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The Taming of the Shrew Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

Source: An introduction to The Taming of the Shrew, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1982, pp. 1-75.

[Oliver suggests that understanding The Taming of the Shrew is made difficult by a contradiction between the genre of the play and Shakespeare's development of Katherina's character. The play, he points out, is a farce, and a farce can succeed only when the characters are so flat and unrealistic that the audience does not feel obliged to take them seriously. Oliver suggests that in creating the character of Katherina, Shakespeare could not resist the temptation to investigate what might make a woman a shrew. Because Katherina is a realistic and sympathetic character, Oliver argues, the audience cannot but feel uncomfortable with Petruchio's treatment of her. Oliver's view of the play contrasts with that of Nevo, above. For further commentary, see in particular the excerpts by George Hibbard, Coppelia Kahn, and Shirley Nelson...

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This section contains 862 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Taming of the Shrew Study Guide
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The Taming of the Shrew from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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