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Love Through the Ages

9. Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

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About this Lecture


The final play of Shakespeare that we’re going to look at is The Taming of the Shrew – a play which portrays the conquest of Petruchio over Katharina. Modern audiences tend to be deeply ambivalent about the play – not least at the words: “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper”. While the subservience of a wife to her husband was the status quo in Renaissance England, however, the question of what a wife owes to her husband is something that will be strongly questioned in later literature.


This course explores the theme of love from the earliest English literature to the present day – from authors that you have likely heard of, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron and Keats, to authors that are perhaps less well-known. This is a course that celebrates love in all it forms and between all kinds of people.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Love Through the Ages - Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Love Through the Ages – Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,

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