The 1633 revival

The 1633 revival provoked the wrath of Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels and the overseer of London theatre in the Caroline era. On 19 October 1633, Herbert ordered the King's Men not to perform The Woman's Prize that day, because of complaints of the "foul and offensive matters" it contained; the company acted the Beaumont/Fletcher play The Scornful Lady instead. The warrant prohibited `the acting of your play called The Tamer Tamed or The Taming of the Tamer, this afternoon, or any more till you have leave from me – and this is at your peril`. Five days later, on 24 October, John Lowin and Eliard Swanston, two of the leading actors in the company, came to Herbert's office to apologize personally for having given offense; their fellow actors Joseph Taylor and Robert Benfield were also present at the meeting, but apparently uninvolved in either the original offense or the apology. In regard to the same matter, Herbert addressed a 21 October letter to Edward Knight, the "book-keeper" or prompter of the King's Men, on the subject of "oaths, profaneness, and public ribaldry" in the company's plays.[6] Herbert's reaction to the play, which may have been caused by accusations of leniency from his superiors, specifically the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, caused tension between the acting companies and the censor. Herbert's intervention in the performance that day resulted in a greater focus on the re-licensing of old plays that were being revived at the time.

In order to de-politicise the play, a new prologue was introduced for the 1633 revival. Fletcher's play was cleaned up in time for a Court performance the next month: The Taming of the Shrew and The Woman's Prize were acted before the King and Queen at St. James's Palace on 26 and 28 November respectively.[7] According to Herbert, Shakespeare's play was "liked" but Fletcher's was "very well liked." The existing Prologue and Epilogue, perhaps by the unknown reviser, may date from this performance; the Epilogue claims that Fletcher's play urges "both sexes due equality...to love mutually" (lines 7-8).