Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Song of the Shrew

Kiss Me Kate is playing in Orlando. My fiance leaves next week for 2 weeks of travel and I desperately want him to take me to see it before the show closes next week.

Because I'm starting to doubt whether I will get to see this wonderful musical based off of my favorite play-wright's Taming of the Shrew, I've been dabbling in some You-Tube searches of songs (I have a strange feeling the show I'm going to see is of much higher caliber than what I'll find on the tube...)

Among the searches, I yielded the deleterious I Hate Men sung by the infamous Katherine, whose shrewish voice yields such a tasty phrase as "For husbands are a boring lot that only give you bother..."

And then there's darling little Bianca, with her lovely little antics, singing her declaration of love to Tom, Dick, or Harry - she'd take all THREE!

If you know the story, forgive the recap, but here it goes - Bianca is the youngest of two (Katherine being her older sister) in a society that requires the oldest to marry before the youngest. Woe be to lusty Bianca, whose older sister thoroughly despises men and refuses to EVER marry. A suitor is on the horizon, though, and together with Bianca and dear father, schemes to match Katherine with a suitor that will not take no for an answer - and the story continues with Katherine's re-education on the importance, necessity, and desirability

I just realized while thinking random thoughts how much this story is like everything I've been struggling with since stumbling onto Anakin Nice-Guy's and MLV's blogs. My issue with them was that the stance they took on marriage hindered any progress - specifically for the ones that actually WANT to marry and actually do the right thing as wives.

And then this thought comes up - and girls like me are the Biancas of modern society...and our big sister that's ruining our chances at marital success are all the feminists and women that willfully tear down their husbands by refusing them access to their children and sapping them for all they're worth.

I wonder if its possible to find Petruchios willing to marry all those Katherines and re-educate them so the rest of the unmarried Biancas have a shot at some marital success ;)


The Learner said...

Hi Christina,

Interesting post. I have never read The Taming of the Shrew or seen the play but I did see the old Liz Taylor and Richard Burton movie version :) Your parallel is interesting but it caused me to wonder if the Liz Taylor movie is significantly different than the Shakespeare play. At the and of Liz's movie Bianca comes off as a bit of a spoiled princess type (if I remember correctly)and Kate comes off as the wise wife who tells ler how it is.

Christina said...

Actually, Learner,

After Kate gets her medicinal dose, she's a lot more qualified to give marital advice than her darling little sister ;)

Its interesting, definitly, in that play that all Kate needed was a strong hand that wouldn't let her have her way - and she learned to see reason and deeply love Petruchio...

But Kate, throughout the entire play, always came off as the more mature of the two - just WAY too anti-male =p

The Learner said...


That does sound like the Liz Taylor version :)

Christina said...

Lol...did you ever see "10 Things I Hate About You"?

That one also had a very similar arrangement of things as this play does :)

The Learner said...

Yes, I saw that movie...I remember thinking it was like the Taming of the Shrew.

Christina said...

Julia Stiles has a reputation (in my mind) with doing modern versions of Shakespearian plays.

Othello (O), Taming of the Shrew (10 Things I Hate About You), and I'm pretty certain Save the Last Dance was also one. I used to know them all and can't remember them!!!

When she did The Prince and Me and played a Biology student who just didn't "get" Shakespeare, I had to LOL. The vast majority of the movies she's been in are Shakespeare knock-offs =p

MarkyMark said...


Your post was an interesting, quasi-allegorical take on feminism, with the allusion of how the big sisters ruined it for you younger sisters who don't hate men. Very interesting...


Modesty said...

People should read this.