|A sequel to “The Taming of the Shrew”? Why yes, there's 2!
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|Author:||Shrew4 [ Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:17 pm ]|
|Post subject:||A sequel to “The Taming of the Shrew”? Why yes, there's 2!|
“The Shrew Untamed” is a rollicking, romantic sequel to Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” In it, Kate manages to turn the tables on her husband, Petruchio, but the consequences of her scheming actions produce some unexpected surprises.
Did you know that “The Shrew Untamed” is not the first sequel to be written that involves Shakespeare’s famously feuding couple? In the 17th century, John Fletcher wrote a play called “The Woman’s Prize” (also known as “The Tamer Tamed”) that was a direct, feminist response to the Bard’s play.
So how does Fletcher’s feminist tale unfold? “The Woman’s Prize” hurls Katherine into Death’s embrace, leaving Petruchio to marry a new wife named Maria. It just so happens that Maria is even more resistant to domination than Katherine, and she has plenty of resourceful tricks up her sleeve. Maria refuses to consummate their marriage until Petruchio changes his ways, and she bands together with other women in her city in a defiant stand against boorish male behavior. In Act Three Maria settles in to pursue a career of scholarship and horsemanship at Petruchio's country estate, but the peace is broken when Petruchio resolves to play ill in an attempt to awaken his wife's pity. His ruse fails when Maria catches on and walls him up indoors on the pretext that he has caught the plague. Petruchio finally fights his way out, but in Act Four he discovers that his wife has "gone mad"—she has begun to dress like a common whore (in a perfect counterpart to Petruchio's behavior in Shakespeare’s play) and is busy flirting with his friends. When Petruchio announces that he has had enough of marriage and is abandoning Maria for foreign travel, she encourages him to depart on the pretext that his journeys may broaden his vision and turn him into a better human being.
Almost totally defeated as Act Five opens, Petruchio tries one final stratagem in an attempt to awaken some spark of compassion in Maria. He decides to play dead, and in one of the Elizabethan theater's celebrated scenes he is carried onstage in a coffin before his wife and friends. Maria is indeed moved to tears, but they are inspired, as she tells us in a famous speech, by his "unmanly, wretched, foolish life.” This last salvo of abuse brings Petruchio back from the dead: he sits up in his coffin, prompting in Maria a state of final bafflement if not total respect. The two pledge that they will start life anew together amidst the richly comic and ironic mood that ends the play.
“The Shrew Untamed” is available for free download from Amazon.com. Visit http://theshrewuntamed.weebly.com/ to find out what happens after Petruchio and Kate’s honeymoon!
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