Shakespeare’s Crossover

Some of you may know that I have written and presented papers at the 2009 and 2010 Ohio Vally Shakespeare Conferences.

Both of these papers were based on Shakespeare’s play The Taming of the Shrew.  The 2009 paper was about screen adaptations of the play and the 2010 paper was focused on the mysterious “Induction” that is the introduction that actually has nothing to do with the main play which is really a play within the Induction. If you don’t follow my meaning please read the play.

Anyway while reading Romeo and Juliet I found an interesting line. It just wasn’t interesting enough to devote a paper to,  so now you get to read about  it in my Blog. 

In Romeo and Juliet at the end of the ball scene Juliet is asking her nurse the names of many young men in order to learn Romeo’s identity.

Juliet: What’s he that now is going out of door?

Nurse: Marry, that, I think, be young Petruccio. (1.5 127-128)

In case you aren’t familiar with  The Taming of the Shrew the main characters are named Katherine and Petruccio. The plot doth thicken for Romeo and Juliet  takes place in Verona, Italy. It just so happens that Petruccio is also from Verona. His entrance line in The Taming of the Shrew is “Verona, for a while I take my leave.(Shrew 1.2 1)” Thus saying that he lives in Verona but has left there for a temporary visit elsewhere.

That elsewhere is Padua, Italy where The Taming of the Shrew is set.

I am not the first one to make this connection, though, the 2006 YA novel Romeo’s Ex by: Lisa Fiedler included a young Petruccio as minor character in the story of Romeo and Juliet’s demise.

I suppose that it doesn’t really matter. It’s not like I can actually prove that Shakespeare meant for it be recognized as the same character. Though I do like to think that it was a special treat that he slipped in for his faithful play goers. On the other hand Petruccio is not the only name that Shakespeare recycled but I would never claim that the Katherine in Henry the VIIIth is the same one as in Shrew. 

I guess it’s up to people with higher degrees than mine to argue about it.

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