The Taming of the Shrew


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Lucentio as Cambio, Hortensio as Licio,

and Bianca


Fiddler, forbear, you grow too forward, sir.
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count

Have you so soon forgot the entertainment
entertainment (n.) 1 treatment, hospitality, reception

Her sister Katherine welcomed you withal?


But, wrangling pedant, this is
pedant (n.) schoolmaster, teacher
wrangling (adj.) quarrelsome, disputatious, argumentative

The patroness of heavenly harmony.

Then give me leave to have prerogative,
prerogative (n.) 3 precedence, prior place

And when in music we have spent an hour,

Your lecture shall have leisure for as much.
lecture (n.) 2 classroom lesson


Preposterous ass, that never read so far
preposterous (adj.) 1 contrary to the natural order, monstrous, perverted

To know the cause why music was ordained!
ordain (v.) 1 appoint, establish, institute

Was it not to refresh the mind of man

After his studies or his usual pain?
pain (n.) effort, endeavour, exertion, labour

Then give me leave to read philosophy,

And while I pause serve in your harmony.
serve in (v.) supply, provide, deal out


Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine.
brave (n.) boast, bravado, blustering threat


Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong

To strive for that which resteth in my choice.

I am no breeching scholar in the schools,
breeching (adj.) subject to be flogged; novice, beginner

I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times,

But learn my lessons as I please myself.

And, to cut off all strife, here sit we down.

Take you your instrument, play you the whiles –
whiles (n.) meantime, meanwhile

His lecture will be done ere you have tuned.
lecture (n.) 2 classroom lesson


You'll leave his lecture when I am in tune?


That will be never. Tune your instrument.


Where left we last?


Here, madam.

(He reads)

Hic ibat Simois; hic est Sigeia tellus,
hic... here... See Topics: Latin

Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.


Construe them.
construe (v.) 3 explain, expound


Hic ibat ’, as I told you before – ‘ Simois,’ I am

Lucentio – ‘ hic est,’ son unto Vincentio of Pisa – ‘ Sigeia

tellus,’ disguised thus to get your love – ‘ Hic steterat,’

and that Lucentio that comes a-wooing – ‘ Priami,’ is my

man Tranio – ‘ regia,’ bearing my port – ‘ celsa senis,’
port (n.) 3 station, position, dignity

that we might beguile the old pantaloon.
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick
pantaloon (n.) old man, dotard [i.e. one wearing pantaloons = breeches] See Topics: Clothing


Madam, my instrument's in tune.


Let's hear. (He plays) O fie! The treble jars.


Spit in the hole, man, and tune again.


Now let me see if I can construe it. ‘ Hic ibat
construe (v.) 3 explain, expound

Simois,’ I know you not – ‘ hic est Sigeia tellus,’ I trust you

not – ‘ Hic steterat Priami,’ take heed he hear us not –

regia,’ presume not – ‘ celsa senis,’ despair not.


Madam, 'tis now in tune.


                         All but the bass.


The bass is right, 'tis the base knave that jars.
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

(aside) How fiery and forward our pedant is.

Now, for my life, the knave doth court my love.

Pedascule, I'll watch you better yet.
pedascule (n.) little pedant


In time I may believe, yet I mistrust.


Mistrust it not – for, sure, Aeacides

Was Ajax, called so from his grandfather.


I must believe my master, else, I promise you,
master (n.) 1 teacher, school-master

I should be arguing still upon that doubt.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

But let it rest. Now, Licio, to you.

Good master, take it not unkindly, pray,

That I have been thus pleasant with you both.
pleasant (adj.) 1 facetious, joking, droll


(to Lucentio)

You may go walk, and give me leave a while.

My lessons make no music in three parts.


Are you so formal, sir? Well, I must wait –
formal (adj.) 3 punctilious, stiff, standing on ceremony

(aside) And watch withal, for, but I be deceived,

Our fine musician groweth amorous.


Madam, before you touch the instrument
touch (v.) 10 finger, sound, play on

To learn the order of my fingering,
order (n.) 5 manner, process, method

I must begin with rudiments of art,

To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,
brief (adj.) 1 quick, speedy, swift, expeditious
gamut (n.) musical scale
sort (n.) 3 way, manner

More pleasant, pithy, and effectual,
effectual (adj.) 1 effective, efficient

Than hath been taught by any of my trade.

And there it is in writing fairly drawn.
draw (v.) 4 write out, draw up, present


Why, I am past my gamut long ago.


Yet read the gamut of Hortensio.


accord (n.) 1 harmony, agreement
ground (n.) 2 foundation, basis, root

‘ Gamut I am, the ground of all accord

A re, to plead Hortensio's passion

B mi, Bianca, take him for thy lord

C fa ut, that loves with all affection
ut (n.) [musical scale] doh

D sol re, one clef, two notes have I

E la mi, show pity or I die.’

Call you this gamut? Tut, I like it not!

Old fashions please me best. I am not so nice
nice (adj.) 7 whimsical, capricious, temperamental

To change true rules for odd inventions.
change (v.) 1 exchange, trade
invention (n.) 3 novelty, fresh creation, innovation
odd (adj.) 1 eccentric, peculiar, unusual
rule (n.) 1 principle, order, regulation

Enter a Servant


Mistress, your father prays you leave your books,

And help to dress your sister's chamber up.

You know tomorrow is the wedding-day.


Farewell, sweet masters both, I must be gone.

Exeunt Bianca and Servant


Faith, mistress, then I have no cause to stay.



But I have cause to pry into this pedant,
cause (n.) 1 reason, motive, ground
pedant (n.) schoolmaster, teacher

Methinks he looks as though he were in love.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Yet if thy thoughts, Bianca, be so humble
humble (adj.) 2 lowly, ignoble, low

To cast thy wandering eyes on every stale,
stale (n.) 1 [falconry] decoy, lure, stalking-horse

Seize thee that list. If once I find thee ranging,
list (v.) 1 wish, like, please
range (v.) 1 wander freely, roam, rove

Hortensio will be quit with thee by changing.
change (v.) 2 substitute, replace, supplant
quit (v.) 6 avenge, requite, take vengeance [on]


  Previous scene     Next scene