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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare. It was one of his earlier plays, probably penned in 1594.

Prior to the first act, an Induction frames the play as a "kind of history" played in front of a drunkard named Sly who thinks he is a Lord. The induction is rarely performed.

The "Shrew" is Katerina, the eldest daughter of a Lord in Padua. Her younger sister, Bianca, is much sought after by the noble men of the town. Their father, Baptista, has sworn not to allow his younger daughter to marry before Katerina is wed.

Petruchio arrives to marry and cares more about the dowry than about the woman. He woes Katerina, calling her "Kate", quickly settles on the dowry, marries her and takes her home. Once there, he begins his "taming" of his new wife. They return to Padua for Bianca's wedding with Kate a supposedly changed woman.

A subplot involves Bianca and Petruchio's friend's courtship. One of Bianca's other admirers also marries, to a rich widow. A contest occurs at the wedding banquet in which each new groom calls for his bride.

Kate is the only one who responds, winning for Petruchio a second dowry.

A number of later works have been derived from The Taming of the Shrew, including the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate and the Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari opera, Sly.

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