a white nuptials frock, an act supervised by her male parent [ S44 ] . The audience sees her put on a white head covering, while Baptista offers her a corsage of flower. Unlike Sly’s dressing minute, the audience does non see apparels being forced onto Kate’s organic structure ; alternatively, they are made to witness the unhappiness in Kate’s face, every bit good as the somber ambiance of the phase [ S45 ] . The sense of marital duty forces Kate to cast her true colour. The apparels that once essentialisze [ S46 ] her are now removed and substituted by a traditional nuptials frock, an emblem of gender building perpetrated by social consent. This is a metaphorical indicant that Kate can no longer be herself [ S47 ] .
Hall farther emphasi
omegaEs Kate’s oppressed organic structurein contrast with Petruchio’s control over his organic structureduring the nuptials ceremonial. This scene is exceeding in many ways, but most significantly, it create s aslightlydeja-vu consequence of Sly’s marrying [ S48 ] . The choir male child is singing a nuptials carol ; the invitees are waiting for the groom who is tardily ; the bride runs off in rage and shame. Even though Kate ne’er appears once more till the nuptials feast, her hurt is still in the air. Besides, like in the Sly’s dream amour propre, the groom shows up drunk [ S49 ] . Here, Hall gives a small amusing turn to Petruchio’s outfit. Equally shortly as Biondello finishes depicting Petruchio’s brainsick garment, Bruce-Lockhart bursts onto the phase have oning nil but a leopard-skinned lash and a brown rodeo jacket, which he lifts up subsequently to uncover his bare rotter s. Despite his poisoning, Petruchio is in bid of the state of affairs [ S50 ] . Lockhart is declamatory, and his broad pick of vesture well indicates the sum of power he holds over his organic structure. He is no longer Sly who has apparels thrown upon him. The bold, bare and make bolding groom’s outfit juxtaposes good with Katherina’s typical nuptials frock in the earlier scene [ S51 ] . In short, Kate has lost control of her pick, while Petruchio has gained the control non merely over his organic structure but others’ every bit good [ 3 ] [ S52 ] . Hall cleverly utilizations dressing to mean this decisive switch of power as Kate is strangled for traversing Petruchio and dragged wing [ S53 ] .
The Tailor scene farther addresses Petruchio’s control over Kate’s frock and besides on the ‘indirect’ misdemeanor of Kate’s organic structure [ S54 ] . Cold and dirty, Petruchio and Katherina arrive in Verona. The former is still in his cowpuncher jacket—now ragged—but manages to set on a brace of ruddy pants to hedge phase lewdness [ S55 ] . The latter, likewise, is still in her sacred nuptials frock that is lacerate about to pieces and has turned grey with clay [ S56 ] . Later, Kate is given a opportunity to deliver herself as a subservient married woman, as the seamster puts a loose Prunus persica gown on her for adjustment. The work forces so get down to bark at each other over the design of Kate’s outfit and go against the frock [ S57 ] by raising the skirt, drawing the neckband, and so forth. Reduced to about a manikin [ S58 ] , Kate’s exhausted organic structure is tossed back and Forth or even pushed down on the floor as a consequence of the men’s maltreatment of her apparels [ S59 ] . It is clear that the force imposed on Kate’s frock is transferred to Kate’s ain organic structure and that no 1 seems to care about that [ S60 ] . At the terminal, the seamster flees in panic sharply snaping the gown off from Kate, who crawls back to Petruchio and clutches his leg as a mark of armistice and entry [ S61 ] .
Any possible for a happy stoping ofThe Shrewis rejected in this production [ S62 ] , as Kate remains in her Grey and ragged marrying frock until the terminal of the drama. Her spirit is lacerate and so is her outfit [ S63 ] . Even though Petruchio remains in his dirty costume as good, one can feel that it is by his pick. He still has the power to dress Kate—put a chapeau on her head—and to discase her—he ulterior orders her to throw away the chapeau and cast on it. Kate obeys, an act that shocks everyone including Baptista.
The terminal of Petruchio’s reign is signaled non merely by the surreal disappearing of the participants into the closets but besides by costume alteration. Sly’s semblance of power bluess as Lucentio approaches him and set a groom’s jacket on Petruchio, a ocular suggestion that his control over his ain organic structure is gone and that Bruce-Lockhart is no longer Petruchionor Lord Slybut Sly the tinker [ S64 ] . He is besides reminded that the wife-taming phantasy is over by Scardifield who walks out of the closet and confronts Sly’s declaration to cruelly chasten his married woman. ‘This is but a play’ [ 4 ] , Kate [ S65 ] says to Sly, who looks puzzled and lost as he has been at the beginning of the show.
It [ S66 ] is undeniable that, both in Shakespeare’sTaming of the Shrewand in Shakespeare’s England, the significance of vesture was nil new [ S67 ] , as one’s position was designated and controlled by the pick of garments [ S68 ] . The clothes-swapping between Lucentio and Tranio good confirms that, while Petruchio’s comment: “To me she’s married, non unto my apparels [ S69 ] ” straight challenges the thought of vesture as a constructionist tool over one’s organic structure [ S70 ] . Impressive as it is, Hall re-fashions it by tie ining the pick of vesture with one’s control over one’s organic structure. The costume has, hence, go a metaphor for control and coercion [ S71 ] . The suffered organic structure of Katherina is invariably suggested by her loss of control over her pick of frock, a really advanced construct which has been developed in conformity with Petruchio’s lifting control over his ain organic structure and others’ . To Hall, the usage of costume to propose the profaned organic structure can be both amusing and loathing, as it depends on whom it is directed to. The audience laughs at Sly-turn-Petruchio but kicks in silent discouragement when Kate’s organic structure is desecrated by a dirty and ragged marrying frock [ S72 ] . Overall, the production is marked by its variability of ‘broad comedy and more serious exegesis [ S73 ] ’ . Thanks to an all-male dramatis personae, Hall’s portraiture of domestic force is made tolerable—but still non acceptable.