Here is a purr of fortune’s, sir, or of fortune’s cat — but not a musk-cat — that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to your lordship.
— Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well
It has truly been a fortunate year. From my brother’s wedding to a brilliant research trip tp the Huntington Library, not to mention a relatively dry and warm fall and winter in Portland, I am sure I’m at the zenith of Fortune’s Wheel, and so steady myself for rougher waters ahead. In reflection on a great deal of good news and satisfying work, this post cobbles together a few year-end notes.
¶ Staging a performance of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” means managing ethics of conscription and of resistance. The role of Kate is appealing to many because she offers a full-throated and resistant character that third-wave Feminisms connect to, can conscript and inhabit. That is, until the last act and the infamous speech where she encourages the other brides, like herself, to put their hand under their husbands’ feet. How can a production recover Kate from being flattened by what we would now label as Stockholm Syndrome? Need we?