The Taming of the Shrew is unique among Shakespeare’s plays and is a perennial and compelling success in the theatre. Its reception is marked, however, by ongoing polarised debate over the meaning and worth of the play. This edition disengages Shakespeare’s exuberant and disturbing marital farce from the tangled history of its reception. It views the two sixteenth-century Shrew plays as textually independent but theatrically interdependent and so includes the full text of The Taming of A Shrew in an appendix.
While the Introduction and Commentary focus on the critical and theatrical debate surrounding the play, the original and comprehensive editing of the playtext makes available a ‘different’ Shrew, more open to the reader’s interpretation than is usually the case. Barbara Hodgdon is a distinguished feminist scholar whose reading of the play offers a stimulating array of ideas and questions about this enduringly popular yet challenging comedy.