The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew
Two of my favorite comedies
It is hard to believe that we are already up to Module 7. The time is really flying by, and this week is a crucial one. We will be looking at two of my favorite comedies, The Merchant of Venice and Taming of the Shrew. While many people believe a comedy is a production that is funny and light hearted, we will see that such is not the case classically. We will be looking at the definitions of old and new comedy and how these two comedies really could be classified as tragicomedies.
We also will be reading two critical articles that look at the two plays in new and refreshing ways as well as two video clips of movie versions of the play. Al Pacino as Shylock is wonderful!
The Taming of the Shrew and the final scene
Rough draft due!
A rough draft of your final research project is due this week, and I encourage you to review the Module 7 rough draft paper checklist and assignment guidelines which I have posted in the Discussion Forum for Module 7
What is a shrew?
A bit about the word “shrew” – In the 16th century, a woman only had to challenge a man’s opinion to be labeled a shrew. If she talked too much, or appeared mean spirited or was sexually promiscuous, she would be considered to be overly shrewish. Many have been the ballads and folk tales that were concerned with unruly wives, and thus Shakespeare could have based his portrayal of Kate on any of these. In one folk ballad, “The Cruel Shrew,” several lines might be considered applicable to Kate:
“She never lins her ruling,
Her tongue it is so loud;
But always she’ll be railing,
And will not be controlled.
For she the breeches still will wear,
Although it breeds my strife.
If I were now a bachelor,
I’d never have a wife.