Page 1 of 5

Context Taming of the Shrew

Continues for 4 more pages »
Read full document

Context Taming of the Shrew

  • By
  • June 24, 2011
  • 1767 Words
  • 446 Views
Page 1 of 5
The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, and it shares many essential characteristics with his other romantic comedies, such as Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These characteristics include light-hearted and slapstick humor, disguises and deception, and a happy ending in which most of the characters come out satisfied. The light-heartedness of these romantic comedies contrasts sharply with the darker humor and deeper characterization of Shakespeare’s later plays, both comic and tragic. The youthfulness of the playwright can be seen in the unusual spirit of the early plays. Like the other romantic comedies, The Taming of the Shrew focuses on courtship and marriage, but, unlike most of them, it devotes a great deal of attention to married life after the wedding. The other comedies usually conclude with the wedding ceremony itself. Themes (the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work) included throughout this text include Marriage as an economic institution and The Effect of Social Roles on Individual Happiness. As a romantic comedy, the play focuses principally on the romantic relationships between men and women as they develop from initial interest into marriage. In this respect, the play is a typical romantic comedy. However, unlike other Shakespearean comedies, The Taming of the Shrew does not accomplish its examination of love and marriage with the wedding. Rather, it offers a significant glimpse into the future lives of married couples, one that serves to round out its exploration of the social dimension of love. The Taming of the Shrew emphasizes the economic aspects of marriage—specifically, how economic considerations determine who marries whom. The play tends to explore romantic relationships from a social perspective, addressing the institutions of courtship and marriage rather than the inner passions of lovers. Moreover, the play focuses on how courtship affects not just the...