The other day The Taming of the Shrew (1967) was on TCM. While Elizabeth Taylor is wearing too much makeup for Renaissance Italy, the film is rather entertaining. It also has Michael York in a supporting tole, and I always found his voice soothing.
While Elizabeth seems a bit much, keep in mind Katherine is a drama queen. This translation deals well with Katherine's eventual and inexplicable deference to Petruchio (played with swinish abandon by Richard Burton, Elizabeth's recurring husband); one can see that he has not tamed her, merely she gets with the program that instead of shrieking, she'll have to demurely manipulate him. Since his method to break her was to "kill a wife with kindness," he has it coming.
|You go, girl.|
I suppose feminists could have a field day with this play. Here we have a strong woman (when Katherine has the soliloquy about women's soft and weak bodies, I want to laugh; never mind her ability to give others a black eye, what about basic childbirth?)
But consider; times haven't changed so much. Baptista (Katherine's father) will not marry off his other daughter, the lovely (meaning sweet tempered) Bianca until the elder harpy is wed.
The first in, first out policy has only recently been repealed in some Jewish circles. Even in more chilled-out homes, I heard it said even about the sons.
There was a guy I went out with once (and happily never saw again) who was working (in a very good job I might add) and later married a lovely girl. It was said before I went out with him that the mother wanted him married and out of the way since his younger brother, the learner, would be a "hot commodity" and so quickly snapped up. It took him five years after the elder brother's wedding. Snort.
I am happy I don't have sibling issues in that department.
A girl I know went out with a guy, and said, "You would be perfect for my older sister." And he was.
I've been the cheese, standing alone, since I was a teenager. And what I know is that turning into a Katherine while dealing with the dating world is all to easy.
"Lea, please," my mother begs. "Don't give me a hard time about this."
Good thing I don't have a sweet-tempered sister to make me look bad. Then I'd be foisted onto a Petruchio. Ew.