A Play in Inverted Commas. "The Taming of the Shrew" by William Shakespeare. State Theatre South Australia [review]
Bramwell, Murray Ross
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There is nothing else in all of Shakespeare that has caused the sort of qualms that "The Taming of the Shrew" has over the past twenty years or so. The subduing of the fiery Katherina by her mocking suitor Petruchio and the proofs of her obedience in the final scene have not been welcome spectacles in a time when equality between the sexes and recognition of the entitlement of women has been a central issue in both the private and the public sphere. The fact that the last high profile presentation of the text was in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1967 film with those well-known marital neanderthals Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor playing the leads, only proved the point that this is a play better left out of sight. Look elsewhere for lively women - Rosalind in "As You Like It", Beatrice in "Much Ado", Viola in "Twelfth Night". Let them be cross-dressed, let them be assertive, let them marry if they must. But never let them obey.