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Abstract

In her paper, "Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew and the Tradition of Screwball Comedy," Mei Zhu argues that Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is controversial owing to the subtlety and complexity of the text as well as its subject matter. Franco Zeffirelli's 1967 film version seems to follow the narrative structure of the original play closely while its effect is different. Through a detailed analysis and comparison of Shakespeare's play and Zeffirelli's adaptation, Mei argues that Zeffirelli's Taming is based on the Hollywood genre of screwball comedy. Rooted in mid-1930s USA during the Great Depression, such films feature a comic battle of the sexes, with the males generally loosing. Zhu also notes that Shakespeare influenced Chinese films during the early twentieth century, although his influence was indirect.

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