The Taming of the Shrew 1590–1594
If we wanted to support the Oxford candidacy, we'd think about starting here and arguing that Oxford's contempt for women is reflected in what many see as an intensely mysoginistic work. But then we'd get caught up in the fact that the women are funny, memorable and come out on top. Nobody did a remake and gave Petruchio top billing. Stylistic evidence is the main reason for dating the play early but anyone who has read it won't need a better reason.
- Wikipedia Chronology
- First official record: possible version of play entered into Stationers' Register on 2 May 1594 as a booke intituled A plesant Conceyted historie called the Tayminge of a Shrowe. First record of play as it exists today found in the First Folio (1623)
- First published: possible version of play published in 1594 as A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called The taming of a Shrew. Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623) as The Taming of the Shrew.
- First recorded performance: According to Philip Henslowe's diary, a play called The Tamynge of A Shrowe was performed at Newington Butts Theatre on 13 June 1594. This could have been either the 1594 A Shrew or the Shakespearean The Shrew, but as the Admiral's Men and the Lord Chamberlain's Men were sharing the theatre at the time, and as such Shakespeare himself would have been there, scholars tend to assume that it was The Shrew.
- Evidence: Scholars continue to debate the relationship between the 1594 A Shrew and the 1623 The Shrew. Some theorise that A Shrew is a reported text, meaning The Shrew must have been written prior to 2 May 1594; others, that A Shrew is an early draft, meaning The Shrew must have been completed sometime after 2 May 1594. There are also arguments that A Shrew may have been a source for The Shrew, that they could be two completely unrelated plays based on the same (now lost) source, or A Shrew could be an adaptation of The Shrew. Critics remain divided on this issue, and as such, dating the play is extremely difficult.
- Full text of the play