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I don’t know if Shakespeare plays will be performed in heaven, but while I’m waiting to find out the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (London) experience is quite a good appetiser. Particularly on a bal

God-given order

In Shakespearean times, the awareness of God’s creation order and the consequent concept of the chain of being were more widely accepted. The highest authority was recognised as God, followed by angels, the king or queen, nobles, men, women, children, animals, then lastly the devil.

Eleanor Margesson

However, the play is traditionally a bit of a controversial one, particularly in its attitude towards women. For a detailed synopsis of the plot you will have to look elsewhere, but, suffice it to say, that the Shrew is Katerina, a feisty woman with no time for husbands, who gets given a tough time by her suitor, Petruchio, until she realises the true value of men, instructing other women by saying: ‘Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee’. I remember being scorned at Uni in my English tutorial for considering that it doesn’t take many steps from there to Ephesians 5.22-33, a passage that presents the marriage relationship as so saturated with selfless love that it could mirror the sacrifice and devotion of Christ and his Church.