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Shakespeare and the Shrew

Performing the Defiant Female Voice

Shakespeare and the Shrew by Anna Kamaralli
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Whenever Shakespeare wrote a 'shrew' into one of his plays he created a character who challenged ideas about acceptable behaviour for a woman. This is as true today as when the plays were first performed. A shrew is a woman who refuses to be quiet when she is told to be, who says things that people do not want to hear. She is constructed to alleviate male anxieties through ridicule, but like so many objects of comedy or derision, she is full of power because of her very ability to generate these anxieties. 'Shrew' is supposed to be an insult, but has often been used to describe women enacting behaviour that can be brave, clever, noble or just. This book marries an examination of Shakespeare's shrews in his plays with their history in recent performance, to investigate our own attitudes to hearing women with defiant voices.
Palgrave Macmillan; November 2012
263 pages; ISBN 9781137291516
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Title: Shakespeare and the Shrew
Author: Anna Kamaralli
 
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