Shakespearean scholars on the other side argue, as Charles Boyce does, that far from being a tale of domination, "the play's main plot concerns the development of character and of love in a particular sort of personality" (626). Boyce goes on to say that "The violence in The Shrew--except for the beatings of servants ... is limited to Katherina's own assaults on Bianca and Petruchio" (626). Nor is Boyce alone in his belief that Petruchio is physically kind to Kate; as Robert Speaight writes, "It is only to others that he is rough" (59).
Much of the confusion comes from a simultaneous idealization of the twentieth century4 and denigration of the sixteenth, a glorification of the sensibilities of modern critics, directors, and audiences coupled with a condemnation of the "medieval" insensitivity of the playwright. For example, Jonathan Miller, director of the 1980 BBC Shrew, says, "Shakespeare is extolling the virtues of the obedient wife ... in accordance with the sixteenth-century belief that for the orderly running of society, some sort of sacrifice of personal freedom is necessary." He defends his position with an attack, arguing that "If we wish to make all plays from the past conform to our ideals ... we're simply rewriting all plays and turning them... [continues]
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