Is Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew sexist?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Like a lot of Shakespeare, the meta-message in Shrew can depend a lot on staging.

In the Royal Shakespeare Company's most recent production, Christopher Sly (who begins the play with a kind of framing device, but then never returns at the end) stays on stage through almost the whole play, and the staging seems to suggest that the whole play might be his fantasy.  If you imagine that the unfair relationship between Kate and Petruchio is based in the imaginations or fantasies of a drunk man, the story can be seen as a criticism of men's fantasies of dominating women.  You can read a review of that production here:


Another great production was put on by Propellor Theatre, back in 2007.  Propellor is an all-male company, which makes for some interesting and original (or at least, unconventional) performances when sexual politics come into play.  I actually saw that one, and when Kate is played by a man, it adds an...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 845 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team