This comedic sequel and “reply” to THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by seventeenth century playwright John Fletcher switches the gender roles of the Shakespeare play: here the women seek to tame the men. Fletcher was widely celebrated in his day, collaborated with Shakespeare on at least three plays, and no doubt wrote this play to attract Shakespeare’s attention.
In the plot, when Katherine (the "shrew" of the original) dies, Petruchio takes a second wife, Maria, who suddenly denounces her former mildness and vows not to sleep with Petruchio until she "turn him and bend him as [she] list, and mold him into a babe again." Plot twists and comedic exchanges lead to Petruchio finally being “tamed” in the eyes of Maria and the play ends with the two happily reconciled.
The play, which has been alternatively titled The Woman’s Prize, reflects how society's views of women, femininity, and "domestic propriety" were beginning to change in Shakespeare’s day.
The New Mermaid edition is easy-to-use and accessible and features a full range of reader supplement material with an emphasis on performance including:
-Staging conventions and recent performance history
-Analysis of the relationship with Taming of the Shrew, gender relations, questions of reputation -A re-examination of the play’s structure
-Suggestions for different areas of interest