|The humble shrew: is Shakespeare to blame for it’s bad rap?
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|Author:||Shrew4 [ Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:44 pm ]|
|Post subject:||The humble shrew: is Shakespeare to blame for it’s bad rap?|
Call it one of life’s great injustices: the common shrew, which looks quite adorable, has somehow been associated with scolding, nagging women. This awful state of affairs has persisted for centuries, and no one seems at all inclined to correct the record. If the shrew has a lawyer on retainer it might want to consider a defamation lawsuit, and at the very least the animal should fire its current publicist.
So how did the scandalous besmirching of the shrew’s good name ever come about? Some argue that you can point a finger at Bill Shakespeare, who helped spur on the unfavorable name association by centering one of his most famous plays on a woman he described as having a “shrewish” temperament. But let’s be fair to William: he can’t shoulder all of the blame because “The Taming of the Shrew” was also a product of 16th century thinking. Indeed, it seems that the application of the label “shrew” to a volatile and cantankerous female personality pre-dated the Bard’s time on earth. Historians now believe that the root cause of the association lies in Ancient Greece and Rome. It would seem that men who built great empires looked upon the tiny shrew as an evil, poisonous creature. Consider a piece of evidence: in "Historia Animalium" by Aristoteles, there is a passage about the effect of the shrew bite to horses: "Shrew's bites are dangerous, as also to other beasts of burden: blisters develop. The bite is more dangerous if the shrew is pregnant when it bites; for then the blisters burst, while otherwise they do not.” So imagine, if you will, an angry woman from ancient times biting a man for being a real bastard to her. An infection springs up in the wound area, and before long the aggrieved male is running around town calling his attacker “a shrew.” Well you know how people like to engage in name calling, and some labels have a knack for lingering around.
Speaking of labels, has anyone ever considered how fiery tempered women came to be associated with female dogs? Perhaps we should leave that history lesson for another day… but just so you know, dogs are not amused!
“The Shrew Untamed” is available for free download from Amazon.com. Get your electronic copy today and find out what happens after Petruchio and Kate’s honeymoon!
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