The Taming of the Shrew Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew book cover
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In The Taming of the Shrew, what is the relevance of the Induction to the plotline?

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This is an excellent question. It is rather amusing to note that so many directors choose to willingly omit the Induction from productions of this excellent play even when a clear relationship between the Induction and the rest of the play can be drawn. If you are studying this play, I think it is incredibly important to realise how Shakespeare uses the convention of the play within a play in this comedy just as he does elsewhere in his oeuvre (for example in A Midsummer Night's Dream).

To my mind, the relationship between the Induction and the rest of the play has two central correlations: the way that it points towards the artificiality of the play setting, especially concerning cross dressing, and the way it indicates the importance of social...

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