Otázka: The Taming of the Shrew – Zkrocení zlé ženy
1) About the author
William Shakespeare is beilved to be among the best plawrights and authors in the world and is certanily the most widely known English author in the world. He was the third of eight childern of a daughter of a landowner and a city coucil member , so thir familly was quite rich. The date of his birth is not exactly known, but, he is belived to have been baptized on 26th april 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warvickshire in central England. Not much is known about his life until 1582 when he married Anne Hathaway who was older tha him, as was she was 27 year s old, while he was only 18. Six months after the wedding, their first child, a daughter named Susana was born. Shortly after, Shakespeare disappeared and not much is known about him until he arrived in London seven years later.
By that time, in 1592 He had been working as an actor and a playwirght for a theathre company known as Lord Chamberlain´s men, which was very sucesful, as in 1613 the compny bulit the now famous Globe thtearte where Shakespeare performed many of his plays.. The company´s sucess earned Shakespeare considerable wealth, in 1559 he even bought a mansion in Stratford, known as New Place, the site of which is now a sightseesing location.He wistted the mansion often untill his death on 23th April 1616.
William Shakespeare´s writing and plays can be divided into several categories He was an author of both tragic and comic plays as well as historical plays and poetry. Tragedies of Shakespeare´s time portrayd themes of suffering, revenge and strife and typically most major chracters died over the course of the plot. Comedies on the other hand dealt with themes of love, and romatic relationships and included dance, or song as well as used motiffs of exaggerated, farcial situatons, such as a chracter mistaking the identity of other characters.
Histories obviously drew inspiration from the historical account of the life of kings of England Such as King John (1623)m Henry V
Another way to divide Shahespeare´s plays is to separate them chronologically into four periods: early (before 1594) durnig which time he wrote the historical play Richard III. about a scheming Eglish king, or the Comedy of error s(metioned as first performed in 1594). Some of these plays are inspired by Roman and Greek plays from the period of classical antiquity, suuch as Midsummer night´s dream (between 1594-96)which is set in a fictionalised fantastical version of Athens during Classical antiquity.
The scond spans from 1594 to 1600 and shows Sphakespeare´s maturation as writer as he starts move awy from exagerrated tmemes to focus more closely on human nature and includes such plays as Troius and Cressida (1602) which deals with the story of Hector during the Trojan war. , a history play in two parts about Henry IV( Published1558/59) , or the comedy Merchant of Venice (first quarto-a book in small format- published 1600), whiich portays themes of antisemitism, self interest contrasted with love and the conflict btween fighting to have one´s revenge and grating mercy.
The third period of Shakespeare´s work began in 1601 after the death of father. This experience deeply affected him and also influenced his work as he wrote his most famous tragedies such as Hamlet (betwwen 1599 and 1602) Macbeth (Between 1603-1607, commonly claimed to be 1606) Othello (approx 1603) or King Lear (in1608 as quarto an in 1623 as a folio, or as book in large format) during this time.
The final pe riod begins in 1608 and ends three years before his death. It is chracterised by a more optimistic outlook on life, which can be seen in the plays Cymbeline (aprox 1611), Winter´s tale (1623) and The Tempest (1610/11) These plays re chracterisd not as comedies or tragedies, but rather as romances or Tradicomedies, which combined aspects of both , as well some typical elements such as motffs from pre-Cristian pagan mythology, magic and improbale situations , such as shipwrecks, a contast of pastoral scernery and the urban setting or a palace, such as in The Tempest) and a happy ending which often involved the reunion of long lost travellers with their family.
2) The Taming of the Shrew
The plot of Zeffireli´s film opens with the character of Lucentio (Micheal York) and Tranio (Alfred Lynch) arriving in Padua to get a udcation at the uvniversity but then He notices Katherina Minola(Elizabeth Taylor) ,a strong-willed and ill tempered daughter of a rich aristocrat Baptista Minola(Michael Hordern) and , Hortensio (Michal York ) and Gremio (Alan Webb )attempt to woo Catherine´s gentle younger sister Bianca (Natasha Pyne) . But first they need for Catherine to marry, because Baptista won´let Bianca marry until Catreine is marrieed and and there are even more suitors who hope to marry Bianca.
Then Arrives the main chracter Petruchio (played by Richard Burton) who wants to enjoy life and find a rich wife for himself. Lucetio and Tranio take advatage of this and presuade him to court Catherine, so se she´ll marry and then they´d be free to court Bianca.
Petruchio starts wooing herby using reverse psychology, treating her arcid retorts as sweet sayings. Their courtship involeves extended scenes of the two exchanging witty wordplay and even incidents of the two scuffling and other physical comedy untill she finally agrees to mary him.
After an ostentatious marriage, their journey to Petruchio´s home is much less glamorous as Catherine is drenched by rain and when she ariives at her husband´s home, he starts to tame her wild temprement by teasing and abusing her by various nonviolent means, for example praying for a quite long time before a meal and them trowing the meals away just beefore she could taste them and later belittling her taste in fashion before insulting the tailor. Finally he succeds in taming her and as Lucentio married Bianca, All othe chracters meet on her wedding and the film ends after Katherine gives a speech in which she says wives should be obedient to their husbands.
3) Film review
I have to say I liked this film very much, even Ithough I must admit some situations especially those involving disguises or a confusion of characters were quite difficult for me to understands.On the contrary, I think the charm of the film is mainly in its simplicity. The main plot of Petruchio wooing and then taming Catherine manages to be very entertaining, just y virtue of the absurd aprochach of reverse psychlogy uses, which is what makes the brilliant Shakesperean worldplay shine all the more. This scene also touches upon one of the main theme of the novel , there lationship btween man an woman. Consider, even though Petruchio has seen that Cattherine is a horrible womam who bullies her sister he still agrees to woo her for te benifit of others. Even when shen she scuffles with him physcially and plays pratical jokes on him, in the scene in the attic, (which I have to say was one of the most funny scenes in the movie for me) he doesn´t slap her even one tine , even though I can image a man who might lose his temper (and dignity) in frustration.
I might say it possible this points at another interpretation of Petruchio´s chracter, that is , he might be as barsh and untameable as Catherina is, except only she is inportunate enough to bring up that side of his personality. I think this interpreation then lads to a to a conlusion the scenes at Petrchoi house aren´t images of a husband bossing his wife around but instead a psychological game of cat-and- mouse of a husband to win the respect of his wife by matching her temperament. And it is a game that Petruchio steadily wins until Catherine anouncences his victory iion a theatrically overblown manner at the finale, which may sound misogynistic but I think It wasn´t in fact what was intended, that Catharine was just grandiosely admiting that Petruchio has won the game of maching her own acerbic temperament and deserves to love her.
I would recommand this movie to anybody who not olny likes Skakesperean comedy full of wordplay but also appreciates complex themes that can be analyzed.