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The Taming of the Shrew

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  154,176 ratings  ·  3,463 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 ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Simon Schuster (first published 1593)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  154,176 ratings  ·  3,463 reviews

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May 04, 2008 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 rated it it was ok
We get it Bill, you hate women.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, shakespeare
Oh well, Shakespeare! What do you expect me to make of this, Sir? Me, being a Kate, but not starved, tortured, and humiliated into obedience, submission, complete surrender?

How shall I read this play, that made me literally feel a knot in my stomach, that filled me with nausea, anger, and sadness? My first reaction was to think:

“Thank you, Sir, that’s enough. I’ll have none of this anymore, you may be my literary hero, but this is TOO MUCH!”

Then all those other authors came to mind, those bril
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592.

The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship; however, Petruchio "tames" her with various psychological torments, such as keeping her from eating and drinking, until she becomes a desirable, compliant, and obedient bride. T
Huh. This certainly didn't age well, did it?

And I get it. You can't really judge an old ass play by today's moral standards.
Except you kind of can.


So. Kate is kind of a screechy bitch who doesn't want to get married. Her father (idiotically) proclaims that he won't allow his younger daughter, Bianca, who is beautiful & chill, to get married until someone takes Kate off of his hands.
Along comes Petruchio, who doesn't give a shit how awful Kate is as a human being, he just wants her fat dowry.


Sean Barrs
I really don’t buy the irony. Here is a play by a very young Shakespeare trying to appeal to the masses; here is a play that purposely appeals to the misogynistic beliefs of its early audiences, and I really don’t like it.

This is what should have happened at the end:


I’m a Shrew; I’m a woman who stands up
For herself and for her sisters alike
I have a voice; I will not be tamed by
Men who think themselves overlords!

Instead we have a rather meek speech in which a broken woman who has bee
Nov 05, 2007 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
Henry Avila
Mar 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The gentle gentleman, William Shakespeare pokes glorious fun at customs, marriages , greed and scoundrels, especially pretentious men and women. .. A practical joke can be carried to the extreme, in the northern Italian city of Padua, in the time of the brilliant 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. Unti ...more
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
Emily May
Dec 09, 2010 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. ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Not the bard’s greatest work, Taming of the Shrew tends more towards gender stereotypes (plus a few anti-Semitic asides) and, to my view, lacked memorable monologues. The humor was occasionally ok but no belly laughs provoked for me. The play within a play idea was interesting, but William sort of left the ending hanging. I suppose I should seek some archival footage of stage or screen interpretations of this one.
On to Henry VI Parts 1-3!
Book Review
The Taming of the Shrew is one of William Shakespeare's earliest plays and comedies, produced in the mid-1590s. We read this play in 8th or 9th grade as one of the introductions to Shakespeare in an English course. I'd rank this somewhere in the middle in terms of his comedies as well as works in general. It's got several funny moments (ironic humor) but it's also a bit weaker in terms of style and hidden meanings among all the words and characters. The plot is strong, and
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Taming of the Shrew was, I think, one of Shakespeare’s better comedies, though not one of his better plays.

In fairness, I think I’d like to see this performed and I may enjoy it much more, and a wiser person than I has observed that plays are meant to be seen, not just read. I would perhaps amend that observation that to be fully appreciated, a play should be seen AND read. A clever producer could have fun with this antiquated misogyny.

This explores betrothal and arranged marriages more than ro
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Words or actions?
Recommended to Dolors by: Bevington
I was curious about the controversy generated by the dynamics between genders that academics and readers have discussed for years in this early romantic comedy, which brought some memorable moments that hilariously reminded me of Much ado about nothing.

Sarcasm, bickering and jocular scenes abound in this play, but there is an extra dose of provocative innuendo. Even the title is condemnable for its lack of political correctness, as it implies that Kate, the female protagonist and eldest daughter
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As with all of Shakespeare's plays, there's always a different interpretation always handy at foot, be it a woman's duty to place her hand under her husband's foot or not.

As it is, though, I can both be supremely annoyed with a society that demands that women be always so obedient, culturally, and be wickedly satisfied that Kate and Petruchio have worked out a true meeting of the minds and wills in such a way as to transcend all other's expectations.

There's a little something for everyone in thi
Jason Koivu
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, comedy, 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...




Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, for-kindle, 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
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

Read Here

I'm meant to be going to a Pop Up Globe production of this play & I'm sure when I see it staged, it will all seem like Jolly Good Fun. & it was amusing in parts. But Katarina is extremely unlikeable, Petruchio's methods seem cruel & the ending was very abrupt.

Maybe I'll feel differently after I see this staged. I really enjoyed the Taylor/Burton film.

I'll keep you posted. 😊

Edit; A good time was had by all at the Pop Up Globe (well other than the shrinking win
Ruxandra (4fără15)
though it's definitely not Shakespeare's best, I really liked it! it was quite funny (I strongly recommend that you pick an annotated edition, with full explanatory notes), but it also made me think (was Shakespeare ironic? is Katherine's final speech evidence that the shrew has been tamed, or has she simply learned how to outplay Petruchio, using his own tricks? what about Bianca and the Widow's outspoken disobedience in the final scene? so many things to consider!!) ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I was a student of English literature, I obviously read all of Shakespeare's plays (and more than once). Since then, I have reread some of them, but not this one. I tend to prefer his tragedies to his comedies. I'm pretty sure I read The Taming of the Shrew more than once, but not in the last few years. It is not one of his plays that I reread regularly, but I do have fond memories of reading it. In fact, this is a play I would recommend everyone to read, if for nothing else than for its cu ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, 2017, shakespeare
"I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey."

-- William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, Act V, 2


The second play in my First Folio journey is 'The Taming of the Shrew'. The obvious discussion surrounding this play has to be Shakespeare's views, as expressed in this play, of women. I think any defense of Shakespeare's attitudes are silly. Shakespeare was a contradiction, e
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
Whitney Atkinson
I think it can go undisputed how misogynistic this is, but in a way, its ability to anger me was impressing? Idk. The content sucked, but I think it sucked for a reason. I don't think Shakespeare hates women and thinks they're inferior to men, yet I wish this had more of a comeback arc. I loved when Katharina was sassy and angry and at the end of the book she ended up so subdued, and I was waiting for her to snap back, but she never did. I'm disappointed. ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a deeply troubling and often frankly misogynistic play, and I'm not here to defend those aspects of it. However I saw a version of it years ago that turned the misogyny on its head in a way that I thought was interesting, and perhaps truer to the many levels on which Shakespeare worked. It was a "Shakespeare in the Park" production, in New York, starring Morgan Freeman and Tracey Ullman, and you can imagine how fantastic that was. The best part was how they did the end of the play--that ...more
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Oof. This is a play that I wanted to hate for obvious reasons but the reality is that I didn’t at all. It’s lively and charming, and that makes Kate’s damning final speech an even harder to pill to swallow. I really don’t think there’s a way to reconcile the misogyny in a contemporary production in a way that makes the ending palatable without going against the text (if anyone has seen it done successfully, let me know - I would actually love to talk about that ahead of my Shakespeare group doin ...more
Abigail Hartman
Feb 20, 2013 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
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
I like shalespearre - love Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III. But this one os horrible.
A man takes a spirited girl and brutally crushes her , even starving her into submission!
and at the end gives a speech justifying it and how women should obey their husbands. How sickening!
Not a lesson we should promote!
This and The Merchant of Venice (anti-semitism) are the only Shakespeare plays I refuse to have anything to do with,.
Sidharth Vardhan
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
The feminist issues can be answered with the simplest argument that there is no knowing Shakespeare's intentions. The best of his characters are always doing most villianious things - Shylock Othello, Caliban, Brutus, Iago etc. The fact that they come to a bad end might only show Shakespeare's realism. But amid all prejudice that other characters show to them, the dislikable things they do and bad end they meet; they are still the ones that one feels most attracted towards. Kate is no different ...more
Sep 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lör K.
Thank goodness that’s over

The Taming of the Shrew starts off purely as a noble man playing a prank on a drunkard in a bar. It’s a mean joke, making out this drunkard has always been a noble man his entire life, making out as though nothing has ever changed. It seems funny at first and has made me laugh plenty of times – although some of that may be down to my own humour of finding the way Shakespeare writes (phrases such as Sir! Give him head!) – but it is enjoyable.

Quickly, a play arises wi
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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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