Definition of The Taming of the Shrew from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


The Taming of the Shrew

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a comedy play (c. 1594) by Shakespeare. It is about Petruchio, a young Italian man who wants to marry Katharina, a rich but unfriendly woman. (Shrew is an old-fashioned word for a bad-tempered woman.) She behaves unpleasantly to him but he pretends not to notice. In the end he marries her and 'tames' her by treating her roughly until she becomes as easy to control as wives were expected to be at that time. The musical comedy Kiss Me Kate (1948) by Cole Porter was based on The Taming of the Shrew.