1. GENERAL HEADING: Video and Film Analysis

2. TITLE: "Framing The Taming of the Shrew"

3. GOALS: To examine the ways different openings to Shrew can determine different interpretations and effects.

4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Class of any size.

5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: Videotape of The Taming of the Shrew performed in Stratford, Ontario by Len Cariou, etc. cued to the opening Induction scenes with Christopher Sly; videotape of Franco Zeffirelli film of Shrew with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes.

7. STEP-BY STEP DESCRIPTION: Have the students read part of the opening 1.1. scene between Lucentio and Tranio. Ask them to discuss what the play seems to be about, based on that scene. Then play each video version, up through the beginning of the Lucentio/Tranio exchange, beginning with Zeffirelli's interpolated university revels, then moving on to the scripted Induction with Sly. Ask students to note any details which interest them, as they read or watch. Then ask them what difference the two filmed frames make to their interpretation of the opening scene. Expand by connecting those openings to later issues in the play, such as disguise, deceit, playing, authority.

8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION AND DISCUSSION: What difference does changing the opening make to their whole interpretation of the play? What is the nature of a play-within-a-play? What does the theatrical doubling say about the nature of mundane reality, and ideas of consistent personality? What happens if Sly and the Hostess double Petruchio and Katharine? What other interpolated scene might they use to begin their own film version? Why?


10. ADDITIONAL READING: The Taming of A Shrew by Anonymous.

11. VARIATIONS: Look at the endings of productions and films instead of the beginnings. What is the effect of adding the Sly scenes from A Shrew? What does the disappearance of the frame of The Shrew suggest about the Katharina/Petruchio story, etc., and the nature of theatrical realism.