Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday Morning Book Review

The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare

In August, I went back to college to pursue a Masters Degree in Literature. My undergraduate degree is in Accounting so this is a big shift. I was told that I needed some upper level undergrad literature courses before I could embark on my Master's journey, so I took a course in Shakespeare. What could be more "literature" than that. I had not had any type of formal classwork for 25 years and that was all business courses, lets just say I was scared to death of my chances of getting through this course, but I knew that if I made it I would be ok for the rest of the way. I not only made it, I got an A and most importantly, I loved it. This class solidified all of the reasons I wanted to pursue this path in the first place. I want to be able to relate and discuss relevant issues of today as seen through great literary works. (Sorry so heavy, I just thought you needed some back ground.) Now, for at least one Saturday Morning Book Review per month, I want you to have the same experience.

Today's classic is The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare. Like any great work of art, this play affects you on many different levels; it makes you laugh, get angry, and, most of all, realize that for all the progress we think we have made, human relationships have not changed that much over time. Shrew is the story of Petruchio and Katherine. It is a love story, but in a very weird way. Petruchio is determined to make Katherine his wife and Katherine is determined to be no man's wife. Running through the play, also, is a side story about all of the eligible men trying to make Bianca, Katherine's younger sister, their wife. This play has something for everyone in the family. If you are at all a feminist, you are going to love Katherine, if you are a somewhat male chauvinist guy, you are going to love Petruchio and everyone else will just love the great story and comedy.

The great thing about reading the old classics is that you do not have to buy them to enjoy them. There is a site called Project Gutenberg, , where you can find over 20,000 works whose copyrights have expired and so they are part of the public domain. You can, of course, purchase a copy of The Taming of the Shrew and I have added to Favorites-Book Review a text that includes a great forward about Shakespeare's works and life. I have also added a great DVD of the play staring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. This play so typifies their relationship. No cheating though, have family reading night (the writers have all gone on strike so there is no TV, unless you want to watch people asked personal questions while strapped to a lie detector.) and enjoy the words and story of the play, then get the DVD and enjoy it all over again.

Happy reading,

No comments: