The Taming of A Shrew was registered at the Stationers’ Company on 2nd May 1594. Scholars generally agree that its style and language make it an early play in Shakespeare’s career; usually dated to the early 1590s.
The anonymous play The Taming of A Shrew was printed in 1594: its relation to the Shakespearean play is unclear. It was reprinted in quarto form in 1596 and 1607. The First Folio version was possibly typeset directly from Shakespeare’s manuscripts.
‘“Frets, call you these?” quoth she, “I’ll fume with them.”
And with that word she struck me on the head,
And through the instrument my pate made way.’
The Taming of the Shrew, II i
Brief synopsis of the play
In Padua, two sisters must be married off: while Bianca looks forward to flying the nest and has no shortage of suitors, her elder sister Katherine must marry first. The strong-willed, plain-speaking, ungovernable Kate is reluctant to lose her independence. She meets her match in a battle of wits, will and power with the gold-digging, rebellious Petruchio. The bond of love between them is put to the test in a controversial finale that isn’t as simple as it seems.