"Look not big, nor stamp, nor stare": Acting Up in The Taming of the Shrew and the Coventry Herod Plays


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In his 1945 study of Shakespeare's use of humoral psychology, John W. Draper noted that the supposedly choleric Petruchio' s strategy for subduing the equally volatile Katherine "is to out-Herod Herod."1 Though Draper doubtless intended his remark to be no more than metaphorical, I propose to take it literally. Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, I shall argue, is subtly informed by a metatheatrical awareness of Herod and, more specifically, of the styles of acting that distinguished his character on the early English stage.

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