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"THE TAMING OF THE SHREW' was first the Shrew?' This play we may believe, withprinted in the folio collection of Shak. out any violation of fact or probability, to spere's Plays in 1623. In 1594 ' A plesant have been used as the rude material for both conceited Historie called the Taming of a l authors to work upon. Whether the author Shrew' was printed. This play, it is or improver of the play printed in 1594 be thought, preceded Shakspere's "Taming of Marlowe or Greene (to each of whom the the Shrew.' This comedy of some unknown comedy has been assigned), there can be author opens with an Induction, the charac little question as to the characteristic suters of which are a Lord, Slie, a Tapster, periority of Shakspere's work. Page, Players, and Huntsmen. The inci But there is a third theory—that of Tieck dents are precisely the same as those of the -that The Taming of a Shrew' was & play which we call Shakspere's. The scene youthful work of Shakspere himself. To of The Taming of a Shrew' is laid at our minds that play is totally different from Athens; that of Shakspere's at Padua. The the imagery and the versification of ShakAthens of the one and the Padua of the
spere. other are resorts of learning. Alfonso, a Shakspere's "Taming of the Shrew' was merchant of Athens (the Baptista of Shak. produced in a "taming" age. Men tamed spere), has three daughters, Kate, Emelia, each other by the axe and the fagot; paand Phylema. Aurelius, son of the Duke rents tamed their children by the rod and of Cestus (Sestos), is enamoured of one, the ferule, as they stood or knelt in tremPolidor of another, and Ferando (the Pe bling silence before those who had given trucio of Shakspere) of Kate, the Shrew. them life; and, although England was then The merchant hath sworn, before he will called the “paradise of women," and, as opallow his two younger daughters to be ad. posed to the treatment of horses, they were dressed by suitors, that
treated "obsequiously," husbands thought “ His eldest daughter first shall be espous'd." that “taming," after the manner of PeThe wooing of Kate by Ferando is exactly | trucio, by oaths and starvation, was a comin the same spirit as the wooing by Pe mendable fashion. trucio; so is the marriage; so the lenten en We are--the happier our fortune-living tertainment of the bride in Ferando's coun in an age when this practice of Petrucio is try-house; so the scene with the Tailor and not universally considered orthodox; and Haberdasher; so the prostrate obedience of we owe a great deal to him who has exthe tamed Shrew. The under-plot, however, hibited the secrets of the “taming school" is different. But all parties are ultimately with so much spirit in this comedy, for the happy and pleased ; and the comedy ends better belief of our age, that violence is not with a wager, as in Shakspere, about the
to be subdued by violence. Pardon be for obedience of the several wives. This un. him, if, treading in the footsteps of some doubted resemblance involves some necessity predecessor whose sympathies with the for conjecture, with very little guide from peaceful and the beautiful were immeasurevidence. The first and most obvious hy.
ably inferior to his own, and sacrificing pothesis is, that “The Taming of a Shrew'
something to the popular appetite, he was an older play than Shakspere's; and should have made the husband of a froward that he borrowed from that comedy. But woman " kill her in her own humour," and we propose another theory. Was there not
bring her upon her knees to the abject obean older play than The Taming of a Shrew,' dience of a revolted but penitent slave:which furnished the main plot, some of the
"A foul contending rebel, characters, and a small part of the dialogue, And graceless traitor to her loving lord.” both to the author of The Taming of a Pardon for him? If there be one reader of Shrew' and the author of 'The Taming of Shakspere, and especially if that reader be a
female, who cherishes unmixed indignation when Petrucio, in his triumph, exclaims
“He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
Now let him speak”we would say,—the indignation which you feel, and in which thousands sympathise, belongs to the age in which you live; but the principle of justice, and of justice to women above all, from which it springs, has been established, more than by any other lessons of human origin, by him who has now moved your anger. It is to him that woman owes, more than to any other human authority, the popular elevation of the feminine cha racter, by the most matchless delineations of its purity, its faith, its disinterestedness, its tenderness, its heroism, its union of intellect and sensibility. It is he that, as long as the power of influencing mankind by
high thoughts, clothed in the most exquisite language, shall endure, will preserve the ideal elevation of women pure and unassailable from the attacks of coarseness or libertinism,-ay, and even from the degradation of the example of the crafty and worldly-minded of their own sex :—for it is he that has delineated the ingenuous and trusting Imogen, the guileless Perdita, the impassioned Juliet, the heart-stricken but loving Desdemona, the generous and courageous Portia, the unconquerable Isabella, the playful Rosalind, the world-unknowing Miranda. Shakspere may have exhibited one froward woman wrongly tamed; but who can estimate the number of those from whom his all-penetrating influence has averted the curse of being froward?
BIONDELLO, servant to Lucentio.
Act IV. sc. 9; sc. 4. Act V. sc. l; sc. 2.
GRUMIO, servant to Petrucio.
Act V. sc. 2.
Appears, Act IV. sc. 1.
Act IV. sc. 1; sc. 3; sc. 5. Act V. sc. I; sc. 2.
Appears, Act V. sc. 2. | Tailor, Haberdasher, and Servants attending
on Baptista and Petrucio.
SCENE, SOMETIMES IN PADUA; AND SOMETIMES IN PETRUCIO'S HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY.
** There is no List of Characters in the original edition,