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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Movie or TV Productions

The Taming of the Shrew, 1967

Director Franco Zeffirelli's version is probably one of the most popular film adaptations of the play. Starring the smokin' hot Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, this production plays up the sexual chemistry between Kate and Petruchio. Liz Taylor delivers Kate's final speech in a way that suggests she's being ironic rather than sincere.

The Taming of the Shrew, 1976

Director Kirk Browning's filmed theater production (American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco) in the style of commedia dell'arte, and starring Fredi Olster as Kate and Marc Singer as Petruchio. This is one of our favorites.

The Taming of the Shrew, 1980

A BBC production, directed by Jonathan Miller and starring John Cleese as Petruchio and Sarah Badel as Kate. Students often find this one to be a bit of a snooze but it's a very good production.

Kiss Me Kate, 1948

Musical adaptation written by Cole Porter for Broadway performance. There are several good productions available on DVD and the web.

10 Things I Hate About You, 1999

Starring the late Heath Ledger and actress Julia Styles. This film adapts Shakespeare's play to a modern day teen setting: Padua High School, where Cameron wants to date Bianca but Bianca's not allowed to go out until her big sis, Katarina, starts dating. Patrick (Heath Ledger) is the man for the job. Love it or hate it, every teenager needs to check this one out.

"ShakespeaRe-Told" The Taming of the Shrew, 2005

Smart and funny retelling (a la Bridget Jones's Diary). Kate is a 38-year-old, unmarried virgin and a real shrew. She's also a super successful politician who is urged by her party to marry. You can watch clips of the production on the BBC's website or YouTube.

Videos

American Conservatory Theater (ACT)

Petruchio and Kate's first meeting. Compare this version to the other two listed below. What’s the tone? What kinds of assumptions are made about the chemistry between Kate and Petruchio? If you were a director, how would you stage the scene?

1967 Film

The meeting scene of the 1967 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

High School Drama Project

A high school production of the same scene.

Audios

Act 2, Scene 1
An audio clip of Peter O'Toole as Petruchio.

Images

Woman in "branks" or a "scold's bridle"

This was a punishment for a "shrewish" woman who was convicted of being a "scold."

Jessica Alba in a muzzle

Photographs of a muzzled Jessica Alba and others in various Declareyourself.com campaign ads. Compare these images to photos of "branks" and "scolds bridles" used to silence shrewish women.

Woman Being "Ducked" in a Cucking Stool

From a U.K. history website.

Historical Documents

A Merry Jest of a Shrewd and Curst Wife

E-Text of a popular and disturbing ballad about a man who punishes his unruly wife by beating her and wrapping her in the skin of a dead horse. From Renascence Editions, a collection of English texts printed between 1477 and 1779.

The Taming of the Shrew

Facsimile of a page from the first folio (1623) edition of Shrew.

Websites

The Taming of the Shrew Free Online Text

Read the play online if you don't have a hard copy of the text. Warning, there aren't any footnotes but this is good in a pinch if you left your copy of the play at school or something.

Elizabethan History

Great website for historical background. Includes a nifty "Elizabethan dictionary."

Shakespeare Concordance

Awesome tool for all students to look up words in any of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.

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