Shakespeare was up to more than just putting women in their place in this play. There is a rich irony to Kate, particularly after the titular "taming,Shakespeare was up to more than just putting women in their place in this play. There is a rich irony to Kate, particularly after the titular "taming," so I can't really condone any angry sexist slant against the Bard here. That reading stems from a superficial understanding of the play--of seeing what one wants to see, not what's really there.
The Goodreads preamble is correct to name this a boisterous play--though I'm not sure I can agree it's Shakespeare's most boisterous play; that title I will reserve for Much Ado about Nothing, which is less violent, yes, but offers some of the best man-vs.-woman battles of wits anywhere in print.
Still, Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's most hilarious and accessible plays, provided you go into it looking for comic irony, not sexual oppression....more
Upon seeing my five-star rating of Winnie-the-Pooh via my Facebook feed, my sister made the following comment: "The originals were depressing. I prefeUpon seeing my five-star rating of Winnie-the-Pooh via my Facebook feed, my sister made the following comment: "The originals were depressing. I prefer Disney's cuddly version." I made the following response, which I think sums up my feelings about this wonderful classic children's book:
One day, Pooh and Piglet were walking through the Hundred Acre Wood when they came upon a Facebook Comment. "The originals were depressing," it read. "I prefer Disney's cuddly version."
"Th-th-that's a v-v-very b-b-big statement to m-m-make," Piglet stammered, slightly nervous that there existed somewhere else in the Hundred Acre Wood a Disney version of himself.
Pooh thought for a moment. "If it is a big statement, then a Big Person must have made it. Perhaps it was a Heffelump?"
"...Or a Woozle," said Eeyore, walking from behind the Facebook Comment.
"Oh hello, Eeyore," said Pooh.
"I don't know what's so depressing about this place," Eeyore replied, ignoring Pooh's cheerful greeting. "Always seems a little too cheerful for me."
"Perhaps we should go ask Christopher Robin about who made the Big Facebook Comment," said Pooh after a Thoughtful Moment.
"Silly old bear," said Christopher Robin after being presented with the problem. "It wasn't a Heffelump nor a Woozle; it was the Sister of the Writer."
Pooh and his friends looked toward the page. "Oh hello," said Pooh. Piglet peaked out from behind his fluffy friend.
"Now let us go inside, and I shall read you a story," said Christopher Robin.
"And might I have just a smackerel of your Story-Time Hunny, Christopher?" asked Pooh, trying to speak louder than the grumbling in his stomach.
"Silly old bear," said Christopher Robin as he led his friends into the house for a story.
And THAT is why the books will always be better than the Disney versions!...more
I am fairly certain 'St. George and the Dragon' was the first library book I took out to read by myself; I was 7 and in the 2nd Grade. (Though there wI am fairly certain 'St. George and the Dragon' was the first library book I took out to read by myself; I was 7 and in the 2nd Grade. (Though there were probably many before, 'The Hobbit' was the first book I remember taking out to read with my mom; I was then 5.)
What struck me as most memorable about this book at the time, not surprisingly, were the pictures. I read and understood the story well enough (not realizing, to be sure, that it was a retelling of elements of Spenser's 'The Faerie Queen'), but the pictures left such an impression on my developing imagination that they would still be with me almost twenty years later, when I rediscovered the book in a Children's Literature course I took as part of teacher training.
Indeed, I did not even need the written story. I could tell quite vividly from the pictures alone of the heroic Red-Cross Knight, his lady fair with her snow-white lamb, and the accompanying dwarf, and how they sought out an evil dragon; how they took refuge with a hermit who showed the Red-Cross Knight a heavenly far-off city; and how the Knight finally found the dragon, seemed to die a number of times during battle with the beast but continually rose again and eventually succeeded in slaying his enemy, thus bringing peace to the lands and ensuring marriage to his lady fair. True, the pictures are violent in places -- the Red-Cross Knight cuts off the dragon's tail-stinger and claw, and the Knight gets pretty scratched up, singed, and beaten in the process -- but even these are far from needlessly gory. The quest is the slaying of a dragon, after all. In short, these pictures far exceed the simple illustration of the text and become something quite a bit grander and memorable.
I read this book constantly, inundating my parents with retellings and annoying my sister with reenactments. (Inexplicably, she was never quite pleased to be the dragon.) Certainly, during my Christmas vacation of 1989, I lived this book.
(In fact, come to think of it, this was also my first overdue library book.)
I read this book now with my son -- who has also become enamored by the illustrations -- and I even use it as an example of literary archerypes with my 8th Graders. (The Hero; the Group Companions; the Faithful Wife; the Creature of Nightmare; the Mentor; the revivifying power of water: it's all there.) The writing is good -- not great -- but the package as a whole is a monumental success, for modern fairy tales and Children's Literature in general. Any home or classroom library would be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of this book....more