What was the influence of Commedia Dell Arte on The Taming of the Shrew? The 16th-century genre of Italian comedy seems to have had a big impact on Shakespeare and we can see evidence of its stylings in many of his plays. An important feature of the commedia dell'arte was the zanni, a collection of characters used for comic relief. Tranio could be classified as a zanni. The melodrama and slapstick in the play is also likely due to the influence of the commedia dell'arte, and the protagonists could easily be dressed as clowns and still fit perfectly into the drama. Many productions of The Taming of the Shrew have deliberately made the play as artificial as is possible by using elements found in the commedia dell'arte. Tori Haring Smith writes that, in several stagings, "the actors wore grotesque costumes, beaklike masks, and clown makeup" (From Farce to Melodrama, 119).
What can you tell me about the presentation of mastery and servitude in The Taming of the Shrew?
This is a far too broad a question to be explained adequately in a short answer format, but the motif of mastery and servitude is best illustrated
through an examination of the relationship between
Petruchio and Katherina, particularly in 4.1, when Petruchio likens his strategy to make
Katherina submit to the taming of a wild falcon.
Clearly his intention is to make Katherina
subservient to him in both body and spirit while he
assumes the role as her master. For a detailed look at this topic, please see the essay Why, There's a Wench: Shakespeare's Unconventional Love Plots.
How many times has The Taming of the Shrew been made into a movie? Over fourteen film versions of The Taming of the Shrew have been produced. In 1953, MGM released Cole Porter's musical rendition of the Bard's popular comedy, starring Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. The movie's title -- Kiss me Kate.
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. The Taming of the Shrew Q & A. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/faq/tamingfaq.html >.