The Taming of the Shrew
The novelist Vladimir Nabokov once wrote that ‘reality’ is a word that only has meaning when it is placed in quotation marks. The physicist’s ‘reality’ is not the same as the biochemist’s, the secular humanist’s as the religious fundamentalist’s. Dare one say the woman’s is not the same as the man’s? In a culture where the conception of inherent sexual difference is regarded as a mere prejudice, as a forbidden thought (regardless of the ‘reality’ revealed by molecular biology and neuroanatomy), The Taming of the Shrew is not likely to be one of Shakespeare’s most admired plays. Its presentation of female subordination presents the same kind of awkwardness for liberal sensibilities that the representation of Shylock does in the post-Holocaust world. At face value, the play proposes that desirable women are quiet and submissive, whereas women with spirit must be ‘tamed’ through a combination of physical and mental abuse. Necessary tools may include starvation, sense deprivation and the kind of distortion of ‘reality’ that is practised in totalitarian regimes.
The play begins with a framing device in which a drunkard is deceived into thinking he is a nobleman who then watches the "play" itself, which depicts a nobleman, Petruchio, who marries an outspoken, intelligent, and bad-tempered shrew named Katherina. Petruchio manipulates and "tames" her until she is obedient to his will. The main subplot features the courting of Katherina's more conventional sister Bianca by numerous suitors.
女店主 知道怎么治你了，俺叫教区巡警去。 ［下］