Want to know where The Taming of the Shrew is set? See each setting Shakespeare used in the play on the map below.
Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has a somewhat complex setting. It is a play within a play in a sense. A lower-class man is plucked from his environment and taken to a country home in England, where he watches a performance of the play among the wealthy upper class. This is a transformation of the beggar – a reflection of the play’s theme of transformation. The play is set in Padua in Italy during the Renaissance. Padua was both a place where very rich merchants lived and one of Europe’s most famous universities, where Copernicus studied, and where Galileo was a professor. The merchant class in Padua treated marriage as a business transaction, which we see in this play. Moreover, the male head of the family ruled his family like a despot and there was no argument. It is in this setting that Shakespeare has Katherine turning the tables and gains mastery over the males.
The map below shows all the locations Shakespeare used for The Taming of the Shrew. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, and click the icons on the map for more information. Text in quotation marks are the specific locations Shakespeare references in his The Taming of the Shrew text.