Folger ART Box S534 no.30 part 1 (size S) (Digital Image filenames: 35176; 35177; 35178; 3139; 35179; 35180; 35181). Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This set of pen-and-ink drawings by the artist Byam Shaw (1872–1919) shows a series of comic scenes from The Taming of the Shrew. They were produced as illustrations for a beautiful, pocket-sized book in the Chiswick Shakespeare series, printed between 1899–1902.
With their luxurious folds of fabric and intricately patterned clothes, Shaw’s drawings seem to highlight the crucial role played by clothing in the drama. From the first to the last scene, Shakespeare uses costume as a radical means of exploring social transformation. Clothes seem to enable people to shift or exchange their status. But they also remind us that appearances may be deceptive – a person’s costume can disguise who they really are.