Date

The date of the play is very uncertain and has attracted a large body of dispute and opinion. A reference to the Siege of Ostend in Act I, scene iii has led some commentators to date the play as early as 1604 (the siege ended on 8 September that year) - though this is significantly earlier than the generally recognized start of Fletcher's dramatic career. Some scholars have argued for an early date, on the reasoning that a date closer in time to Shakespeare's play makes more sense than a later date. The non-Shakespearean or pre-Shakespearean version of the story, The Taming of a Shrew, was reprinted in 1607, and may have influenced Fletcher to make a reply. Other critics are of the belief the play was written between November 1609 and February 1610. Because of the riots that took place in 1607, a number of scholars believe the play could not have been written earlier than the final months of 1609 and attribute the play to the early years of the reign of King James I. Others have favored a date as late as 1618-22 for the original version of the play, based on internal characteristics of Fletcher's evolving style. Scholars who see a debt in the play to Ben Jonson's Epicene favor a date c. 1611. However, the first surviving reference to the play is contained in a government document dating on the morning of 18 October 1633 when Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, `sent a warrant by messenger of the chamber to suppress The Tamer Tamed, to the King’s players for the afternoon`.
The question of date is complicated by the matter of revision. The characters all have Italian names, and the original was likely set in Italy — but the existing version is set in London instead. The date of revision and the identity of the reviser are equally unknown, though a reasonable conjecture holds that the revision was likely done just before the 1633 revival of the play by the King's Men, when the play was acted in conjunction with Shakespeare's.