Language Games. 1 Oct.



Good work on Tuesday! We provided some fresh answers to questions Shrew provokes. We used Stephen Greenblatt’s famous concept, Renaissance self-fashioning, as ground on which to assess the relative liberty of characters in Shrew.

To review, Greenblatt argues his term self-fashioning “describes the practice of parents and teachers; it is linked to manner or demeanor, particularly that of the elite; it may suggest hypocrisy or deception of one’s nature or intention in speech or action…It invariably crosses the boundaries between the creation of literary characters, the shaping of one’s own identity, the experience of being molded by forces outside one’s control, and the attempt to fashion other selves” (3).

We got at how Shrew exemplifies the irony at the center of self-fashioning. For example, Lucentio & Hortentio have to give up their identities to find them, and Petruccio’s exaggerated individualism depends on a huge cluster of old clothes, broken weapons, a dying horse, and the microorganisms that infect it. Both Kelsey and Isabelle pointed out that “hearsay” in act 3 contributes to play’s investment in staging ways social expectations, (expressed through gossip?), shapes the identity of the characters. I suggest Katherine’s and Bianca’s language games (wooing scene 2.1 & Latin/Music lesson 3.1) offer an alternative to the orthodoxy of the gossips because the literally challenge the coherence of the structure of the system. As Bruce Smith explains the ladies’ play with language,

“upsets the concords of words by seizing the masculine hic and eschewing the feminine haec. Also at issues in their actions is a disruption in the governing of words, whereby the stronger controls the weaker, as, for example, the noun controlling the verb; the substantive, the adjective; the antecedent the relative pronoun. When Bianca takes over Lucentio’s Latin verse and turns it to her own ends, the verb governs the noun; the adjective, the substantive; the pronoun the antecedent. All preposterous. ‘Take heed he hear us not,’ ‘presume not,’ ‘despair not’: In the three commands that conclude her construal, Bianca turns the usually governing masculine ‘I’ into the acted-on ‘you.’” (348).

For Further Consideration
For your consideration: Per Madison’s provocative reading, is Katherine a virgin? Is Bianca?; Is the play pedagogical?; and what time is it?

Part I. Questions?

Read Katherine’s Final Speech (5.2.142-184) and complete the following tasks:
For 5 minutes write as many questions about the speech as you can. Then take 5 more minutes and answer 2-3 of the questions you generated.

Part II.Assessment

(Collaboratively Generated Assessment Criteria for Visual Rendering Assignment)

We are going to generate the criteria I use to assess the final drafts of your Visual Renderings as a group. In order to generate the assessment criteria, please complete the steps below:

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