First as Farce, Then as Filmfarsi: Film Adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew in Iran

Document Type : Research Papers


1 Department of Foreign languages and Linguistics, Shiraz University

2 department of English literature


This article is concerned with William Shakespeare’s famous farce play The Taming of the Shrew and its Persian adaptation as an Iranian film called Gorbe ra dame Hejleh Mikoshand in 1969. The point that informs the inquiry is the way the film departs and differs from the play in relation to the issue of women within the patriarchal society. The play and the film will be examined separately in detail, while their similarities and differences will be also accounted for. By going through the structure of the play, in particular by showing attention to the importance of the Christopher Sly Induction which frames the narrative of the play, as well as surveying the critical looks on the play throughout the last century, it will be argued that the Bard’s work, far from being an anti-feminine play that reflected the male authority of the society of its time, allows for new possibilities for the autonomy of women within the patriarchal system. The Persian adaptation, however, deliberately forecloses the same possibilities by trying to cater to the taste of its mainstream male, chauvinist audience. The film will be exclusively investigated in the context of filmfarsi (a popular and mainstream cinema in Pre-Revolution Iran) by dissecting the components of the genre to show the deep, irreconcilable dichotomy between men and women in the Pahlavi era


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