There was a reason why I chose not to post that many updates with this play. Because they all would have included some F bombs. This play is super messed up and I cannot believe that anyone watches this and thinks, hey this is funny and so romantic. It is not.
Well something nice first. I am very happy that I had the Folger's version which included notes on what certain words or phrases meant, and an explanation prior to certain scenes to explain them to me.
Now onto something not so nice.
This whole freaking play is just awful. I think that Shakespeare was going for comedy and wow. This whole thing fell flat. I wonder how women in the audiences felt while watching this play within a play? I loved Romeo and Juliet. And then we have The Taming of the Shrew which would be classified as a romantic comedy and I am just shaking my head.
The play begins with a drunken man named Christopher who the other "actors" are trying to convince that he is actually a lord. He is told to sit and watch and then the second play begins which is "The Taming of the Shrew". No I don't get how these two plays are related to each other and I don't care at this point. I just want to finish this review.
From there we focus on Baptista Minola's family. Baptista has two daughters. The oldest named Katherina (or Katherine or Kate depending on who is speaking to or about her) and his youngest Bianca.
Katherine is the heralded shrew of the play. She is not like other women and doesn't simper and tell men how nice and strong they are, instead she is quite sharp with men who she feels act like fools. And oh by the way she also verbally and physically abuses her younger sister Bianca. So right away I was not a fan of Katherine. I don't care about her not adhering to social norms by being a smiling simpering young thing, but it never made much sense to have her being awful towards her sister.
Because Bianca is womanhood personified (eye-roll) she ends up having three men vying to marry her.
Baptista tells her potential suitors that Bianca cannot marry before her elder sister (I guess this was a thing, I don't know and I refuse to look it up) and two of the suitors, Hortensio and Gremio make plans in order to get Katherine married off one of them can gain Bianca's hand.
The third suitor Lucentio, falls in love with Bianca at first sight and decides to pretend to be a tutor when he overhears Baptista shouting loudly that he is on the lookout for tutors for his daughters. Then Lucentio gets his servant Tranio to pretend to be him. There is a lot of people running around pretending to be someone else. I am so glad for the Folger's version it is not even funny.
Then we get another man thrown into the mix named Petruchio who knows Hortensio. Hortensio asks Petruchio to get Katherine to wed because he (Petruchio) decides that he now wants to wed since his father is dead and hey it be super fun to have some woman who would do whatever he says.
Petruchio thinks that Katherine sounds like the girl for him and also to pretending that Hortensio is a music tutor to Baptista so that he can also gain entry into the household in order to woo Bianca.
There are way too many people in disguises at this point to keep straight, once again thank you Folger's version.
When Petruchio gets introduced to Katherine comedy ensues (vomit). He decides to use reverse psychology by acting super awful towards her and acts as if what he is doing and saying is actually good and sweet in order to get Katherine to act proper. Yeah I don't know. Just go with it.
Katherine keeps refusing him and he just bowls over her the entire time. Heck even Baptista thinks this is a bad idea after a while since Petruchio seems to be mad. Eventually Petruchio gets his way, and steals Katherine away after they are married and he acts like an ass during the entire ceremony and at the dinner. Afterwards at his home he proceeds to starve Katherine.
God I hate everyone. Just everyone at this point.
By pretending that everything he is offering is not good enough for Katherine he once again has her agreeing with anything he says in order to just be fed and clothed. The servants even get in on this at this point.
And back to the sister who I don't care about at all at this point, and yes this whole thing is a spoiler because why subject other people to this hot mess of a play, Bianca through a lot of hocus pocus mess chooses Luciento. Blah blah blah we have these two hiding the truth from Bianca's father for reasons (I seriously don't care) and now Hortensio is mad because he can't believe that Bianca is throwing in with a servant at this point (because he still thinks Luciento is a servant since Luciento has not revealed his identity) and he decides to run off to marry some random woman that's rich. I think. I don't know. I can't drink at work. I really want a drink.
Whatever. Whatever. I am almost done.
Eventually Katherine is tamed. Cause that's what happens when you are starved and have some damn man you married against your will playing psychological games with you.
All is revealed and Bianca's father is happy that she made a good match and that Katherine is married. Eventually the two sisters and Hortensio and his wife (yeah he got married too, no I refuse to explain how or to who, who cares) and the three men sit around talking shit about Katherine. Or excuse me, the two men while her husband boasts that his wife is tamed and a more obedient wife than the two of them.
The men wage a bet that whatever servant gets his wife to come to the room first wins. Katherine because she has been turned into a woman that always thinks of her husband first comes without delay while the other two wives ignore their summons. Petruchio wins the bet and then Katherine, (redacted) Katherine sits and lectures her sister and this other woman (I refuse to look up her name, I don't care) about how to be proper women and always obedient to their husbands.
So that's The Taming of the Shrew or how one man seriously messed up a strong and intelligent woman in order for his friend to try to win her sister's hand and that woman ended up choosing some other guy anyway. Oh did I mention throughout this play that Katherine kept being referred to as the devil's mother for her actions. Apparently according to Folger's being the devil's mother is actually worse than being the actual devil. Fuck no I don't get it and I am going to go and stare at cat gifs for a while.