William Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the shrew’

Most of the characters in the play were wealthy and their clothes showed this, they wore outfits made of velvet and other expensive materials in warm bright colours like red and purple, while the extras in the opening scene and the servants were all wearing drab course clothes in white and brown. The clothes also show how old a person is, because Lucientio’s father and Baptista wear long robes in dark colours while the younger men wear fancy attire.

Lucentio for instance wore a light shirt with a red jacket and short trousers, and long socks, with a hat, cloak and sword, which showed he was young and privileged. The clothes showed what profession every one had as well, e. g noblemen, Bianca’s tutors, who wore long black cloaks with white collars, the vicar, and the servant woman in Baptista’s house, who wore a plain dark dress and had her hair tied back. Things like this helped you work out who people wore and a bit about them straight away, and all seemed very accurate to the timeframe.

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As a whole the audience seemed to really enjoy the performance. There was lots of laughter at the jokes, clapping after every scene, and at the interval I heard people praising it. Luckily I’ve studied an abridged version of ‘Taming of the shrew,’ so I knew what was going on, but I still found it quite hard to follow. I’m not sure when the play was set but as Shakespeare died in the mid 17th century it must have been before then.

I think it was meant to take place in Italy in Elizabethan times, so the vocabulary was quite complex and dated which mean I couldn’t understand some of the jokes. However thanks to the suggestions and factors like the body language and the expressions helped me to get the gist of what was happening, though it would have been nice to have been able to enjoy the performance without trying to work out what was going on, which I would presumably been able to if I knew the script.

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