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Witty Shrews and Shrewish Wits

Witty Shrews and Shrewish Wits AbstractThis essay analyzes the devices and methods of satirical discourse as they are presented by Much Ado About Nothing’s Beatrice and The Taming of the Shrew’s Katherine. By exploring shared points of contact in the “flyting” scenes between Katherine, Beatrice, and their respective suitors, I discuss how ironic, critical speech comes to be elevated as satirical wit in one play, even as it is reduced to shrewish complaint in the other. Both readings complicate conventional understandings of these plays as comedy, especially insofar as they undercut the institution associated with the genre’s successful resolution: marriage. Ado’s and Shrew’s engagement in discourses of satire, complaint, and invective offers an opportunity to recognize how these plays figure women and marriage as vehicles for a satirical critique of the period’s comedic and romantic conventions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Explorations in Renaissance Culture Brill

Witty Shrews and Shrewish Wits

Explorations in Renaissance Culture , Volume 48 (1): 29 – Apr 11, 2022

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0098-2474
eISSN
2352-6963
DOI
10.1163/23526963-04801003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis essay analyzes the devices and methods of satirical discourse as they are presented by Much Ado About Nothing’s Beatrice and The Taming of the Shrew’s Katherine. By exploring shared points of contact in the “flyting” scenes between Katherine, Beatrice, and their respective suitors, I discuss how ironic, critical speech comes to be elevated as satirical wit in one play, even as it is reduced to shrewish complaint in the other. Both readings complicate conventional understandings of these plays as comedy, especially insofar as they undercut the institution associated with the genre’s successful resolution: marriage. Ado’s and Shrew’s engagement in discourses of satire, complaint, and invective offers an opportunity to recognize how these plays figure women and marriage as vehicles for a satirical critique of the period’s comedic and romantic conventions.

Journal

Explorations in Renaissance CultureBrill

Published: Apr 11, 2022

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