Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew – II.ii (John Cleese)

The Taming of the Shrew (1980 TV), Act 1, scene 2– Petruchio meets Katherine and woos her. excerpt starts with Petruchio’s first meeting with Kate, Act II, scene 2, line 161 (Arden edition – Petruchio’s “Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench”) and continues through to just past Petruchio and Kate’s exit, line 325. The actor Timothy West considered John Cleese’s Petruchio to be “definitive”. click below to hear audio of this scene with Peter O’Toole and Siân Phillips www.youtube.com John Cleese … Petruchio Sarah Badel … Katherine John Franklyn-Robbins … Baptista Jonathan Cecil … Hortensio Frank Thornton … Gremio Anthony Pedley … Tranio Directed by Jonathan Miller John Cleese was persuaded to undertake this role only after he was assured it would not be the typical sort of “Shrew” production he disliked, those which in his words, were “about a lot of furniture being knocked over, a lot of wine being spilled, a lot of thighs being slapped and a lot of unmotivated laughter.” William James Rolfe: It is important that the formal character of this betrothal should be noted, as showing that Kate here accepts Petruchio as her future husband. The contract could not afterward be abrogated without the consent of both the parties. If Kate seriously intended to resist or decline the match, this was the time to do it, or ever after to hold her peace. It may be said that she yields to her father’s authority, but this is not the case. In the preceding scene he has

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