Entertaining and thought-provoking, this influential tale of a fiery tempered woman and her suitor reflects the struggle for power within every couple.
One of the most influential of Shakespeare’s plays, this early comedy has inspired numerous adaptations, from opera to television. Audiences and critics have wrangled over the ending – is it happy? Was Shakespeare being ironic? – not only in modern times but ever since the play was first performed. As the elder of two sisters, Katharina, sharp-tongued and even violent, must be married before sweet-natured Bianca. Despite the large dowry her father offers, none of Padua’s young men will risk marriage with a ‘shrew’. Petruchio, however, is impressed by Katharina’s spirit and confident of his own ability to manage her temper. This comedy of relations between the sexes remains a highly entertaining exploration of the struggle for supremacy within every couple.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.
H. J. Oliver was Professor of English at the University New South Wales. He also edited The Merry Wives of Windsor and Timon of Athens for the Arden Shakespeare.
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