Printer Friendly

Southern Shrews: marriage and slavery in American appropriations of Shakespeare.

I. Introduction

To state the obvious, The Taming of the Shrew takes place in Italy. Like most Shakespeare plays, however, it can be translated to foreign climes, including the Southern United States. Philip C. Kolin, for instance, describes a Taming of the Shrew, "Southern style," that was performed at the University of Southern Mississippi in 1976: "Gentlemen in the cast wore high silk hats and dapper frock coats; ladies sauntered in wide hoop skirts and bright silk dresses. Baptista dressed and talked like a Kentucky Colonel; Kate hurled insults like a shrew but looked like a Southern belle; and Petruchio's servants looked like field hands." (1) While the Southern Miss version of Shrew claimed a certain ideological innocence--there were no slaves in this imaginary South, only "field hands"--a 2002 production of Shrew at the Nottingham Playhouse in England "Southernized" the play as part of its cultural critique of American capitalism and racism in the 1950s. The set was adorned with advertisements for Brylcreem, something called the Real-pro bra, and Barbie dolls; and while the romantic lead Lucentio and his father sported Southern accents, black actor Andrew French was cast as Tranio, the clever servant of Lucentio who successfully poses, for much of the play, as his (white) "Master." As Chris Hopkins notes, this is the America not only of Barbie, but also of Brown vs. Board of Education. (2)

While the Nottingham production of The Taming of the Shrew might seem to be an anomaly, in point of fact the metaphoric connection between marriage and racial discrimination, and more specifically, slavery, in American performances and appropriations of the play goes back to the nineteenth century, as both national and regional character are defined through women in relation to the nation's most troubling political and ethical legacy. Is marriage slavery or slavery marriage? The responses produced by nineteenth-century writers indicate how Shakespeare can serve as a forum for American cultural politics and simultaneously bring Southern voices into dialogue with those of other regions and nations. And their answers find resonance in appropriations of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew well into the twentieth century.

II. Shrew on Stage in the Antebellum South

Between 1750 and 1776, a number of Shakespeare plays were performed in the future United States, Shrew among them; Shattuck records an early performance (of the Garrick adaptation Catharine and Petruchio [1756]) in Philadelphia on November 21, 1766. (3) The United States was generally slow to warm to Shakespeare, but this situation changed in both North and South during the nineteenth century, as plays were legitimated by more and more cities, native companies were formed, and English stars found a market for guest appearances in America. (4) For instance, between 1800 and 1860, "the citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, had the opportunity to see approximately 600 performances of twenty-three of Shakespeare's plays, from the ever-popular Richard II to Love's Labor's Lost, with its one performance." (5)

The Taming of the Shrew, or, more accurately, the adaptation by David Garrick entitled Catharine and Petruchio, was generally popular on Southern stages during the first half of the nineteenth century. The Shakespeare plays performed most frequently in Charleston were, in order, Hamlet (83 performances), Macbeth (76), Othello (64), and Romeo and Juliet (64). Nevertheless, William Stanley Hoole's exhaustive study of Charleston antebellum theater also shows thirty-two performances of Catharine and Petruchio between 1800 and 1860. (6) In 1851 and 1855, there are listings as well for The Taming of the Shrew, although the play was probably the Garrick adaptation going under its Shakespearean name. My own review of notices in the Charleston Courier between 1804 and 1860 yields a total of fifty performances for Catharine and Petruchio. (7)

Catharine and Petruchio, as a comic afterpiece appended to other plays, was kept in circulation by John Philip Kemble's revised version throughout most of the nineteenth century. (8) While keeping much of Shakespeare's language, this farce shortens the play considerably and alters in some significant ways its gender politics. While the taming process is intensified by condensation--it all takes place in the isolation of Petruchio's country retreat--Catharine takes over from Petruchio the role of tamer. At the end of act 1, she vows that "poor abandon'd Katharine," as Bianca calls her, "Can make her husband stoop unto her lure ... / Katharine shall tame this haggard; or, if she fails, / Shall tie her tongue up, and pare down her nails. (9) Petruchio for his part, explicitly rejects mastery over his bride after her final speech of submission, vowing that "Petruchio here shall doff the lordly husband; / An honest mask, which I throw off with pleasure." (10)

Shrew's plot and themes were also available to nineteenth-century audiences from John Tobin's The Honey Moon, a sentimental rewriting of The Taming of the Shrew that was popular on Southern stages. (11) According to Hoole, between 1800 and 1860, Charleston enjoyed seventy-two performances of The Honey Moon. More uniformly conservative, in terms of its gender politics, than either Shakespeare's or Garrick's play, The Honey Moon concludes with this declaration from Juliana, the Kate figure: "That modesty, in deed, in word, and in thought, / Is the prime grace of woman." (12) As Robin O. Warren argues, Tobin's appropriation, in particular, supports the Southern antebellum "cult of true womanhood," a patriarchal concept of (chivalrous) masculine dominance bolstered by (feminine) chastity, obedience, and decorum.

While Shrews on the nineteenth-century stage varied somewhat in their sexual politics, the particular connection between Petruchio's taming of Kate and slavery as a Southern institution would have been reinforced, however unwillingly, by a common bit of stage business that is replicated in productions of Shrew even today: the tradition, apparently established by Garrick himself, of having Petruchio wield a large whip (see figures 1 and 2). (13) The prop is explicitly legitimated in Catharine and Petruchio by a servant's description of the wedding proceedings, during the course of which Petruchio "shook his whip in token of his Love." (14) In abolitionist symbolism, of course, the whip is also a preeminent symbol of slavery's brutality, retaining its currency and power through such contemporary novels as Toni Morrison's Beloved. On Southern stages, then, The Taming of the Shrew presented itself as uncomplicated farce, but not far below that sunny surface were vexed questions of race and gender that would become manifest in non-dramatic appropriations of the play.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

III. William Gilmore Simms's Tawny Shrew

In the Shakespearean appropriations produced by William Gilmore Simms--the Charleston poet, novelist, editor, gentleman farmer, and apologist for slavery--Taming appears in symbolic tandem with Othello. While contemporary spectators might expect Othello's color, race, and past life as a slave to make this a particularly controversial play for the South, Othello was very popular throughout the region. (15) Hoole reports, for instance, that Othello was performed in Charleston sixty-three times between 1800 and 1860. Simms himself not only attended, but also reviewed performances by such actors as Charles Kean, Thomas Abthorpe Cooper, and Edwin Forrest. On a trip to New Orleans in 1831, he saw Charles Kean in the role of Othello; Kean also played Othello opposite James Hacket's lago in Charleston in 1832. (16)

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

Critics have yet to agree on whether Southern audiences saw Othello as black. Except for a few situations, such as one performance in Macon, Georgia, the lead actor's color was probably not a subject of particular contention. (17) The issue is complicated, however, by the fact that throughout the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Othello generally was played by English actors as a "tawny" Moor rather than as a black man. Images of Edmund Kean as Othello, whose son Charles was the actor Simms saw in this role in Charleston in 1832, vary in their skin tone; Othello is blacker in color prints than in black-and-white ones, in part to enhance the color contrasts and to provide a foil for gold trim on the actor's garments; but generally, throughout the nineteenth century Othellos tended toward coffee-colored complexions. Kean's costume, furthermore, consistently orientalizes Othello, making him more exotically Eastern than African. (18)

What Simms saw onstage would probably have been a tawny Othello, but his coupling of Shrew and Othello also draws on and reformulates the equation of marriage and slavery established by feminist and abolitionist polemic of the time. As Moira Ferguson notes, throughout the period of British protest against slavery, "in references to themselves as pawns of white men, denied education as well as access to law and allied deprivations, feminists of all classes were prone to refer loosely to themselves as slaves. (19) William Lloyd Garrison also used the figure of the female slave to encourage white women's support of abolition by analogy with marriage. (20) According to Karen Sanchez-Eppler, "The rhetorics of the two reforms meet upon the recognition that for both women and blacks it is their physical difference from the cultural norms of white masculinity that obstructs their claim to personhood." (21)

The Taming of the Shrew, with its characterization of marriage as animal husbandry, provides Simms with a metaphor to challenge the marriage/slavery equation in abolitionist polemic. A rhetoric of husbandry that legitimates both the economic subservience of women and slaves is older even than Shakespeare's play; Juliana Schiesari traces the argument that women and cultural others both require domestication, which undergirds patriarchy at home and imperialism abroad, as far back as Pico della Mirandola's On The Dignity of Man and Leon-Battista Alberti's Book of the Family. Simms himself subscribed to the economic trope of husbandry to justify slavery. (22) In a heated response to Harriet Martineau, Simms's Slavery in America contends that
 The slaveholders of the South, having the moral and animal
 guardianship of an ignorant and irresponsible people under
 their control, are the great moral conservators, in one
 powerful interest, of the entire world ... Providence has
 placed him in our hands, for his good, and has paid us from
 his labor for our guardianship. (23) (italics in original)


There are no references here to The Taming of the Shrew, although part of Simms's argument does rest on Ulysses' degree speech from Troilus and Cressida; yet the economic foundation of this anti-abolitionist rhetoric is the key to Shrew's appeal for Simms. In a pair of stories that draw on Shrew and Othello, those whose authority is legitimate prosper, while overreachers are destroyed by their cupidity. But for Simms, there is also the tragedy of the hard-working outsider who deserves ethically the marital prize he achieves, but is slowly destroyed by a hostile, rigid social hierarchy that is blind to his virtues. Hence, the coupling of Othello's tragedy with Shrew's comedy.

Confession tells the story of how sexual jealousy causes a loving husband--a poor orphan who makes it good as a lawyer, but because of parental resistance to the marriage must elope with his wife--to murder his utterly innocent wife, who has resisted attempts on her virtue by a besotted aristocrat but, in the face of her husband's anger and coldness, dwindles away until the husband finally poisons her with prussic acid. (24) In this version of Othello, race itself seems extraneous; with the exception of a stereotyped household servant, the novel contains no black people. Edward Clifford, the husband, is more of a Heathcliff--dark, brooding, and as I have argued elsewhere, Irish. (25) The ethnicity of the Othello figure, as Irish, however, "colors" the murderer-hero enough to make him fit the Shakespearean role assigned to him. Again, there are no overt references to The Taming of the Shrew, but the economic discourse of good husbandry is present. Despite cruel treatment from his foster parents and future in-laws, Clifford studies law on his own and is financially successful; after Julia's death, he is destined for a life of continual repentance, but will carry out his exile profitably with his friend Kingsley in the "rich empire of Texas," virgin territory that awaits "the vigorous hand of cultivation." (26) In Confession, Simms whitens Shakespeare's hero, creating a tawny Othello that allows him to displace the racial issues of Shakespeare's play, so that his Othello is purely a tragic love story. At the same time, the ambiguous ethnicity and color of Edward Clifford keep open the possible analogy between racial and marital tragedy.

Simms revisits the Othello story in an admittedly objectionable short story, "Caloya, or the Loves of the Driver," published in 1856 and the subject of much criticism from the reading public. In this story, pointedly compared to Shakespeare's Othello, Desdemona is a young Catawba Indian princess married to an old, drunk, Catawba chief, while Cassio is a driver, the slave who acts as overseer on a South Carolina plantation. The humor of this story is rough, almost in line with the tone of Othello burlesques of the nineteenth century; the saga ends happily, however, with the death of the old husband, demotion of the driver, and remarriage of Caloya, the Desdemona figure, to a young husband from her tribe. All this is accomplished by the intervention of the young, handsome, benevolent plantation master.

Caloya, by virtue of her symbolic position in the story and her "tawniness" as an American Indian, is as ambivalent a figure as Edward Clifford in Confession. In fact, the tale must work hard to evade the sensitive issues of Southern slavery and the usurpation of Indian lands that it so pointedly raises. The story achieves this "whitewashing" effect by overlaying onto Othello Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. What makes Nuckles, the old husband, unworthy of his tawny princess is his treatment of her as property; he calls her his dog. What makes Mingo, the negro driver, so evil is his cupidity, his lust for property. In a direct, although unmarked echo of Petruchio's assertion of property rights over Katharina at their wedding, Mingo talks incessantly of "my horse, my land, my ox, and my ass, and all that is mine." (27) In a complicated ideological dance, slavery is legitimated by the Indian's disregard for his wife's humanity and the negro driver's supposedly illegitimate desire for property and mastery. Caloya herself is a noble remnant of the Catawba Indians, who function, in the terminology of Renee Berlund, as the "national uncanny"--symbolic ancestors for (white) America whose ill-treatment at the hands of a slave in Simms's story justifies, on a political level, the status quo. (28)

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

IV. Shrew on the Road to Tara

The metaphorical equation between marriage and slavery, so central to and so troubling in William Gilmore Simms's antebellum coupling of Taming and Othello, would become absorbed into proto-feminist arguments about marriage at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1896, the American journal Poet-lore printed three pieces on The Taming of the Shrew. The first, by Arthur Way of the Clifton Shakespeare Society in Bristol, England, criticizes Kate as an overly aggressive, sixteenth-century version of the "New Woman," whose taming is necessary to save her from herself. According to Way, she experiences the sweet victory of submission and, as a reward, can lord it over the other wives. W. J. Rolfe, the editor of Shakespeare editions for schools and reading clubs, asserts that Kate is attracted to Petruchio from the start and, in the dispute over sun and moon, slyly engages in private humor with her husband. (29) Ella Crowell, by contrast, compares Kate's independence to that of Ibsen's Nora. For her, Kate has a stronger character than Nora, but accommodates herself wisely to the more restrictive culture of Renaissance England. (30)

Although only Rolfe refers to the production specifically, in 1887, about a decade before this issue of Poet-lore was published, Augustin Daly had restored the Shakespearean text of Shrew to the New York stage in a production that starred John Drew and the formidable Ada Rehan. Graham Robertson, who saw the London production, liked it despite himself: "What a wonderful pair did with the play, how they contrived that the brutal tale of the bullying of, starving, and frightening of a virago into a spiritless drudge would become the delightfully amusing love story of two charming people I have never been able to find out; but nevertheless the miracle was wrought." (31)

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

Although the production achieves a sentimental ending with the Shrew being tamed, it does so without reducing Kate to a cipher. Rehan, as Kate, was clad in dark red silk and heavy brocade, in keeping with the production's use of Renaissance painting as inspiration (see figure 3). (32) As Robertson describes her entrance, however, it becomes clear that this Kate was no placid contessa:
 Not a whit of her shrewishness did she spare us; her storms
 of passion found vent in snarls, growls, and even inarticulate
 screams of fury; she paced hither and thither liked a caged
 wild beast, but her rages were magnificent like an angry sea
 or a sky of tempest, she blazed a fiery
 comet through the play, baleful but beautiful. (33)


Kim Marra has argued that within the dramatic space of the Shrew production, Daly worked out a scenario of Western conquest in which his own taming of his lead actress merged with Shakespeare's plot. Masculine directing mastered a raging, untamed feminine nature, now identified with Western territory that awaits the capitalist conqueror at the commencement of America's Gilded Age. Kate is now in and of the Wild Wild West, tamed though sexual mastery and colonized as unclaimed territory by a robust, Anglo-Saxon American masculinity.

At the same time, the racial inflection of Shrew's gender politics is continued through the ethnic construction of Ada Rehan's Katharine. The "darkening" of Kate's character did not originate with either Rehan or America. The image of Katherine Minola found in Charles Heath's Heroines of Shakespeare (ca. 1848), for instance, looks out broodingly at the reader, her sullen eyes and frowning mouth completing the "darkening" of the heroine's character that begins with her long hair and gown (see figure 4). The facing text for this image, excerpted from the wooing scene, underscores the sexual energy beneath Kate's black mood. Heath's Kate is more Catherine Earnshaw than angel in the house. Rehan herself was an Irish Catholic whose ethnic "otherness" may have played into Daly's compulsion to tame her, and she was specifically described by Henry Parker as "tawny": (34)
 Miss Rehan's Katherine was of large dimensions. Its
 dominating trait was an imperiousness that transcended
 even pride. Who of us ... can forget the tawny figure
 that swept into the room in Baptista's house,
 tense with pride in every motion and every tone--imperious
 will incarnate? It was too magnificent to be quite human. (35)


Amazonian and tawny--in effect, "black Irish" and therefore not "quite human," Ada Rehan's sexuality is figured in dark and dangerous terms that elide the distance between color and sexuality. (36) In her time, Rehan's primordial sexuality appealed not only to male voyeurism, but also to women viewers, who by now made up the largest portion of Daly's audience, so that this new shrew negotiated carefully a path between sexual rebellion and submission to create a Kate who, although not completely a New Woman, at least avoids the marital shackles that, in the theatrical imaginary of Robertson, turn Kate as "virago" into a "humorless drudge." Just as the British and American readers of Poet-lore could both excoriate and celebrate Katharine the Curst as a New Women while other readers could celebrate happy marriage in the play, onstage the late nineteenth-century shrew could have her way and steal the show.

The fiery, tawny, Irish shrew played by Ada Rehan finds a Southern descendant in Scarlett O'Hara, the heroine of that monument of popular literature and American cinema, Gone With the Wind (1936; 1939). Margaret Mitchell's novel contains various references to Shakespeare. The most heavily marked allusion asks whether Scarlett is a Lady Macbeth whose sexual freedom and economic entrepreneurship have caused her to "unsex" herself. (37) But there are as well, as Celia Daileader notes in her extended analysis of Shakespeare, sex, and race, more diffuse references to Othello and Taming of the Shrew that map out Scarlett's relation to Rhett Butler.

A swashbuckling privateer not unlike the dashing Petruchio of Douglas Fairbanks in the 1929 film of The Taming of the Shrew, Rhett is called dark, brown, swarthy and piratical, and black. (38) His repeated desire to hurt Scarlett, coupled with his ravishment/rape of her, explicitly evokes both Othello's sexual trajectory and Petruchio's rough taming tactics. Twice, Rhett says that Scarlett deserves to be whipped with a "buggy whip"; once he chokes her until she passes out; and once, in a direct echo of Othello, he threatens to tear her to pieces. (39) Finally, there is Taming's trope of masculine horsemanship; as Rhett tells Scarlett, "I'm riding you with a slack rein, my pet, but don't forget that I'm riding you with curb and spurs just the same." Scarlett, like the tawny Ada Rehart, is Irish. Her sexuality and ethnicity "color" her enough to make her Rhett's female counterpart as much as his foil. According to the novel's opening description of its heroine, Scarlett is "not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm":
 In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features
 of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the
 heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting
 face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green
 without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and
 slightly tilted at the ends. Above them, her thick black
 brows slanted upward, cutting a startling oblique line in her
 magnolia-white skin. (40)


Her magnolia-white skin notwithstanding, a century earlier Scarlett might have sat for the Heath portrait of Shakespeare's Katherine. And, possessed of an Irish temper, Scarlett can be a real shrew. Throwing an insipid china rose-bowl against the fireplace after Ashley Wilkes rejects her, she demonstrates Katherine's penchant for taking out her rage on household items. When Rhett, who has overheard the scene, mocks her, Scarlett transfers her fury to him: "If she could have killed him she would have done it. Instead, she walked out of the room with such dignity as she could summon and banged the heavy door behind her." (41)

What solidifies even more strongly the homology between Rhett/Scarlett and Kate/Petruchio is their mutual involvement with what Rhett terms "mercenary" concerns. Rhett, who was "cast off without a shilling in early youth," is making good money from the war and is certain that he will "clean up a million on the blockade." (42) Also like Petruchio, Rhett is willing to pay for whores and barter for respectable women, paying a scandalous $150 for a reel with the recently widowed Scarlett. (43) After the war, of course, Scarlett herself runs a lumber mill on convict labor in order to save Tara; a woman of business, she has come to represent the mercantile New South of Atlanta. (44)

The tension between commercial exchange and sexual combat in Petruchio's wooing of Kate characterizes as well the long seduction of Scarlett by Rhett Butler, as becomes most evident in one of their early sallies over an expensive, dark-green taffeta bonnet. When Scarlett considers turning the hat into a mourning bonnet, Rhett threatens to withdraw the gift and "find some other charming lady with green eyes who appreciates my taste." (45) Although Scarlett expects him to take some "liberty" after bestowing on her such an expensive present, this Petruchio refuses to kiss his Kate. Enraged, she cries, "You are the horridest man I have ever seen and I don't care if I ever lay eyes on you again." (46) His reply is a clever inversion of Kate and Petruchio's negotiation with the cap in Shrew's final banquet scene: "Katharine, that cap of yours becomes you not. / Off with that bauble, throw it underfoot," Petruchio commands. (47) With Rhett, the injunction is merely mocking: "If you really felt that way, you'd stamp on the bonnet. My, what a passion you are in and it's quite becoming, as you probably know. Come, Scarlett, and stamp on the bonnet to show me what you think of me and my presents" (48) (italics added). While Shakespeare's lovers win money with their play, Rhett always exacts a price for his gifts; and although in Shakespeare, the tussle over "rings and things" leads to peace, love, and quiet life (5.2.112), Rhett rightly warns Scarlett that "I am tempting you with bangles and bonnets and leading you into a pit." (49) When Scarlett's reputation is completely ruined and Rhett forces her to go alone to the Wilkes reception, he punishes her again with flamboyant clothing, cruelly tightening the laces of her dress--green in the book and harlot red in the movie--and wishing that the cutting stays were around her "neck" rather than her waist. In his cruelty toward Scarlett, Rhett combines Petruchio's focus on female fashion with Othello's murderous rage. (50)

At this point, Gone With the Wind threatens to veer completely into Othello territory with a violent bedroom scene. As Daileader notes, the rape/ravishment scene in this novel emphasizes a simultaneous ascent up the stairs and a descent into profound, smothering darkness:
 He was a mad stranger and this was a dark blackness she did not
 know, darker than death. He was like death, carrying her away in
 arms that hurt. She screamed, stifled against him and he stopped
 suddenly on the landing and, turning her swiftly in his arms,
 bent over her and kissed her with a savagery and a completeness
 that wiped out everything from her mind but the dark into which
 she was sinking and the lips on hers. (51)


Remembering how before she had wanted to trap Rhett in love so that "she could hold the whip over his insolent black head," Scarlett's native shrewishness yields to a not-altogether-suitable virginal nervousness. (52) But while Othello kissed Desdemona ere he killed her, Scarlett's extravagant and wheeling stranger is up and gone by morning, leaving behind only a rumpled pillow and his blushing wife.

In Gone With the Wind, race and sexuality once again are linked through an ambiguously dark skin color that justifies social domination (this time in marriage) by metaphorical connection to the institution of slavery (remembered through a Southern perspective on Reconstruction). From Confession to Gone With the Wind, we have come full circle. In the novel's bittersweet mingling of Shakespearean tragedy and comedy, "tomorrow" never sinks into the relentless repetition that drives Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to their doom; but it is no more than "another day."

V. Shrew after the Southern Diaspora

When Margaret Mitchell's novel was translated into film, the story of the chivalric antebellum South became a national phenomenon. Jan Cronin has recently argued that in the effort to make a seamless transition from book to screen, Daniel O. Selznick's movie demonstrates not only the "way in which the South had become a site of national imaginings and projections," but also "the South's narrative of itself as amorphous," incapable of being pinned down as a monolithic tale and fragmenting deconstructively into a variety of individual images and myths. (53) In this post-cultural environment, displaced in both time (from the Civil War to the 1930s) and place (from North Georgia to Hollywood), the Shrew herself becomes difficult to locate. We can, however, catch one final glimpse of Ada Rehan's elemental shrew and of Scarlett's black temper in Franco Zeffirelli's 1967 film version of The Taming of the Shrew, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. (54) Ann Christensen and Barbara Hodgdon have argued that Zeffirelli's Shrew revolves around the definition of home and hearth in post-World War II America. Burton, as Petruchio, is figured as a fortune-hunting Brit who, by the very morning after his so-called honeymoon, has found his own house colonized by his (symbolically American) prize. But there exist, as well, both direct and indirect connections between Zeffirelli's film and the earlier, antebellum America of Gone With the Wind.

Both Zeffirelli's Padua and Scarlett's South are visually idealized, represented as expansive landscapes overlaid with a veneer of the hyperreal. In the opening sequence of Gone With the Wind, Gerald O'Hara gallops recklessly across his estate, to be greeted by Scarlett running downhill amidst an impossible expanse of petticoats. In the film, she receives from her father the unwelcome news that Ashley will marry Melanie against a Technicolor sunset that presages the later burning of Atlanta; her return home from the Wilkes' barbeque is heralded by a rainbow. Scarlett's return to Tara after the war with Melanie, her baby, and Prissy takes place against a Gothic moonscape. And her final declaration that "Tomorrow is another day" takes place against the same sunset, punctuated by the same gnarled tree that had framed Gerald's unwelcome news about Ashley.

In a similar vein, Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew takes place in a spacious landscape that is contrasted with a crowded, bustling carnival scene in the film's opening shots. (55) As Zeffirelli himself writes, he "decided to make use of Richard [Burton]'s expansiveness by opening the play out, as one can do in a film. Thus, I had him chasing her around the great house and on the roof, and even added a dose of slapstick when they fell through the roof onto the woodshed. It was all very Douglas Fairbanks, with lots of athletic action, yet never lost sight of its classical origins." (56) A sense of the hyperreal is achieved here by an overlay of soft sepia coloring, perhaps a hearkening back to the palette of Veronese, as used by Daly. In the opening scene, when Lucentio and Tranio enter Padua, they cross an expanse of landscape that is gradually revealed to be a two-dimensional painting; the camera's point of view then transitions into an equally lush "real" space, riotous with color and detail. As the use of Panavision makes the painted backdrop dominate the scene, juxtaposed against and then blending with the real foreground, "we are at once intrigued by its apparent realism yet aware of its artificiality." (57) The end result is a celebration both of sexuality--a "release of Dionysian energies"--and of bourgeois values, including a conservative gender ideology. (58) As Russell Jackson writes, "Zeffirelli creates a convincingly detailed social picture of a world of sexual and social success, in which people can better themselves and each other," so that husband and wife live happily ever after. (59)

A second link between the Zeffirelli Taming of the Shrew and Gone With the Wind, as both novel and film, is the filmic genealogy of tempestuous couples, both on and sometimes off camera, that traces a line from Tara to Padua. Zeffirelli's film was explicitly planned as a remake of the 1929 Mary Pickford/ Douglas Fairbanks film Taming of the Shrew, in which America's Sweetheart wielded a mean whip and broke her new husband's head with a chair, and Fairbanks drank heavily, cracked his own whip, and inadvisedly talked aloud of his shrew-taming plans while dining with a large dog. The tradition in which the actors playing Kate and Petruchio themselves have a public marriage, often tinged with violence, goes back as far as Kitty Clive and Henry Woodward's performance in Garrick's Catharine and Petruchio. At supper, Woodward was said to have stuck a fork in his bride's finger and once to have pushed her offstage with such force that she fell to the floor. (60) Pickford and Fairbanks also had a stormy time during the filming of their film, with Fairbanks drinking and philandering and failing to show up on time for filming, behavior that undermined Pickford's good business sense and professionalism. And Zeffirelli reminisces about marital fireworks between Taylor and Burton during his first meeting with them and throughout the filming of Shrew. (61)

The connection between these sets of cinematic lovers is deepened by the intervention of two other hard-drinking, combative couples: Maggie the Cat and Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and George and Martha of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (62) In Richard Brooks's film of Tennessee Williams's play, a young Elizabeth Taylor, wasp-waisted with "magnolia-white" skin, seeks desperately to regain the love of her husband Brick (Paul Newman), a failed athlete and heir to the Pollitt plantation turned sexually ambivalent, passive-aggressive alcoholic. Maggie, driven to sustain the Mississippi Delta plantation built by Big Daddy as Scarlett works to save Tara, is nevertheless more intent on heirs than is her North Georgia predecessor; at the end of the play and the film, having lied about being pregnant, at Brick's invitation Maggie ascends the stairs to their bedroom, where they will make good on that lie in a determined effort at reproduction. As the academic couple Martha and George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor and Burton play more dangerous, destructive games with alcohol and sex that end--more cruelly in Albee's play than in Mike Nichols's film--with George "killing off" rhetorically the couple's imaginary son in front of their horrified guests.

In 1967, one year after the Nichols film and shortly after himself producing a French version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Zeffirelli seems intent on redeeming the degraded sexuality of Albee's married couple in the mating of his Kate and Petruchio. In Zeffirelli's Padua, alcohol and violence leave no lasting damage. After their disastrous wedding night, as critics have discussed, Taylor is up early and dusting the furniture when Burton finally rolls out of bed. She also redeems Maggie the Cat's uncomfortably intense child-lust, in an "unguarded" moment casting a dreamy look at a group of children. Gone, as well, are the sterile marital beds that visually dominate the suffocating domestic spaces of both previous films. When Kate and Petruchio finally come together in the Zeffirelli Taming of the Shrew, they fall through the barn floor onto a soft pile of white wool, in which Taylor had reveled sensuously only a few minutes earlier. But although sexual wrestling has become commonplace in productions of this play, the real violence in Burton and Taylor's fisticuffs--while Kate flails fruitlessly at Petruchio, a ragged piece of wood dangles dangerously close to her throat-places the scene within the tradition of Rhett Butler's rape/ravishment of Scarlett O'Hara. The positioning of Burton above Taylor, particularly in a publicity still of this scene, directly mimics the canonical image of Clark Gable bending over a prostrate Vivian Leigh--her chin, like that of Taylor, tilted upward--as he carries her up the winding stairs to the bedroom (see figures 5 and 6).

Certainly, Zeffirelli takes pains to mitigate the violence of his ravishment scene. After her tumble in the wool with Burton, Taylor springs up unharmed and undaunted, and in the companion scene, when Burton carries a bedraggled Taylor in his arms to the marital bedchamber, he kisses her shoulder gently and, in deference to her obvious shyness when undressing, sleeps off his drunk chastely on a wooden table. (Scarlett had enjoyed such gallant behavior from her first husband, Charlie Hamilton, on their wedding night, but not from Rhett.) By placing Taylor quite literally in the position of Scarlett, however, Zeffirelli casts her as yet another shrew whose consort with a dark, handsome stranger makes her rape seem inevitable and her misty-eyed recitation of Kate's submission speech, stripped completely of irony, yet another "justified" example of marital dominance.

In the 1929 Taming of the Shrew, both Kate and Petruchio brandish large whips with great abandon. Once Pickford has hit Fairbanks in the head with a stool and taken him maternally to her bosom for comfort, however, she tosses her whip in the fire as an unnecessary prop. Elizabeth Taylor's Katherine wields pieces of furniture, but no whip. It would seem that the discourse of sexual politics surrounding Shrew had extricated itself finally from the problematic discourse of slavery. In Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills (1985), however, we find one final, chilling exfoliation of the marriage/slavery metaphor in which the troubled history of Southern Shrews moves North to infiltrate the middle-class African American suburbs of the post-bellum black diaspora. (63)

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

Although Naylor's novels often appropriate Shakespearean plays as loose structural models, she is reticent about claiming Shakespearean precedents. In Linden Hills, particularly, as Lester tells Willie, there is no Shakespeare, for the fences built around the schools, as cultural barriers, keep Shakespeare, and much else, from the African American community. "You'd think of all the places in the world, this neighborhood had a chance of giving us at least one black Shakespeare," Willie complains. "But Linden Hills ain't about that, Willie," is Lester's reply. "You should know that by now." (64) For the women of Brewster Place, Linden Hills had been the city on the hill, where they hoped to rise out of poverty and despair, a place without violence and domination. The Women of Brewster Place had ended, memorably, with the horrific rape of Lorraine who, punished for lesbianism and her social status as a teacher, dragged her broken body through the streets of the neighborhood that had betrayed her.

There is no rape in Linden Hills, but there is a more literal form of slavery. The Lucifer at the heart of this Inferno (Naylor's primary literary reference) is Luther Nedeed--mortician, real estate entrepreneur, and the last in a long line of Nedeed patriarchs. The first Luther bought his wife in Tupelo, Mississippi and told her "that I have no rights to my son. He owns the child as he owns me." (65) The present Luther "bought" his wife at his tenth college reunion, once she had become professionally successful, but unsure that she would ever marry. The black Nedeeds marry light-skinned women--in the early days, quadroons and octaroons--and when Willa Prescott, the present Mrs. Nedeed, gives birth to a white child, her husband punishes her for adultery by locking both her and the child in the basement of their home. Besides the color dynamics, there is another touch of Othello in this gothic tale; when they wed, Luther had given Willa his mother's ring, telling her to keep it, but not lose it, much like the handkerchief that Othello gives Desdemona. (66) But the real horror is not the story of Othello; it is the story of The Taming of the Shrew.

[FIGURE 6 OMITTED]

The way of Nedeed men has always been to wed, produce an heir that mirrors themselves, and then let the vessel of that heir dwindle for lack of sustenance or solidify into an unobtrusive piece of furniture. One of Willa's predecessors, as she learns in her search through family memorabilia in the basement, cut herself; another wasted away of bulimia; and yet another erased her face from all of the family photographs. Luther, like his father before him, is prone to consider marriage as a successful taming: "breaking in a wife is like breaking in a good pair of slippers. Once you'd gotten used to them, you'd wear them until they fell apart. (67) To punish Willa for the supposed adultery that had given him a white son, Nedeed enacts, quite literally and without mercy, Petruchio's plan to kill his wife with kindness. Luther, like Petruchio, rations out both food (little more than cereal) and water, whose advent is announced by him over the intercom before the water is sent down a pipe to the basement's denizens: "Mrs. Nedeed, I'm giving you some water now. There will be no more food. Please catch as much as you can quickly because it won't be on all night." (68) Luther, more doggedly than Petruchio himself, wants his wife to understand completely that "he controlled her food and water and light." These were not hers by right, but a "gift" from the patriarch. (69) Like the Nedeed women before her, then, Willa Prescott is her husband's slave; her child, whether wanted or unwanted, is equally the property of Luther, and he can do what he wants with this property. Both are no more than his horse, his ox, his anything.

VI. Conclusion

Luther Nedeed fantasizes that Willa, once she has "learned her lesson" and is allowed out of the basement, will want to "poison" him, as if she played Othello to his Desdemona; Willa herself thinks about smothering her child, and perhaps does. But in her final defiance of enslavement in the house of Luther, Willa Prescott Nedeed chooses to end her own life and that of her husband by playing the role of a thoroughly tamed shrew. When Willie and Lester arrive at the Nedeed house to help Luther trim his Christmas tree, Willie feels distinctly out of place, as if he were "walking into a movie set for Wuthering Heights"; indeed, in Daileader's analysis, Heathcliff is the first of those "handsome devils" that populate the genealogy of Rhett Butler as Othello/Petruchio. (70) In Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler takes Scarlett up the stairs (very daunting stairs, in the film version) into the darkness that is their marital bedroom. By contrast, Willa ascends from her dark hell into the house proper, embracing the body of her dead son. What young Willie sees is this:
 There in the mirror next to the open kitchen door was a woman, her
 hair tangled and marred, her sunken cheeks streaked with dirt. Her
 breasts and stomach were hidden behind a small body wrapped in
 sheer white lace. The wrinkled dress was caked under the arms with
 dried perspiration, the sagging pantyhose torn at the knees and
 spotted with urine. (71)


Looking like Bertha Mason, herself a dark shrew with an indecorous mouth, Willa says simply to Luther, "Your son is dead." As she moves toward her husband, however, the deranged wife proves to be intent not on mayhem, but on housekeeping. Having straightened up the basement morgue, her former prison, Willa heads neither for her tormentor nor the door, but "for the piles of boxes and loose paper in the corner by the hall door." (72) Willa's insane goal is to straighten up the house, from bottom to top. She is like a sad, demonic shadow of Elizabeth Taylor, cleaning the chandeliers of Petruchio's country retreat on the day after her wedding. In an effort to stop her, Luther enters a fatal embrace with Willa and his dead child, until they back as one into the fireplace, Willa's veil catches fire, and the house burns down. The dream deferred of Brewster Place becomes many dreams destroyed in Linden Hills.

Ever since Shakespeare's invention of her, Katherine the Curst--quite unlike her tragic counterpart Desdemona--has resembled a "hazel twig," "straight and slender, and brown in hue / As hazel-nuts, and sweeter than the kernels" (2.1.242-45). She can, by patriarchal and racist logic, be raped and enslaved because a woman who is not quite "white" enough generally proves, in the words of Rhett Butler, to be "no lady." (73) But that lack of gentility is also the Southern shrew's strength. Like the hazel twig, she bends, but often succeeds: Caloya gets a young new husband, Scarlett her cherished Tara and at least the hope of another day. Poor Willa wins only the gothic validation of burning down the patriarchal house, but after Luther's immolation, it is to be hoped that in the multi-volume history of Linden Hills being written by Dr. Braithwaite, the shrew's story will finally be told. Hers is not a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing, but rather the chronicle of marriage's dangerous, even deadly, kinship with slavery in the history of Southern Shrews.

Christy Desmet, University of Georgia

Notes

(1.) Philip C. Kolin, "The Taming of the Shrew--Southern Style," Shakespeare Newsletter, May 26, 1976, 23.

(2.) This is not the only recent British version of Shrew to have linked the play to America and, more specifically, to the American South. A production at the Theatre Alba, at Duddingston Kirk Manse Gardens in Edinburgh, put on a production in August 2005 whose open-air setting combined "'20s dance music with a whiff of the ante-bellum South." Timothy Ramsden, review of The Taming of the Shrew, Reviews Gate, August 15, 2005, http://reviewsgate.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2454 (accessed March 2, 2006). In what sounds like a somewhat incoherent equation between matters of race and marriage, James Sutherland as Petruchio is "a gringo alongside his bullet-bearing Mexican servant, both turning up as Indian braves for the wedding to Kate."

(3.) Charles H. Shattuck, Shakespeare on the American Stage: From Booth and Barrett to Sothern and Marlowe, vol. 2 (Washington: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1987), 15-16.

(4.) Shattuck, 16.

(5.) Woodrow L. Holbein, "Shakespeare in Charleston, 1800-1860," in Shakespeare in the South: Essays on Performance, ed. Philip C. Kolin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983), 88-111. According to Bruce McConachie, after 1855 the performance of Shakespeare declined in both North and South. Bruce McConachie, Melodramatic Formations: American Theatre and Society, 1820-1870 (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1992). Here is McConachie's more specific breakdown of performances in the Northeast:
 While precise figures are not available for the total number of
 performances of plays by specific authors in New York City during
 the period, the figures for all Philadelphia theatres, albeit
 between 1856 and 1878, are revealing: Shakespeare, 2,314;
 Boucicault, 1,587; Tom Taylor, 934; J. B. Buckstone, 839; John
 Brougham, 829; and J. M Morton, 652. In the decades before 1855,
 Shakespearean performances in all cities of the Northeast easily
 outnumbered those of any contemporary playwright by three to one.
 For roughly twenty years after 1855, however,
 Shakespeare's relative popularity was cut nearly in half, with
 Boucicault's success far outdistancing the popularity of any
 previous nineteenth-century playwright on
 the Anglo-American stage. (241)


A recent survey of American performances of Shakespeare in early America can be found in Chapter 1 of Kim C. Sturgess, Shakespeare and the American Nation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

(6.) Holbein, 88. Holbein takes his figures from the Charleston newspapers and William Stanley Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1946). For the accounting of performances of Catharine and Petruchio, see Hoole, 159-60.

(7.) The Courier lists no Shakespeare performances at all during the years 1833-34, 1836-37, and 1837-38.

(8.) A notable exception is the "Elizabethan" staging of Shrew that was offered by J. R. Planche and Benjamin Webster in 1844 and 1847. See Jan McDonald, "The Taming of the Shrew at the Haymarket Theatre, 1844 and 1847," in Essays on Nineteenth Century British Theatre, ed. Kenneth Richards and Peter Thomson (London: Methuen and Co., 1971), 157-70.

(9.) John Philip Kemble, John Philip Kemble Promptbooks, ed. Charles H. Shattuck, vol. 8: "Romeo & Juliet," "Taming of the Shrew [Catharine and Petruchio]," and "The Tempest" (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia for the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1974), 13.

(10.) Kemble, 32.

(11.) See Robin O. Warren, "They Were Always Doing Shakespeare: Antebellum Southern Actresses and Shakespearean Appropriation," Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, 1.1 (Spring/Summer 2005), 25 pp. in PDF, http://lachesis.english.uga.edu/cocoon/borrowers/request?id=283540 (accessed September 24, 2007).

(12.) John Tobin, The Honey Moon (London: T. Davison, 1805; Literature Online, 1994) http://galileo.usg.edu (accessed September 3, 2002).

(13.) Ann Thompson, ed., The Taming of the Shrew, in New Cambridge Shakespeare (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984) notes that "when John Philip Kemble performed Garrick's text in 1788 he wrote the words 'whip for Petruchio' opposite the hero's entrance in the wedding scene," 19, citing as her source Arthur Colby Sprague, Shakespeare and the Actors: The Stage Business in his Plays (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1944). The Kemble facsimile promptbook published by Charles Shattuck does not contain this stage direction.

(14.) Kemble, 17.

(15.) McConachie writes that in a similar way, Southern audiences watched the play The Gladiator without linking its story about a slave revolt to the American institution of slavery: "The South, more strongly Democratic than the northern states, applauded The Gladiator whenever Forrest toured the region. Like other Jacksonians, southerners understood the rhetoric of slavery and freedom as referring to the traditional rights of white people; few of them supposed that a drama centering on a white slave revolt was meant to apply to Nat Turner or the threats of William Lloyd Garrison," 117.

(16.) Charles S. Watson, "Simms's Use of Shakespearean Characters," in Shakespeare and Southern Writers: A Study in Influence, ed. Philip Kolin, foreword by Lewis P. Simpson (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985), 13-28. See also The Letters of William Gilmore Simms, ed. Mary C. Simms Oliphant, Alfred Taylor Odell, and T.C. Duncan Eaves, 5 vols (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1952-56), 1:34-38; Miriam J. Shillingsburg, "Simms's Reviews of Shakespeare on the Stage," Tennessee Studies in Literature, 16 (1971): 121-35. Simms was particularly interested in American tragedian Edwin Forrest, referring to his performances and extracurricular exploits in letters to James Lawson that span a decade, and was generally aware of theatrical events in New York and abroad.

(17.) For an analysis of both sides of the argument that concludes that Southern audiences, like other audiences, saw Othello as a black man, see Charles B. Lower, "Othello as Black on Southern Stages, Then and Now," in Shakespeare in the South: Essays on Performance, ed. Philip C. Kolin (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983), 199-228.

(18.) For a back-and-white image of Edmund Kean in the role of Othello, see Christy Desmet, "Confession; or, the Blind Heart: An Antebellum Othello," Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, 1.1 (Spring/Summer 2005), 25pp in PDF, http://lachesis.english.uga.edu/cocoon/borrowers/request?id=327160 (accessed September 24, 2007); for a colored print of Kean as Othello, see Warren, both in the web version.

(19.) Moira Ferguson, Subject to Others: British Women Writers and Colonial Slavery, 1670-1834 (New York and London: Routledge, 1992). Ferguson traces the birth of this paradigm to Aphra Behn: "In Oroonoko ... Behn constructs a paradigm of slavery, aspects of which became constitutive elements in colonial discourse for the next century and a half until the Emancipation Bill passed in 1834," 49.

(20.) Karen Sanchez-Eppler, "Bodily Bonds: The Intersecting Rhetorics of Feminism and Abolition," Representations, 24 (Fall 1988): 28-59, reprinted in Interracialism: Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law, ed. Werner Sollers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 408-37.

(21.) Sanchez-Eppler also notes, however, that the alliance was not "particularly easy or equitable," 409.

(22.) Juliana Schiesari, "The Face of Domestication: Physiognomy, Gender Politics, and Humanism's Others" in Women, "Race," and Writing in the Early Modern Period, ed. Margo Hendricks and Patricia Parker (London: Routledge, 1994), 55-70.

(23.) [William Gilmore Simms], Slavery in America, being a Brief Review of Miss Martineau on that Subject, by a South Carolinian (Richmond: Thomas W. White, 1838), 82-83. Excerpt reprinted in The Simms Reader: Selections from the Writings of William Gilmore Simms, ed. John Caldwell Guilds (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 2001), 246-47. For a discussion of Simms's anti-abolitionist philosophy, see Schillingsburg, "Simms's Failed Lecture Tour of 1856: The Mind of the North," in "Long Years of Neglect": The Work and Reputation of William Gilmore Simms, ed. John Caldwell Guilds (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1988), 183-201 ; and Richard Gray, Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1986), 46-47.

(24.) William Gilmore Simms, Confession; or, the Blind Heart. A Domestic Story (1841; 1885; New York: AMS, 1970).

(25.) Desmet, "Confession."

(26.) Confession, 398.

(27.) William Gilmore Simms, "Caloya; or, the Loves of the Driver," in The Wigwam and the Cabin (New York: W.J. Middleton, 1856), 361-429.

(28.) Although this symbolic move does not originate with the drama, its crystallization was probably helped by the imaginative alignment between two well-known stage Othellos and their Native American alter egos. During a visit to Canada, Edmund Kean became an "honorary chieftain" of the Huron tribe; Edwin Forrest, probably Simms's favorite Shakespearean actor, was closely associated with the role of Metamora; or, The Last of the Wampanoags, the eponymous hero of John Augustus Stone's play. Images of Kean and Forrest in the Native American roles mentioned here can be seen in the web version of Desmet.

(29.) W.J. Rolfe, "The Taming of the Shrew," Poet-lore, 8 (1896): 182-92.

(30.) My reading of Poet-lore and of these essays on The Taming of the Shrew depends on Tricia Looten's argument in her forthcoming essay, "Shakespeare, King of What? Gender, Nineteenth-Century Patriotism, and the Case of "Poet-lore." See also Ella Crowell, "Shakespeare's Katharine and Ibsen's Nora," Poet-lore, 8 (1896): 192-97.

(31.) Graham W. Robertson, Life Was Worth Living (New York: Harper, 1931), 216, quoted in Shattuck, 65. Not all theatergoers were charmed by the love story. Writing in the voice of a feminine persona, George Bernard Shaw says that the Daly Shrew was "one vile insult to womanhood and manhood from first to last... Instead of Shakespeare's coarse, thick-skinned money hunter who sets to work to tame his wife exactly as brutal people tame animals or children--we have Garrick's fop who tries to 'shut up' his wife by behaving worse than she," quoted in Jack J. Jorgens, Shakespeare on Film (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1977), 67.

(32.) Kim Marra, "Taming America as Actress: Augustin Daly, Ada Rehan, and the Discourse of Imperial Frontier Conquest," in Performing America: Cultural Nationalism in American Theater, ed. Jeffrey D. Mason and J. Ellen Gainor (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 52-72. The banquet scene, specifically, refers to Paulo Veronese's Marriage Feast at Cana (Marra, 67).

(33.) Robertson, quoted in Marra, 64.

(34.) Marra, 61.

(35.) Boston Transcript, December 2, 1905, quoted in Shattuck, 271.

(36.) The animalization of the Irish was accomplished most often by comparison to primates rather than beasts of burden. On the cultural construction of the Irish as "black" and further developments of this trope, see Elsie Michie, "Fom Simianized Irish to Oriental Despots: Heathcliff, Rochester, and Racial Difference," in Outside the Pale: Cultural Exclusion, Gender Difference, and the Victorian Woman Writer (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1993); and Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White (New York and London: Routledge, 1995).

(37.) Darlene Ciraulo, "The Old and New South: Shakespeare in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind," Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation, 1.1 (Spring/Summer 2005), 14 pp. in PDF, http://lachesis.english.uga.edu/cocoon/borrowers/request?id=283509 (accessed September 24, 2007); Celia R. Daileader, Racism, Misogyny, and the Othello Myth (Cambridge University Press, 2005), 156.

(38.) Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (New York: Macmillan, 1936), 180. Daileader cites Joel Williamson, "How Black was Rhett Butler?," in The Evolution of Southern Culture, ed. Numan V. Bartley (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1988), 87-107, which argues that the Rhett figure in Mitchell's original plan was African American, which would have made Gone With the Wind explicitly about miscegenation. According to Williamson, Mitchell burned the manuscript at her husband's request.

(39.) Daileader, 154.

(40.) Mitchell, 3.

(41.) Mitchell, 120.

(42.) Mitchell, 193.

(43.) Mitchell, 190-92.

(44.) See Ciraulo.

(45.) Mitchell, 243.

(46.) Mitchell, 246.

(47.) William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, in The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt et. al (New York: Norton, 1997), 133-201 (5.2.125-26), italics added.

(48.) Mitchell, 246.

(49.) Mitchell, 245.

(50.) Mitchell, 930.

(51.) Mitchell, 940-41, discussed by Daileader, 154-55.

(52.) Mitchell, 940-41, a trope commented on at length by Daileader.

(53.) Jan Cronin, "'The Book Belongs to All of Us': Gone with the Wind as Postcultural Product," Literature/Film Quarterly, 35.1 (2007), 396. Charles Reagan Wilson, "The Invention of Southern Tradition: The Writing and Ritualization of Southern History, 1880-1940," in Rewriting the South: History and Fiction, ed. Lothar Honighausen and Valerie Genarro Lerda, in collaboration with Christoph Irmscher and Simon Ward (Tubingen: Franke Verlag, 1993), 3-21 also discusses how the "invention of the Southern tradition" between 1880 and 1940 developed as an alternative to the concept of America as a nation.

(54.) The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Franco Zeffirelli (Columbia, 1967).

(55.) Russell Jackson, "Shakespeare's Comedies on Film," in Shakespeare and the Moving Image: The Plays on Film and Television, ed. Anthony Davies and Stanley Wells (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 112. Shrew was filmed not on location, but on four sound stages located near Rome. See Douglas Brode, Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Today (New York: Berkley Boulevard Books, 2001), 22.

(56.) Franco Zeffirelli, The Autobiography of Franco Zeffirelli (New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986), 215.

(57.) Michael Pursells, "Zeffirelli's Shakespeare," Literature/Film Quarterly, 8.4 (1980): 210-18.

(58.) Jorgens, 74.

(59.) Jackson, 110.

(60.) Thomas Davies, Memoirs of the Life of David Garrick, Esq., 2 vols (London: Longman, 1808), quoted in Tori Haring-Smith, From Farce to Metadrama: A Stage History of The Taming of the Shrew, 1594-1983 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1985), 19.

(61.) Zeffirelli, 200-201.

(62.) Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Richard Brooks (Metro-Golden-Mayer, 1958); Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by Mike Nichols (Chenault Productions, 1966).

(63.) Gloria Naylor, Linden Hills (New York: Penguin, 1985).

(64.) Naylor, 283.

(65.) Naylor, 117.

(66.) Naylor, 118.

(67.) Naylor, 67.

(68.) Naylor, 69.

(69.) Naylor, 68-69.

(70.) Naylor, 290.

(71.) Naylor, 298-99.

(72.) Naylor, 300.

(73.) Mitchell, 120.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Clemson University, Clemson University Digital Press, Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Desmet, Christy
Publication:The Upstart Crow
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:9553
Next Article:London at Night.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters