The Taming of the Shrew


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Baptista with Vincentio, Gremio with the

Pedant, Lucentio with Bianca, Petruchio with

Katherina, Hortensio with the Widow; followed by

Tranio, Biondello, and Grumio, with the Servingmen

bringing in a banquet


LUCENTIO

At last, though long, our jarring notes agree,
agree (v.) 2 become harmonious, be reconciled
banquet, banket (n.) 1 refreshments, light meal, dessert

And time it is when raging war is done

To smile at scapes and perils overblown.
overblow (v.) 1 blow over, pass away, abate

My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome,

While I with self-same kindness welcome thine.
kindness (n.) 2 feelings of kinship

Brother Petruchio, sister Katherina,

And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow,

Feast with the best, and welcome to my house.

My banquet is to close our stomachs up
banquet, banket (n.) 1 refreshments, light meal, dessert
close up (v.) finally satisfy, put the finishing touches to
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]

After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down,
cheer (n.) 1 entertainment, fare, food and drink

For now we sit to chat as well as eat.

They sit


PETRUCHIO

Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!


BAPTISTA

Padua affords this kindness, son Petruchio.
afford (v.) 3 fulfil naturally, offer routinely


PETRUCHIO

Padua affords nothing but what is kind.
afford (v.) 1 have to offer, be capable of supplying
kind (adj.) 2 loving, affectionate, fond


HORTENSIO

For both our sakes I would that word were true.


PETRUCHIO

Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.


WIDOW

Then never trust me if I be afeard.
afeard (adj.) afraid, frightened, scared See Topics: Frequency count


PETRUCHIO

You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:
sensible (adj.) 3 endowed with good sense, perceptive, responsible

I mean Hortensio is afeard of you.


WIDOW

He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.


PETRUCHIO

Roundly replied.
roundly (adv.) 2 bluntly, outspokenly; or: fluently, glibly


KATHERINA

                         Mistress, how mean you that?


WIDOW

Thus I conceive by him.
conceive (v.) 1 understand, comprehend, follow


PETRUCHIO

Conceives by me! How likes Hortensio that?


HORTENSIO

My widow says thus she conceives her tale.
conceive (v.) 1 understand, comprehend, follow
tale (n.) 2 remark, statement, utterance


PETRUCHIO

Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right


KATHERINA

‘ He that is giddy thinks the world turns round ’ –

I pray you tell me what you meant by that.


WIDOW

Your husband, being troubled with a shrew,

Measures my husband's sorrow by his woe.

And now you know my meaning,


KATHERINA

A very mean meaning.
mean (adj.) 3 unworthy, insignificant, unimportant


WIDOW

                         Right, I mean you.


KATHERINA

And I am mean, indeed, respecting you.
mean (adj.) 4 average, moderate, middling


PETRUCHIO

To her, Kate!


HORTENSIO

To her, widow!


PETRUCHIO

A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down.


HORTENSIO

That's my office.
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count


PETRUCHIO

Spoke like an officer – ha' to thee, lad.

He drinks to Hortensio


BAPTISTA

How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks?


GREMIO

Believe me, sir, they butt together well.


BIANCA

Head and butt! An hasty-witted body
body (n.) 6 person, individual
butt (n.) 4 buttock, bottom
hasty-witted (adj.) quick-witted, quick-thinking

Would say your head and butt were head and horn.


VINCENTIO

Ay, mistress bride, hath that awakened you?


BIANCA

Ay, but not frighted me, therefore I'll sleep again.
fright (v.), past form frighted frighten, scare, terrify See Topics: Frequency count


PETRUCHIO

Nay, that you shall not. Since you have begun,

Have at you for a bitter jest or two.
bitter (adj.) sharp, shrewd, keen
have at [someone] [said at the start of a fencing attack or other confrontation] I come at, let me at [a person] See Topics: Discourse markers


BIANCA

Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush,
bird (n.) 2 object of prey, quarry

And then pursue me as you draw your bow.

You are welcome all.

Exeunt Bianca, Katherina, and Widow


PETRUCHIO

She hath prevented me. Here, Signor Tranio,
prevent (v.) 2 take steps to thwart, avoid by prompt action

This bird you aimed at, though you hit her not –

Therefore a health to all that shot and missed.


TRANIO

O sir, Lucentio slipped me like his greyhound,
slip (v.) 5 let go of, allow to leave, unleash

Which runs himself, and catches for his master.


PETRUCHIO

A good swift simile, but something currish.
currish (adj.) mean-spirited, snarling, quarrelsome
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count
swift (adj.) quick-witted, sharp, ready


TRANIO

'Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself.

'Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.
bay (n.) 1 [hunting] last stand, point of capture


BAPTISTA

O, O, Petruchio! Tranio hits you now.


LUCENTIO

I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio.
gird (n.) 2 taunt, gibe, dig


HORTENSIO

Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here?


PETRUCHIO

'A has a little galled me, I confess;
gall (v.) 4 graze, scratch

And as the jest did glance away from me,
glance away (v.) bounce off, ricochet off

'Tis ten to one it maimed you two outright.


BAPTISTA

Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio,
sadness, in / in good in earnest, seriously

I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute


PETRUCHIO

Well, I say no. And therefore for assurance
assurance (n.) 1 security, certainty, confidence

Let's each one send unto his wife,

And he whose wife is most obedient,

To come at first when he doth send for her,

Shall win the wager which we will propose.


HORTENSIO

Content. What's the wager?
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count


LUCENTIO

                         Twenty crowns.


PETRUCHIO

Twenty crowns?

I'll venture so much of my hawk or hound,

But twenty times so much upon my wife.


LUCENTIO

A hundred then.


HORTENSIO

                         Content.


PETRUCHIO

                                                         A match! 'Tis done.


HORTENSIO

Who shall begin?


LUCENTIO

                         That will I. Biondello,

Go bid your mistress come to me.


BIONDELLO

                         I go.

Exit


BAPTISTA

Son, I'll be your half Bianca comes.
half, be one's go half-shares with one, share the stake with one


LUCENTIO

I'll have no halves. I'll bear it all myself.

Enter Biondello

How now, what news?


BIONDELLO

                         Sir, my mistress sends you word

That she is busy and she cannot come.


PETRUCHIO

How? She's busy, and she cannot come!

Is that an answer?


GREMIO

                         Ay, and a kind one too.

Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.


PETRUCHIO

I hope better.


HORTENSIO

Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wife

To come to me forthwith.

Exit Biondello


PETRUCHIO

                         O ho, entreat her!

Nay, then she must needs come.


HORTENSIO

                         I am afraid, sir,

Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.

Enter Biondello

Now, where's my wife?


BIONDELLO

She says you have some goodly jest in hand.

She will not come. She bids you come to her.


PETRUCHIO

Worse and worse, she will not come! O vile,

Intolerable, not to be endured!

Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress,

Say I command her come to me.

Exit Grumio


HORTENSIO

I know her answer.


PETRUCHIO

                         What?


HORTENSIO

                                                         She will not.


PETRUCHIO

The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.
fortune (n.) 3 chance, fate, [one's ] lot

Enter Katherina


BAPTISTA

Now, by my holidame, here comes Katherina.


KATHERINA

What is your will, sir, that you send for me?


PETRUCHIO

Where is your sister, and Hortensio's wife?


KATHERINA

They sit conferring by the parlour fire.
confer (v.) chat, talk together, gossip


PETRUCHIO

Go fetch them hither. If they deny to come,
deny (v.) 2 refuse, decline, scorn

Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands.
swinge (v.) beat, thrash, flog

Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exit Katherina


LUCENTIO

Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.
wonder (n.) 4 miracle, prodigy, marvel


HORTENSIO

And so it is. I wonder what it bodes.
bode (v.) 1 forebode, portend, predict, augur


PETRUCHIO

Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life,

And awful rule, and right supremacy,
awful (adj.) 1 awe-inspiring, worthy of respect
right (adj.) 2 correct [in opinion], right-minded

And, to be short, what not that's sweet and happy.


BAPTISTA

Now fair befall thee, good Petruchio!
fair (n.) 2 fortune, happiness, favour

The wager thou hast won, and I will add

Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns –

Another dowry to another daughter,

For she is changed, as she had never been.


PETRUCHIO

Nay, I will win my wager better yet,

And show more sign of her obedience,

Her new-built virtue and obedience.

Enter Katherina with Bianca and Widow
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable

See where she comes, and brings your froward wives

As prisoners to her womanly persuasion.

Katherine, that cap of yours becomes you not.
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

Off with that bauble, throw it under foot.
bauble (n.) 2 piece of rubbish, worthless trifle

She obeys


WIDOW

Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh

Till I be brought to such a silly pass!
pass (n.) 7 predicament, juncture, critical point


BIANCA

Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?


LUCENTIO

I would your duty were as foolish too!

The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,

Hath cost me a hundred crowns since supper-time.


BIANCA

The more fool you for laying on my duty.
lay (v.) 12 wager, stake, bet


PETRUCHIO

Katherine, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women

What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.


WIDOW

Come, come, you're mocking. We will have no telling.


PETRUCHIO

Come on, I say, and first begin with her.


WIDOW

She shall not.


PETRUCHIO

I say she shall. And first begin with her.


KATHERINA

Fie, fie, unknit that threatening unkind brow,
brow (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, countenance See Topics: Frequency count
unkind (adj.) 1 hostile, cruel, harsh

And dart not scornful glances from those eyes

To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.

It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
blot (n.) stain, disgrace, blemish
mead (n.) meadow

Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin
fame (n.) 1 reputation, renown, character

And in no sense is meet or amiable.
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper See Topics: Frequency count

A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
moved (adj.) 3 in a bad temper, angered, exasperated

Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty,
ill-seeming (adj.) of ugly appearance, unpleasant to look at
thick (adj.) 4 foul, nasty, dirty

And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty

Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,

Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,

And for thy maintenance; commits his body

To painful labour both by sea and land,
painful (adj.) 1 painstaking, diligent, laborious

To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;

And craves no other tribute at thy hands
crave (v.) 1 beg, entreat, request See Topics: Frequency count

But love, fair looks, and true obedience –

Too little payment for so great a debt.

Such duty as the subject owes the prince,

Even such a woman oweth to her husband.

And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable

And not obedient to his honest will,

What is she but a foul contending rebel
contending (adj.) struggling, antagonistic, opposed
foul (adj.) 3 detestable, vile, loathsome

And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
graceless (adj.) wicked, ungodly, immoral

I am ashamed that women are so simple
simple (adj.) 2 foolish, silly, stupid

To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
offer (v.) 5 make, opt for, declare

Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
sway (n.) 2 controlling influence, guiding power, direction

When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.

Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,

Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
unapt (adj.) 2 unfit, not suited

But that our soft conditions and our hearts
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

Should well agree with our external parts?
part (n.) 1 quality, attribute, gift, accomplishment [of mind or body]

Come, come, you froward and unable worms,
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable
unable (adj.) 1 weak, feeble, impotent

My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
mind (n.) 1 inclination, desire, wish

My heart as great, my reason haply more,
great (adj.) 5 full of emotion
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count
heart (n.) 1 courage, spirit, valour

To bandy word for word and frown for frown.
bandy (v.) 1 exchange, swap, send to and fro

But now I see our lances are but straws,

Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,

That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.

Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
boot (n.) 1 good, advantage, profit
stomach (n.) 6 pride, obstinacy, stubbornness
vail (v.) 1 lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]

And place your hands below your husband's foot.

In token of which duty, if he please,

My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
ease (n.) 1 comfort, relief, solace


PETRUCHIO

Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count


LUCENTIO

Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shalt ha't.


VINCENTIO

'Tis a good hearing when children are toward.
hearing (n.) news, report, spectacle
toward (adj.) 1 docile, compliant, obliging


LUCENTIO

But a harsh hearing when women are froward.
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable


PETRUCHIO

Come, Kate, we'll to bed.

We three are married, but you two are sped.
speed (v.) 4 deal with, bring to an end, defeat

(to Lucentio) 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white,

And being a winner, God give you good night!

Exeunt Petruchio and Katherina


HORTENSIO

Now, go thy ways, thou hast tamed a curst shrew.
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross


LUCENTIO

'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.

Exeunt

 
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