Framing of the Shrew

 

SK

(The following conversation is in the same tone as Skyfall and uses the same music)
The Queen: But Shakespeare, I was listening to Katherine here. This is atrocious. You being a good friend of mine more than a mere subject, and I being a woman, I can’t but accuse you of your bigoted stand on women. Do you follow me? I don’t think so. That being the case, you may hear it from Katherine here.
Katherine: This, my Lady, is a man’s world. For the purpose of entertainment I too played the part and allowed my husband to humiliate me and cut me down to size. But this play is by Shakespeare and he is highly influential in London as of now. Hence I think his views will be shared by the common public.
Shakespeare: Her Highness, you have grossly misunderstood me and I take it to my heart that you did so. Taming of the Shrew, the title itself makes it clear I am not talking about men or women

The Queen: O, you were talking about the animal, eh?
Shakespeare: Yes, the animal in all of us. The big ego which has to be cut down to size if we are going to have any kind of healthy relationship. My plays are full of strong women. Let me call them as witnesses


(Enter Cordelia, Desdemona, Beatrice, Portia, Margaret, Hermia, Viola,
Juliet
and Lady Macbeth)


Lady Macbeth

In the original story I was only playing the second fiddle. He gave me a stronger part to play in Macbeth
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe topful
Of direst cruelty!

Cordelia

I understand that his own daughter had a premature death. He would have truly loved her because, see how he created me as a very strong woman, stronger than my own father. But my dear Shakespeare, I see that you are mistaken now because of being misread, misinterpreted, misunderstood and misrepresented. Don’t worry…


We are not the first
Who with best meaning have incurr’d the worst.
For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
Myself could else outfrown false Fortune’s frown.
Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?

Desdemona

Yes, my father Brabantio, the governor was so possessive of me after my mother’s death. It was his encouragement that made me choose my own husband and share my life with him

That I did love the Moor to live with him
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world. My heart’s subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord.
I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,
And to his honour and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for which I love him are bereft me
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.

Portia

He didn’t let me choose. He bound me to my father’s will. But once I got married he made me realize my dreams of being a wild creature out in the open and enjoy all the freedom which is usually the dream of women and the monopoly of men.
When we are both accoutred like young men,
I’ll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And wear my dagger with the braver grace,
And speak between the change of man and boy
With a reed voice, and turn two mincing steps
Into a manly stride, and speak of frays
Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
I could not do withal; then I’ll repent,
And wish for all that, that I had not killed them;
And twenty of these puny lies I’ll tell,
That men shall swear I have discontinued school
Above a twelve month. I have within my mind
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks,
Which I will practise.

Beatrice

He gave me a tongue sharper than a knife and a wit better than a sword. He made me see life as such and comment on it. Here is what I think of love
A dear happiness to women:

they would else have been troubled

with a pernicious suitor.

I thank God and my cold blood,

I am of your humor for that:

I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow

than a man swear he loves me.

Margaret
And in voicing my pent up emotions, I am indebted to him than to all my lovers, sons and husbands. Kings they were, but pusillanimous to the core
Hear me in mine own voice as I berate my enemies
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God’s handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth
That reigns in gallèd eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves.

Hermia
My dear Shakespeare, you know I don’t have a smooth tongue. However I want to thank you in the best terms for your ability to see into a woman’s heart.
You made me say what I really wanted to say
Help me, Lysander, help me; do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.
Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.

Viola
In just a period of twelve nights he made me look deep into myself, as a man and as a woman and I learned a lot about our lot as women lot.

Disguise, I see, thou are a wickedness
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!

Juliet (from a balcony above)
Romeo, Romeo Where art thou Romeo
I have come to tell thee of Shakespeare who understands my feminine feelings much more than my own kin

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face! 1795
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st, 1800
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter 1805
So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!

The Queen

Katherine, I think the bard has a point. A man who has given such a stature for women cannot be biased against women. It was only a coincidence that his Taming of the Shrew was about taming a wife. It would have worked even if the roles were reversed

Shakespeare

That is exactly what I had said. With the kind of ego some people can’t enter a relationship or sustain it for long. I was trying to show how a loving one would do a surgical attack on your ego.

Katherine

Listening to all these people, I too feel he has a point.

Shakespeare

So, now it is for me to quote a line from mine own play

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

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