We had a brilliant question arising from our recent online session with Dame Janet Suzman, part of our Lockdown Taboo and You series, on Shakespeare and Manias. We very much wanted to share the question with you and Janet's reply. Not least because we are planning to do a read and share series on The Taming of the Shrew.
Q: What can you say about the mental manipulation that is used on Kate in The Taming of the Shrew?
A: Well, let’s remember this is a play and a comedy at that. And let’s also remember that Kate needs to be as young as possible so that she’s really a surly teenager and NOT a mature woman. I would call it physical manipulation that Petruchio embarks on to tame his recalcitrant young wife; starves her when she’s hungry, contradicts her when she’s bolshie, disappoints her retail therapy moment when she wants a pretty hat, and in the end makes her laugh by being so absurd as to call the moon the sun etc etc. (Read on for the full reply!)