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The Taming of the Shrew

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  120,411 Ratings  ·  1,823 Reviews
Renowned as Shakespeare's most boisterous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew is the tale of two young men, the hopeful Lucentio and the worldly Petruchio, and the two sisters they meet in Padua.

Lucentio falls in love with Bianca, the apparently ideal younger daughter of the wealthy Baptista Minola. But before they can marry, Bianca's formidable elder sister, Katherine, must
Paperback, 291 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1593)
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Hamlet by William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night's Dream by William ShakespeareOthello by William Shakespeare
Best of William Shakespeare
12th out of 57 books — 1,000 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 18, 2009 Madeline rated it it was ok
Shelves: shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew, abridged.

PETRUCHIO: Hey Mr Minola, I wanna marry your daughter. The fact that she comes included with an awesome dowry has nothing to do with this.

BAPTISTA: Oh, I'm sorry, I have this jackass rule that my daughter Bianca can't get married until her evil older sister does, so...

PETRUCHIO: No, I want to marry the Kate chick. My friends tell me she's a ballbusting bitch - a "shrew", if you will - and I love a challenge.

BAPTISTA: SOLD! to the rich guy with a death wish. Hav
Barry Pierce
Jan 24, 2016 Barry Pierce rated it it was ok
We get it Bill, you hate women.
Nov 05, 2007 Lydia rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
Lucentio: Hey, I'm Lucentio. Who's that hot girl?
Bianca: That would be me. And hotness is about all I have going for me. Because I only have about 5 lines.
Lucentio: Wanna have sex get married?
Baptista: I'm her father, you whippersnapper. Get in line. She can't get married until her older sister does.
Lucentio: Who's that?
Katherina: ROAR! GNASH! GNARL! I don't want to get married, but I live in Elizabethan England so I must. I also have a violent streak and beat up my sister all the time because s
Kat Stark
Dec 03, 2015 Kat Stark rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, literature

Petruchio tames the beast Katherina.

Women get so bent-out-of shape about this play, but I gotta tell you I didn't read it that way at all. This is Shakespeare making fun of gender stereotypes, if anything it's a complete mockery in itself. But that's the thing about his plays...everyone has their own opinion.
Henry Avila
Dec 25, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A practical joke can be carried to the extreme, in the northern Italian city of Padua, in the time of the glorious Renaissance, a poor intoxicated man ( a tramp in fact), strangely named Christopher Sly, is found by an amused nobleman, outside a filthy tavern, sleeping on the dirt, in the street, people walking by, ignoring the unfortunate human. Until this Lord has an idea, take him to his impressive mansion and pretend that the lush, is really the owner, exchange identities, the nobleman becom ...more
Jason Koivu
Nov 14, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy, fiction, play
They say TV and video games are a bad influence, well, this play has been corrupting minds since 1590!

It's crap like this that makes people think that playing mind games with one another is the correct path to true love. It says that lying about who you are and what your intentions are, as well as flat out pretending to be something you're not, that is the way, says The Taming of the Shrew, to win love and warp a person into who you want them to be. Poppycock, I say!

Hold on please...




Bill  Kerwin

Re-reading the play this time, I liked it a little better than I thought I would. I predicted that the brutal treatment of Katharine by Petruchio would ruin the play for me, but it didn't. From the induction involving Christopher Sly, the text of "The Taming of the Shrew" is full of so many transformations (tinker to lord, page to lady, servant to rich young man, rich young man to teacher of grammar, rich suitor to music teacher, wandering scholar to prosperous merchant, etc.) as well as so many
Jun 21, 2014 Jason rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2014
I’m not even kidding. This play is more violent than King Lear. True, nobody dies in it—after all, it is a comedy (although whether you find it funny or not is a different matter)—but it is violent nonetheless. You know that sick feeling that manifests itself in the pit of your stomach when watching scenes of domestic violence or otherwise abusive relationships in movies or on TV? Isn’t it funny then how dormant that feeling seems to be when watching instead scenes of bloodbath-laden homicide à ...more
Anthony Vacca
The Taming of the Shrew is definitely not the late 16th century proto-feminist masterpiece you’ve been hankering for, but what it lacks in positive portrayals of the “fairer sex,” is overshadowed by the bounding leaps of comic gusto on display in every line of verse. Simply put, TTotS is a caustic farce of the war between the sexes (the “merry war” that, due to inbreeding and lack of imagination, would eventually devolve into the barely functioning aborted mutant that is the modern day RomCom) t ...more
Abigail Hartman
Feb 26, 2013 Abigail Hartman rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I can see why this play is little appreciated nowadays - it runs so completely counter to the modern notions of "gender equality" and feminism. I freely confess that Petruchio's methods with Katharina are rough (in an indirect manner; from passionate reviews I expected him to beat her every day before breakfast, but in fact he uses crazier, more shrewish means). On the other hand, she frankly deserves what she gets. She was not "strong-minded" - she was downright nasty, and the way Petruchio bri ...more
Joe Valdez
May 16, 2015 Joe Valdez rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
To celebrate William Shakespeare on his birthday in April, my plan is to locate a staging of six plays. I'll listen to and watch these on my MacBook, following along to as much of the original text as is incorporated by the production. Later, I'll read the entire play in the modern English version. A good friend I've had since high school recommended this system to me and it's been a very good system for delighting the mind in Shakespeare.

Next up, The Taming of the Shrew. Because none of Shakesp
Emily May
Jan 07, 2014 Emily May rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, plays
It makes some people feel better to believe that the rampant misogyny in this play is supposed to be ironic. Well, whatever. I still don't much enjoy watching a woman having her spirit broken down until she's nothing but a shell of what she once was.
Aug 26, 2010 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: dd, my-classics
This is quite possibly my favourite Shakespeare play and one that I come back to time and time again although not on a regular basis sometimes it's months or in this caes a couple of years. I love it for it's humour and the way the relationship develops between Petruchio and Katharine,and I love the way Katharine eventually submits.

For me this is not a sexist play I read it and enjoy it for what it is, the submission of a woman to her husband:)
Sep 22, 2014 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics

Click here for William Shakespeare Disclaimer

An engaging and light-hearted comedy, Taming of the Shrew has no real heavy themes other than maybe everyone deserves to be loved or love conquers all. Shakespeare has made so many works that have affected the world over, but I still think his greatest achievements are his comedies. Love, confusion, trickery, misunderstandings, and happy endings are his forte and the way they come together at the end always leaves the audience happy and content. Tam
Oct 29, 2015 O rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2016 AGamarra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conocí "La Fierecilla domada" por sus adaptaciones en primer lugar, una película protagonizada por Elizabeth Taylor y luego por la telenovela "El clavel y la rosa" protagonizada por Adriana Esteves, única novela que he seguido en mi vida pues nunca veo novelas.
La historia narra las relaciones amorosas de dos hermanas, hijas del rico de Padua, Bautista. Blanca quien tiene como pretendientes a Lucencio, Hortensio y Gremio, quienes lamentablemente no pueden pretender casarse con ella hasta que Cata
Feb 03, 2011 ben rated it it was ok
I read this not only because I like Shakespeare, but I'm a big fan of "10 Things I Hate About You." I mean, who isn't? I must have seen the movie well over a hundred times by now. After reading the play, I gotta say I was a little surprised. I knew the movie wouldn't be even close to accurate, but there was one big change I didn't expect. While in the movie Heath Ledger "tames" the shrew Julia Stiles with things like openness, kindness, persistence, kisses and paintball, in the play Petruchio ta ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I'd have to say this is one of my less favorite of Shakespeare's works, although it's a lot more fun to see it performed than to read it, since you can get a better idea of the absurdity of all the impersonations.
As a modern woman, I'm a bit put off by the way Petruchio "tames" Kate by what really amounts to abuse ---refusing her food and sleep. Also, the speech Kate makes at the end is a little far-fetched, as if she has magically been transformed into this perfect example of the Christian mono
Ana Carter  シ
Oct 23, 2011 Ana Carter シ rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Ana by: Teacher
Madeline Knight-Dixon
Sep 11, 2012 Madeline Knight-Dixon rated it it was ok
The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare:

I have so many problems with this play, I don’t even know where to begin. The thing that is the hardest to realize about Shakespeare is that the word “comedy” doesn’t mean humor. It means the play ends with someone getting married. But to assume this means it ends happily is an ignorant modern notion.

There’s tons of feminist criticism about this play, with the central question being this; Is Katherine pleased at the end because she’s actually been tam
Terri Jacobson
Jan 12, 2016 Terri Jacobson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays, audiobook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Huda Aweys
I love women in Shakespeare's theater, she is always main .., She is special .. have a rich and complex character ..
and nice :)
أحب المرأة فى مسرح شكسبير فهي دائما بطلة ، مميزة .. صاحبة شخصية معقدة و غنية .. و لطيفة :)
Jan 15, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, shakespeare
This play is difficult to read today when the plot is so unacceptable even on a Punch-and-Judy level; if someone offered this relationship advice on Reddit, we'd call for him to be removed from the gene pool with a rusty barbecue fork. I'm finding myself reading the (unbelievably long and thorough) Wikipedia articles summarizing critical opinions on Shakespeare, and for this one quite a lot of it has to do with justifying the apparent misogyny of this play, or wrapping it up in a more palatable ...more
David Sarkies
Jul 22, 2011 David Sarkies rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
This is a very difficult play for us modern minds to come to grips with, though when one approaches this play one does need to consider that this play would have been difficult to stomach for the original theatre goers as well, however, if one does some research into the literature upon which this play is based, one can see that (pardon the pun) this play is quite tame compared to its sources. The source that I am referring to is a poem by Hugh Jackson, written in about 1550, entitled “Here Beg ...more
Sep 21, 2015 Anastasia rated it really liked it
This is quite funny, really. Katherine must by all means be tamed, because she is very loud, self opinionated and independent. She is also very naive thinking that she can live her life saying and doing whatever she wants. The men around her soon demonstrate her the opposite: her father sends her away to marry Petruchio, the first man who wants her and Petruchio takes upon himself to teach her the ways of a woman (total obedience and unconditional love) through tough love. Needless to say he is ...more
Michael Jones
I really enjoyed this little play, and thanks to the people on for reading it to me-- not bad!

Some of the other reviews on here are very harsh with PETRUCHIO for his methods of subduing KATE. Well, I read Shakespeare's plays and I see Christian imagery all over the place. Notice that the father's name is BAPTISTA.

I see in KATE the church, the bride of Christ! She is baptized, but she eventually needs to bring her will into conformity with Jesus the groom. Jesus has to use very sever
'For I am rough and woo not like a babe.'
'This is a way to kill a wife with kindness...'
'First kiss me, Kate, and we will.'

All discussions of the play here on Goodreads and everywhere else begin and end with how offended we should be by it. Is it disturbing evidence of abuses justified and encouraged by an evil patriarchal system, or the exact opposite by being a brave satire of same? Rather than answer that question, look instead at the play as farce.

In farce, pe
Karen Floyd
May 06, 2009 Karen Floyd rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this with the idea of the relationship between Kate and Petrucchio being an abusive one, an idea proposed by Laurie Maguire in her book "Where There's a Will, There's a Way, or, All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Shakespeare." Sadly, I have to conclude that it is indeed an abusive relationship. Petrucchio is concerned to marry a rich wife and to tame her to be pleasant to live with. He uses falconry terms when talking about Kate, and how he intends to train her. There is nev ...more

Loved it, hated it simultaneously!
Dec 01, 2015 J.M. rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, british
December of Drama 2015, day one

So, the first week always belongs to Shakespeare. In this little review I'm merely going to note the two (count 'em!) interesting aspects of this play.

Firstly, the 'meta' part. The play is actually a play-within-a-play, although the frame play with Christopher Sly doesn't officially come back in at the end. There's an appendix in my version with the real closing lines. Kind of awkward.

Secondly, the banter between Katherine and Petruccio. Whatever else is wrong with
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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