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The Taming of the Shrew

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The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592. The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself. The nobleman then has the play performed for Sly's diversion. The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship; however, Petruchio "tames" her with various psychological torments, such as keeping her from eating and drinking, until she becomes a desirable, compliant, and obedient bride. The subplot features a competition between the suitors of Katherina's younger sister, Bianca, who is seen as the "ideal" woman. The question of whether the play is misogynistic has become the subject of considerable controversy, particularly among modern scholars, audiences, and readers. The Taming of the Shrew has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, ballet, and musical theatre; perhaps the most famous adaptations being Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, McLintock!, a 1963 American western and comedy film, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and the 1967 film of the play, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The 1999 high school comedy film 10 Things I Hate About You is also loosely based on the play.
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original title: The Taming of the Shrew
language: English
date of publication: 1623
genre: comedy
characters: Petruchio, Katherina Minola, Bianca Minola, Baptista Minola, Lucentio, Vincentio, Gremio, Hortensio, Grumio, Tranio, Biondello, Curtis

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