Taming of The Blue Stocking

Now you may be wondering how a play that was written in 1590 can still be a well talked play in today’s society. This follows into our unit of Shakespeare and the Taming of The Shrew. Throughout history the play has been altered to the time periods views and values, specifically the  views on women. By taking a classic play Taming of The Shrew set in the Elizabethan era, we were able to convert the play into a Victorian perspective. This involved delving into the cultural, intellectual and emotional setting that shaped people’s lives and actions in the past. 

Group members- Sam and Claire

To rewind a bit, we started off by focusing on the roles of women and how differently they were looked at in the past. 

Looking the picture below, do you think something like this would be acceptable in our society today?

In our class obviously we concluded that you wouldn’t see that as a advertisement because it basically implying that women are weak and need a man. However, in the past something like this would have been respectable. We could also determine this by reading Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield, that was written in 1920. By being a single woman in that time period was very out of the ordinary. If you were single, you were perceived differently compared to someone who was married. For women, having a husband, house and kids was the expectation. The same concept is advertised in Taming of The Shrew.

There were a couple things to think about throughout this topic. We had to juggle with the idea of how the play is a classic, and as well as the roles of woman. As we started to look at the Taming of The Shrew and the backstory, it was quite a shock to find out what the definition of a “Shrew” is. In fact one of the reasons I classified the play as a classic is that it is still a heated conversation in present day for its controversy over the roles of women. 

Over the summer we started off by reading a classic to get us in the mindset of what a classic is. I read The Wars by Timothy Findley. which was a great representation of WWI. In my reflection paragraph I determined the book is a classic for its artistic quality, “men were exploded where they stood—blown apart by the combustion.” This quote really stood out to be because it truly conveys the reality of warfare which I think makes the book a classic. 

Since this is an English/history class, for the English component we wrote an essay where we had to determine whether the Taming of The Shrew is a classic or not. My first instinct was that yes in fact it is a classic since Shakespeare wrote the play. After some thinking, I wanted to argue that it isn’t a classic however I couldn’t find enough points to back me up. The pros out weighed the cons, therefor I concluded that the play is a classic. These are the top three reasons I believe make up a classic and indeed Taming of The Shrew ticked all of those boxes.

I believe for a play to be a classic, it has to be popular and well known in modern day as well as acknowledged, has had an influence on modern literature and finally, includes universal themes that are relevant in today's society.

For our final milestone we had to combine both ideas that I talked about in to a animation of Taming of The Shrew. To practice our understanding, the catch was that we were required to set the play in a different time period. By doing this we had to research our given time period and alter the play as needed to fit the time period.

Before we started our animation, we did some individual work to deepen our understanding of the time period. Our first milestone was to create a multimedia video that represented the roles of women in that time period. We were also required to use language from the time period. To improve for the next milestone I just needed to include more language from the Victorian era. I could try to demonstrate that competency in the animation.

We mainly focused of how the roles of woman had changed over time. It was interesting seeing other groups videos and watching how the roles of woman had changed over time. The time period my group was assigned was the Victorian Era. It was difficult at first because the Victorian era only shortly followed the Elizabethan era. As you can see from my image I created, we decided to change the name of the play to Taming of The Blue Stocking. Instead of being called a Shrew, in the Victorian era Women would be called a Blue Stocking. This was the most significant difference we found since the time periods were pretty similar. 

The first draft we did was maybe not the best. There were a few technical issues and it was way too long!!!! For our second draft, we were able to cut down the script and sharpen up the video.


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