Friday, July 28, 2017

Arabic News Site Casts Trump as a Character in Taming of the Shrew

Al-Quds Al-Arabi, an Arabic-language news source out of Jerusalem, recently published an essay entitled: "The Taming of Trump and his Appeasement." The piece compares world leaders' attempts to negotiate and deal with Trump to Petruchio's taming of Katherine. The following is a rough translation of the essay's opening:

One of William Shakespeare's plays, "The Taming of the Shrew," tells the story of a rich young man marrying the famous daughter of a successful merchant father who is famous for her recklessness and cruelty. His use of many tricks to tame her, ranging from violence to claimed madness to denial of the comforts of life, made her, after a lengthy conflict with her intelligent husband, the most obedient of her father's daughters, and her inheritance doubled!

The play, perhaps because of its comedic character, is suitable as a political approach to the ways in which world leaders have treated US President Donald Trump, who is also famous for a history that combines television entertainment and significant wealth with reckless populist policies that strike left and right and call for severe reactions from foreign countries, from judicial and political institutions, and from the American and global media.

A number of things are striking in this comparison, not the least of which is the recasting of Trump, who boasts a masculinized persona, as a Katherine who must be tamed by more reasonable forces around him. I wonder if the author has ever read The Tamer Tamed?