By A. Kamaralli
An research of the numerous ways in which Shakespeare makes use of the defiant voice of the shrew. Kamaralli explores how sleek functionality perform negotiates the probabilities for staging those characters who refuse to comply to criteria of appropriate behaviour for girls, yet are between Shakespeare's bravest, wisest and so much bright creations.
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Extra info for Shakespeare and the Shrew: Performing the Defiant Female Voice
Phillip Brockbank’s introduction to the first book of the series is significant for setting out the expectations of the publication, and some of its assumptions. Chief among these is an unqualified belief that the goal of performance is to move towards an imagined ideal production, that seems to be identified with what an original production would have been: ‘While we must keep trying, we know we can’t make it. ’44 Without recognizing the contradiction to this goal that it presents, Brockbank also discusses in some detail the ‘unacknowledged presence behind virtually all of the actors’ accounts here, thoroughly assimilated into the English tradition, [of] Stanislavski’s An Actor Prepares’ (p.
The high classical tragedy of a Portia and Brutus has to be bawdy comedy for a Kate and a Harry. As was apparent in the case of Constance, however, Shakespeare’s leaning was always towards the intermingling of comedy and tragedy, and it would do the scene between the Percies a great disservice not to see the serious urgency behind Kate’s words. The women open in identical fashion, with a finely balanced, rational argument designed to show a man a mirror of himself. Each follows the same structure (he has abandoned the marriage bed; he is not sleeping, eating or talking to his wife, though he is muttering to himself; she sees physical change in him; and she concludes with a straight entreaty for him to confide in her) but is modified in its details to be specific to the man in question.
Photographer: Malcolm Davies. Malcolm Davies Collection © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 40 Shakespeare and the Shrew Presenting Constance as actually mad does not seem to be an option that productions consider, which gives a legitimacy to her voice at odds with the attempts of the other characters in the play to rob her of it. This serves to highlight the subversiveness in the construction of the role: it is impossible for performance to avoid casting the men in power as wrong in their assessment of the shrew figure, who should, by convention, be the one in the wrong herself.