Intertextuality In The Tamer Tamed By William Shakespeare

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Intertextuality is the shaping of one text’s meaning by another text. It informs this meaning because it draws attention towards shifts in culture and audience perception and therefore the influences on writers of that time. Both The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare and A Woman’s Prize (or The Tamer Tamed) by John Fletcher are texts that adhere to intertextuality. They challenge the concept of originality and the question of whether the arts are a product of culture and its evolutions. Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, written somewhere between 1590 and 1592, depicts the tale of a strong-willed woman who is ‘taught how to behave’ by her new husband. It begins with an induction: a small sub-play that shows a beggar being convinced by a noble man that he too is a lord. While this comedic tale does not appear anywhere else in the main play past the opening scene, it does provide a link to similar stories circling about at the time: the story of a poor man being tricked into riches by a richer man can be seen in Arabian Nights and Pontus de Huyter’s De Rubus Burgundicis . This “destroys the idea that meaning comes from, and is the property of, the individual author”(Barthe 31-47): it is universally shared via cultural works. An awareness of these texts shows not only the range in cultures of influences around at the time but also how this induction was a common trope in contemporary stories. Shakespeare drawing upon these cultural archetypes raises awareness of
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