Reading Comprehension - Literature: 'Taming of the Shrew'

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This is a famous comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592. The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself.
1. The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare
As Translated and Updated by Orson Scott Card
Shakespeare’s great comedy about the significant number of the words on first hearing.
relationship of man and woman in marriage has Because purists insist that the words of
in recent years fallen into disuse, primarily Shakespeare cannot be altered, English speakers
because it asserts a subservience of women that are the only people in the world who never get to
is unpalatable to the modern audience. What hear Shakespeare in their native tongue.
may have been viewed, in Elizabethan times, as a Yet it would not do to translate Shakespeare’s
comically outrageous exaggeration of the natural plays into fully modern English. Much of the
rights of the husband, appears in our times to be pleasure of the plays comes from the Elizabethan
oppressive if not abusive. flavor. This is precisely the thing that is lost in
Yet, for fear of being accused of translation into other languages; only English
bowdlerization, we seem to prefer to leave the speakers can appreciate it.
play unseen rather than change what offends the Also, there’s the matter of iambic pentameter
modern eye. It seems to me that we might rather — blank verse, with the occasional heroic
lose our contempt for Bowdler’s attempt to make couplet, usually to clinch a scene. While blank
Shakespeare watchable to the audience of his verse is still perfectly writable in modern English,
time, and realize that the standards of taste and it makes the translation artificial enough that
decorum change from age to age, and it is not at one might as well keep Shakespeare’s original as
all unreasonable to make such temporary much as possible, for then the artifice will be (a)
changes in the script as will allow a play to his and (b) pleasantly archaic.
continue to find an audience — as long as the What the language of the plays cries out for,
original remains available, so it can be restored then, is a selective translation and adaptation.
to public view when tastes change again. Where the changes in vocabulary most hurt the
However, one danger in altering a play to fit a ability of the plays to work well with a modern
modern taste is that the characters can be audience is in the humor, from intricate
moved so far out of their time that all seems wordplay and punning to bawdy humor, which
false. In altering the final resolution of the play, are only amusing when the audience can
I did not fully modernize it. Rather I tried to discover the joke on their own. It solves nothing
keep it within its period; that is, the husband is for the actors to use gestures to “explain” the
still called lord of the wife, as the law of the age jokes, because that very act transforms light
had it. Instead I changed the nature of the banter to crude pantomime, which is a worse
relationship within that legal frame, so that one deformation of the original intent.
could still conceive of this version of the play as Thus it is Shakespeare’s comedic passages
taking place within Elizabethan times. more than the dramatic ones that need
Even if the original resolution of the translation. And in most cases a mere
relationship between Petruchio and Kate had replacement of a lost word or meaning with a
been perfectly acceptable to modern audiences, I clearer “synonym” accomplishes next to nothing
would still have altered the script, for reasons — the translated word probably isn’t funny in
very well explained by John McWhorter in Doing the original context.
Our Own Thing: The Degradation Of Language What is needed, then, are new jokes and
And Music And Why We Should, Like, Care. wordplays that accomplish the same purpose as
When Shakespeare’s plays are translated into the original. And when the joke is partly that the
other languages, they are made fully jokes themselves are lame — when the jokes
comprehensible; but English has changed so were originally meant to be “groaners” — then
much since Shakespeare’s time that most the translator must risk humiliation by
English speakers cannot understand a deliberately writing new jokes that are just as
2. bad as the originals. for Shakespeare’s plays are never too long. They
Thus I cannot imagine a more thankless task only seem long because there are such long
than the one I undertook, first with Romeo and stretches that cannot be understood, or which
Juliet (where I restored the lightness and comedy are performed slowly by actors who are hoping to
of the first three acts, which is essential to make difficult language comprehensible.
understanding and appreciating the tragedy of There is also a tendency, because we no
the last two), and now with Taming of the Shrew. longer understand Shakespeare’s jokes, to play
Few will be the scholars and critics who approve comedic passages lugubriously — as in the
of what I’m doing. The purists will be outraged miserably botched Queen Mab speech in
at the very undertaking. Others will mourn the Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet or the same
jokes and jests that are “lost” and dislike the new director’s interminable and tedious wooing scene
ones I replaced them with. And many will find in his Taming of the Shrew. Thus what should
fault with the imperfections of my use of blank have been briskly performed becomes ponderous.
verse (though I ask that they remember that My production of Romeo and Juliet, virtually
Shakespeare’s numbers did not always turn out uncut from the original, took only a little more
exactly by the book, either). than two hours from beginning to end; many
Still others will imagine that my translation productions, heavily trimmed, take half again as
shows I didn’t understand the original — which, long.
to my view, would be irrelevant, if true, for that (Sometimes this is because of elaborate set
which is not easily understood on first hearing changes, which Shakespeare never allowed for;
does not work on the stage anyway. usually, though, it’s because actors don’t know
For you must keep in mind that my when they’re playing light comedy. Hamlet begs
adaptation is not intended for publication, but the players to speak trippingly — which means,
rather for production. This script is to be heard, not “stumblingly,” but “dancingly” — but most
not read; to be experienced as actors gallop modern actors insert endless pauses and
through a fast-moving live production on a stage, pointless histrionics, bad enough in the
in a room with imperfect acoustics and with all tragedies, but unbearable in the comic
the ordinary distractions of a play. passages.)
And those who decry my audacity in fiddling The result is that my adaptations can be
with the words of the greatest writer of dramatic played, in full, using less stage time than
literature in any age or language (for they will productions which have cut the script heavily.
cruelly point out what I already admit, that I am Who, then, is presenting a more accurate version
not the equal of the Bard) might remember that of what Shakespeare intended?
we already do far greater violence to Ay, there’s the rub — what did Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s original in almost every intend? We do not know; we cannot tell. The
production. For few directors choose to produce scripts we have, where they exist in multiple
Shakespeare’s scripts in their entirety. Instead editions, offer many differences — and even more
of translating passages of Shakespearean theories to explain them. Even the act and scene
language in order to preserve them, they simply divisions are probably not Shakespeare’s
cut them out. originals. So in a way, it is absurd to criticize my
(Not that I am above cutting. When adaptations for not being “faithful” to the holy
Shakespeare’s characters use florid references to writ; we don’t even know what the writer wrote,
then-well-known classical myths, which are or which variant is closest to what Shakespeare
almost completely unknown to modern meant to create.
audiences, I cannot replace them with allusions We have also lost much of the Shakespearean
that modern audiences will understand — since theatre experience because our theatrical
such allusions would inevitably be anachronistic. customs are now so different. Our audiences
So from time to time, I have cut out short arrive at a Shakespearean play, not usually to
classical references or replaced them with have fun or be entertained, but rather to pay
language that serves the same dramatic or comic homage to a cultural icon.
purpose without being the same type of figure.) Modern audiences have lost some of the fun
Not all the cutting that directors do is of part-doubling. Shakespeare’s audience would
because of frustration with incomprehensible know that the same actor played, say, Cordelia
language; they also cut because the play is “too and the Fool in King Lear, so that all the Fool’s
long.” This, I think, is the saddest thing of all, words can be heard ironically, and when
3. Cordelia dies, after not having been seen onstage have Sly, as Sly, insist on coming onstage to play
through most of the play, the audience grieves the Widow at the end (a doubling — or should we
because they have experienced the same actor in say tripling? — that was quite likely the original
a part where he (the Fool) shows the same intention, when you consider that it is Biondello
devotion mingled with harsh truth-telling that and not Grumio that is sent to test the wives in
Cordelia intended for her father. the last scene).
Likewise, since the female parts are now By writing additional speeches for Sly
played by women, we lose the ironic humor that throughout the play, I do not mean to imply that
comes from the audience’s awareness that boys these are the only interruptions Sly can make.
played all the girl parts — and thus their ready In Shakespeare’s day, the clown would have
acceptance of the believability of girls dressing taken many an opportunity to comment on the
up as men and vice versa. proceedings, like a rude audience member; while
In Taming of the Shrew in particular, we have a director (and the other actors!) will want to
completely lost the point of the Christopher Sly temper the improvisations of the clown to allow
sections of the play, which is why they are the play to proceed without being reduced to a
usually omitted entirely from modern shambles, there is still room for a talented comic
productions. What a loss! Because Christopher actor to improvise and delight an audience. And
Sly makes Taming of the Shrew the most ironic of it is perfectly all right for the actors playing the
Shakespeare’s plays, as Sly becomes a parody of Shrew play in front of Sly to occasionally break
audience bad behavior. character to show, with a facial expression, a
Elizabethan playwrights apparently had gesture, or a pointed movement (or stillness)
trouble with the clowns in their acting their fury at the “audience’s” (Sly’s) heckling.
companies. The clown achieved stardom by Wherever the crude Sly would be entertained
constantly interacting with the audience, ad — the wooing scene, the taming scenes, the
libbing in order to get whatever laughs he scenes of suspense or fury — he watches, silent;
thought were there to be had. The result was only where the play is in transition between
that scripts could be made mincemeat by the scenes or relaxing after a particularly intense
clowns who had to “out-herod Herod.” scene, would Sly make his comments. So as
So when Christopher Sly seems to be long as the clown is true to the character, his ad
pointless (two elaborate scenes at the beginning, libs are unlikely to disrupt the play, but will
one brief interlude soon after, and then Sly is rather enhance it.
never seen again) it is because we have forgotten Whatever the flaws you find in this script (or
who plays the part: The clown. in the undertaking of it), remember that it is not
Even if we allow for the clown changing intended to replace Shakespeare’s original — the
costumes and then portraying Grumio existence of this script does not erase any of the
throughout the rest of the play, there are many published versions dating from Elizabethan or
times when Grumio is not on stage and the Stuart England.
clown could change costumes, run to Sly’s The purpose is to present Taming of the Shrew
position, and then ad lib in a merciless parody of in a way that recovers, not the original text of
the bad behavior of audience members. Because Shakespeare’s play, but the original experience of
Sly is a lowclass drunk who is persuaded that he it — a fast-moving, instantly comprehensible,
is a lord, the clown can parody both groundlings pun- and bawdy-filled, ironic, self-parodying
and lordly audience members, making fun of the comedy with a legitimate moral lesson about the
audience in a way that the audience will enjoy. relationship between man and woman in
Sly is thus part of the fun throughout the entire marriage.
Where Shakespeare’s company would have TH IS IN TR O D U CTIO N AN D ALL N E W L A N G U AG E AN D ALTE R A TIO N S IN TH E TE X T O F
doubled Sly with Grumio, I have made Grumio
younger and offered the option of doubling the DE AR KIN K O 'S AN D O TH E R CO P Y SE R VIC E S : I, OR SO N SCO TT CA RD , H E R EB Y
part with Bartholomew, the page who plays Sly’s T H IS SC R IP T , PRO VIDE D THA T IT PRE SER VE S TH E INFO RM ATIO N TH AT I AM A U TH O R
wife. I have provided the option of ignoring that
doubling in order to double Sly with Grumio, as I
believe Shakespeare intended. My reason is
simply that I wanted to have more opportunities
to keep Sly visible as himself, heckling the play
from onstage. Instead of doubling with Grumio, I
4. The Taming of the Shrew
By William Shakespeare
As Translated and Updated by Orson Scott Card
Cast of Characters
Christopher Sly section
Sir Christopher Sly (clown — same actor as Widow)
Marian Hacket (hostess)
1 st huntsm an
2 nd huntsm an
players (members of cast of Shrew play)
servingman (no lines; any of 3 servants below)
1 st servant [may double as Nicholas/Nora]
2 nd servant [may double as Joseph/Mary]
3 rd servant [may double as Philip/Peggy]
Bartholom ew (page or apprentice who pretends to be Sly’s wife — same actor as Grumio))
m essenger
Baptista’s House
Katherina Minola
Bianca Minola
Baptista Minola
Hortensio/Licio (suitor; Licio when pretending to be music teacher)
Grem io (elderly suitor)
Servant (no lines; servant 3 from Sly section)
Officer (no lines; called in to arrest everyone; played by Lord)
Lucentio’s House
Lucentio/Cambio (handsome young m an of wealth; Cambio when tutoring Bianca)
Vincentio (Lucentio’s ancient father)
Tranio/False Lucentio (Lucentio’s servant; masquerades as Lucentio)
Biondello (Lucentio’s servant; helps Tranio with the impersonation)
Pedant/False Vincentio (an old teacher hired to act as Vincentio)
Widow (marries Hortensio — played by Christopher Sly)
Petruchio’s House
Grum io (his servant — same actor as Bartholomew)
Curtis (servant in Petruchio’s house)
Nathaniel (servant in Petruchio’s house)
Ellie [Peter] (servant in Petruchio’s house)
Nora [Nicholas] (servant in Petruchio’s house)
Mary [Joseph] (servant in Petruchio’s house)
Peggy [Philip] (servant in Petruchio’s House)
Bonnetm aker (played by Hostess)
Tailor (played by Lord)
5. Act I A putrid im position on the public.
SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath. How can a m an so far forget him self?
Enter Hostess and SLY HUNTSMAN 2
SLY I fear rem em bering would make him worse.
I'll sue you for this! I’m a custom er! LORD
HOSTESS W hat an excellent plan!
If you don’t pay for your drinks, you’re a thief! HUNTSMAN 2
SLY A plan? Of m ine?
That’s a slander! The Slys are no thieves! Huntsman 1 returns
Look in the histories! W e cam e with Richard the LORD
Conqueror! W hat if we carry him away and wash him?
I drink on credit and you must call me sir. Dress him in sweet clothing? Ring his fingers?
HOSTESS Bed him softly, servants to attend,
Well, sir, who’s paying for the glasses you broke? W ith a m ost delicious banquet when he wakes?
SLY W ouldn’t the beggar then forget him self?
Not a penny from m e! It’s not my fault! HUNTSMAN 2
Buy sturdier glasses or a softer floor! He would deny he was ever such a lum p.
Not only that, but your inn is too cold. HUNTSMAN 1
Send up something to warm my bed. He’d believe whatever we said he was.
That’s as close to a bed as you’ll get in this house! W e’d tell him his life before was but a dream.
I know m y remedy; I’ll fetch an officer. So take him up and m anage well the jest:
Exit Carry him gently to my fairest cham ber
SLY And hang it round with all m y wanton pictures:
Get a captain, an admiral, a sergeant for all I care. W ash his vomity head in warm water
I’ll get a lawyer! I’ll disturb his peace! And burn sweet wood to m ake the lodging sweet:
Let him come, I’ll not budge an inch. Procure m e m usic ready when he wakes,
Falls asleep. Horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, And speak to him subserviently, as:
with his retinue 'W hat is it your honor will comm and?'
LORD Let one attend him with a silver basin
Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds: Full of rose-water and bestrewn with flowers,
Bold M erriman has a nasty gash to tend, And say 'W ill't please your lordship cool your hands?'
And don’t put Clowder with W hiskey, lest they fight. Be ready with a costly suit of clothes —
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good My wife’s father had a few this size.
At the hedge-corner, when the trail was cold? HUNTSMAN 1
I would not lose that dog for twenty pounds. Should we tell him of his hounds and horses?
Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord; Yes!
He twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent: And his lady —
Trust me, I take him for the better dog. HUNTSMAN 2
LORD Lady?
Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fast, LORD
I’d value him as worth a dozen such. Mourns at his disease!
But feed them well and look unto them all: HUNTSMAN 1
To-morrow I intend to hunt again. W e’ll tell him that he lost his m ind awhile,
HUNTSMAN 1 And forgot that he’s a mighty lord.
I will, m y lord. LORD
Exit Give no hint to him that it’s a jest.
LORD The truer you seem, the longer and better the game.
What's here? Dead or drunk? Is he breathing? HUNTSMAN 1
HUNTSMAN 2 My lord, he’ll think, by our solem n diligence,
Breathing, my lord. W ere he not warm 'd with ale, He is no less than what we say he is.
This bed would be too cold to sleep so sound. LORD
LORD Then take him gently and to bed with him;
O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies! And each one to his duty when he wakes.
I’ve seen dead men prettier than this. Some bear out SLY. A trumpet sounds
HUNTSMAN 2 Sirrah, go see what trum pet 'tis that sounds:
And three days dead before they sm ell so bad. Exit Servingman
LORD Perhaps som e traveling gentleman, who means
No, no, I think the sm ell was on him sober. To sup and sleep at this public house tonight.
— 1 —
6. Re-enter Servingman And say 'W hat is it your honor will command,
How now! who is it? W herein your lady and your hum ble wife
SERVANT May show her duty and m ake known her love?'
Actors, if it please your honor, offering And have Bartholom ew shed tears of joy
Entertainm ent, if your lordship like. To see his — her lord restored to health,
LORD W ho for seven years has believed him self a beggar.
Bid them come near. And if the lad can’t show a wom an’s tears,
Enter Players Then bid him hide an onion in a napkin.
Now, fellows, you are welcome. Exit a Servingman
PLAYERS My page Bartholom ew as a gentlewom an —
We thank your honor. Calling the drunkard husband, weeping for joy —
LORD How long can m y m en restrain them selves from
Will you stay the night we me? Or at this inn? laughter?]
PLAYER 1 Enter Hostess with Officer
With your lordship, if you want a play. HOSTESS
LORD W here did the rascal go that drank my ale,
With all m y heart. This fellow I rem em ber, Broke my glasses, and insulted m e?
I saw you play a farm er's eldest son: LORD
The play where you woo'd the gentlewom an so well: Good wom an, instead of whipping or the stocks,
I’ve forgot your nam e, and the nam e of the play, but, Com e see the sport we m ake of him tonight!
sure, Good officer, come join our revels, too!
That goodman’s part was splendidly perform 'd. Exeunt
PLAYER 1 SCENE II. A bedcham ber in the Lord's house.
The play, I think, was ‘Farm er Goes a W ooing,” Enter aloft SLY, with Attendants; some with
And it does m e good to know I was remembered. apparel, others with basin and ewer and
LORD appurtenances; and Lord
Well, you are come to me in a happy tim e; SLY
I have some sport in hand that you can help me with. Have m ercy. A pot of ale will save m y life.
There is a lord would hear you play to-night. SERVANT 1
Don’t be distracted by his odd behavior, W ill it please your lordship drink a cup of wine?
For his lordship never saw a play before. SERVANT 2
PLAYER 1 W ill it please your honor taste of these preserves?
Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves, SERVANT 3
Though he were lunatic, and drunk besides. W hat clothing will your honor wear to-day?
[Use the following if the production uses the SLY
same actor to play Grumio and Bartholomew. I am Christophero Sly; call not m e 'honor' nor
LORD 'lordship:' I ne'er drank wine in m y life; and if you
And have you a boy who plays the wom en’s part? give m e any preserves, give m e preserves of beef:
I have a role for him within our jest. never ask me what clothing I'll wear; for I have no
PLAYER 1 m ore doublets than backs, no m ore stockings than
None to spare. Unless he plays two parts, legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes
Two costum es, changing back and forth. m ore feet than shoes, or shoes where the toes creep
Bartholom ew, apprentice of mine own, out the ends.
But skilled at wom en and at comic parts; LORD
He’ll play your jest between his scenes with us.] Alas, that his lordship has forgot that he’s
LORD A m an of noble fam ily, high esteem ,
Agreed! (to Servant 2) Now take them to the buttery, And great estate! — and for lo these seven years
And give them friendly welcome every one: Insists that he’s a stinking drunken beggar.
Let ’em want for nothing that my house affords. SLY
Exit Servant 2 with the Players W hat, am I not Christopher Sly, son of old Sly of
[Use the following speech if the production uses Burtonheath, by birth a pedlar, by education a
different actors for Grumio and Bartholomew: finger-counter, by bad luck for one terrifying day a
Sirrah, go to Bartholomew my page, bear baiter, and now by present trade a tinker? Ask
And get him dress'd up like the finest lady: Marian Hacket, the fat obnoxious hag of an ale-wife
Then lead her — him , I mean — to the drunkard's of Wincot, if she know m e not: if she say I am not
chamber; fourteen pence on the score for ale alone, not to
And call him 'madam ,' the drunkard’s lady wife. m ention a m atter of som e broken glasses, chalk me
He’ll have my thanks and more, if he does it well, up as the lyingest knave in Christendom .
With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy, SERVANT 3
Like the sweetest ladies to their noble lords, No wonder his loving lady weeps for him !
— 2 —
7. SERVANT 2 But did I never speak in all that tim e?
This is the m adness that makes his servants sad. SERVANT 1
LORD You spoke, but m adly. Here in this goodly chamber
It’s because of lunacy like this, my Lord, You spoke as if you’d been thrown out of a pub.!
That your kin refuse to visit anymore. SERVANT 2
O noble one, remember thy proud birth! You’d rail upon the hostess of the house,
Call home thy wandering wit from banishm ent! And swear that you would sue her in the courts
Look how thy servants do attend on thee, Because she wouldn’t sell you ale on credit.
Each in his office ready at thy call. SERVANT 3
SERVANT 1 And you broke your lady’s heart, for when she came
Dost thou want music? Apollo tunes his lyre. You called her Cicely Hacket, a kitchen slut!
Music SLY
SERVANT 2 Ay, the woman's m aid of the public house.
Or wilt thou sleep? Then here’s the softest bed. SERVANT 1
SERVANT 3 W hy, sir, there’s no such house nor no such m aid,
Say thou wilt walk; we cover the ground with roses. Nor no such men as you have reckon'd up,
SERVANT 1 As Stephen Sly, and John Naps of Greece,
Wilt thou ride? thy saddle is gold and pearl. And Peter Turph and Henry Pim pernell,
SERVANT 2 And twenty m ore such nam es and m en as these
Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar W hich never were nor no m an ever saw.
Above the morning lark, or wilt thou hunt? SLY
Thy hounds shall make the heavens answer them Now Lord be thanked that I am healed!
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth. ALL
SERVANT 3 Am en.
Say thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift Enter Bartholomew as a lady, with attendants
As mighty stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. BARTHOLOM EW
SERVANT 2 How fares m y noble lord?
Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight SLY
Adonis painted by a running brook, Better than I have in fifteen years.
So natural that thou wilt wipe his brow. W here is m y wife?
Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord: Here, noble lord: what is thy will with m e?
Thou hast a lady far more beautiful SLY
Than any wom an in this waning age. Are you m y wife and will not call m e husband?
SERVANT 1 My m en can call m e 'lord,' but I am your goodman.
She was the fairest creature in the world, BARTHOLOM EW
Until her face was marred by tears for thee. My husband and m y lord, m y lord and husband;
SERVANT 2 I am your wife in all obedience.
Just now, she practiced weeping as she dress’d. SLY
SERVANT 3 I know it well. What must I call her?
And still, no other lady matches her. LORD
SLY Madam .
Am I a lord? and have I such a lady? SLY
Or do I dream ? or have I dream 'd till now? Alice m adam , or Joan m adam ?
I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak; LORD
I smell sweet savors and I feel soft things: 'Madam ,' and nothing else: so lords call ladies.
Upon my life, I am a lord indeed SLY
And not a tinker nor Christophero Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream 'd
Well, bring our lady hither to our sight; And slept above some fifteen year or m ore.
And what I asked before — a pot of ale. BARTHOLOM EW
SERVANT 2 Ay, and the tim e seem s thirty unto me,
O, how we joy to see your wit restored! Being all this tim e abandon'd from your bed.
Once more remem bering what you really are! Poor thing! Servants, leave m e and her alone.
SERVANT 3 Madam , undress you and com e now to bed.
These fifteen years you have been in a dream. BARTHOLOM EW
SERVANT 2 Thrice noble lord, let m e entreat of you
Will it please your mightiness to wash your hands? To pardon m e yet for a night or two,
SLY Or, if not so, until the sun be set:
These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap. For your physicians have expressly charged,
— 3 —
8. In peril to incur your form er malady, From indigestion caused by too m uch sweets.
That I should yet absent me from your bed: LUCENTIO
I hope this reason stands for my excuse. Tranio, thou art wise. Let’s start at once,
SLY By taking lodgings fit to entertain
Ay, it stands so that I m ay hardly tarry so long. But I The wise and witty friends I m ean to make!
would be loath to fall into my dream s again: I will TRANIO
therefore tarry in despite of the flesh and the blood. But Biondello is to meet us here.
Enter Messenger LUCENTIO
MESSENGER And if we lose him now he’ll never be found.
Your honor's players, hearing you are well, Tedious boy, the slowest ever born.
Have come to play a pleasant comedy; But stay a while: what com pany is this?
For so your doctors hold it very meet. TRANIO
They say ’twas sadness that congeal'd your blood, Master, som e show to welcom e us to town.
And m elancholy was the nurse of frenzy: Enter BAPTISTA, KATHARINA, BIANCA,
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play GREMIO, and HORTENSIO. LUCENTIO and
And frame your m ind to mirth and merriment, TRANIO stand by
Which bars a thousand harm s and lengthens life. BAPTISTA
SLY Gentlem en, plead with m e no m ore!
Marry, I will, let them play it. Is it a com ondy, a You know how firm ly I’m resolved:
Christm as gam bold, or a tum bling-trick? I’ll not bestow m y younger daughter
BARTHOLOM EW Before I have a husband for the elder.
No, m y good lord; it is more pleasing stuff. If Katharina you desire to wed,
SLY Because I know you well, and love you well,
What, household stuff? I give you leave to court her at your pleasure.
It is a kind of history. [Aside] My peril, rather — she's too rough for me.
SLY Hortensio, isn’t this the wife you seek?
Well, let’s see it. Come, madam wife, sit by my side KATHARINA
and let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger. I pray you, sir, is it your will
Flourish To m ake a joke of m e am ongst these m ates?
SCENE I. Padua. A public place. No m ates for you, unless you learn to show
Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO A friendly sm ile and speak a gentle word.
All my life I dream ed of Padua, and now Fear not, I won’t enchant you with m y smile.
I’m here in the garden of Italy, nursery of art. I’ll comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool
Ah, Tranio, wasn’t my father good to me, And paint your face and use you like a fool.
Giving m e leave to come and m eans to stay? HORTENSIO
And sending with m e the trustiest of men, From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
No mere servant, Tranio — my friend. GREM IO
TRANIO And me too, good Lord!
You came to learn — what will your study be? TRANIO
LUCENTIO Master, look! A play that’s worth the penny.
No tedious quadrivium , be sure! That wench is stark mad or wonderfully rude.
I’ll study virtue and philosophy. LUCENTIO
TRANIO But in the sister’s silence do I see
Your father, born in Pisa, brought you up W om anly virtue and sobriety.
In Florence, where you studied everything. TRANIO
LUCENTIO W ell said, m aster; m um ! and gaze your fill.
Indoors, Tranio, with books and pedants. BAPTISTA
Florence was a puddle: here’s the sea! Gentlem en, that I m ay soon m ake good
TRANIO W hat I have said, Bianca, get you in
I’m glad that you continue your resolve And out of sight. Don’t pout, now, good Bianca,
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy. For I will love thee never the less, m y girl.
Only, good master, while we do adm ire KATHARINA
This virtue, let us not be stoics. A pretty pout! But where’s your tears? I’ll put
Test your logic with acquaintances, A finger in your eye, that brings ’em out!
And practice rhetoric in lively talk. BIANCA
Quicken life with poetry and music; Isn’t it enough m y life m ust wait
Take mathem atics and metaphysics as relief For you to wed? M ust you torm ent m e too?
— 4 —
9. Sir, to your pleasure hum bly I subscribe: GREM IO
My books and instrum ents shall be my company, I’d as soon take her dowry with this condition,
On them to look and practice by myself. To be whipped at the high cross every morning.
Ah, do you hear? The lark of virtue sings. Ay, there's small choice in rotten apples.
HORTENSIO But since this prohibition m akes us friends,
Sorry am I that our desire to woo Then let’s together help Baptista find
Should cause Bianca grief. A m erry husband for his eldest daughter.
Why mew her up, A deaf one, you m ean.
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell, HORTENSIO
And make her bear the penance of her tongue? Setting the younger free.
BAPTISTA Then we’ll be at each other’s throats again!
Gentlem en, I am resolved: Go in, Bianca: Sweet Bianca! Happy the m an who wins thee!
Exit BIANCA He that runs fastest gets the ring.
Confinem ent will not punish such as she. How say you, Signior Grem io?
She takes delight in music and in poetry, GREM IO
So she’ll have tutors for com panions, I agree.
Fit to teach these arts. Hortensio I would I had given the best horse in Padua
And Gremio, if you would be kind to her, To the m an who’ll thoroughly woo her, wed her, bed
Then find and recom m end me men of skill. her,
I’ll pay them well, for I am liberal And rid the house of her! Come on.
To those who help me raise my daughters well. Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO
And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay; TRANIO
For I have more to comm une with Bianca. I pray, sir, tell m e, is it possible
Exit That love should of a sudden take such hold?
Why, and I trust I m ay go too, may I not? O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
Shall I be appointed hours? “Today she’s on I never thought it possible or likely;
Display from noon to three; watch out, she spits But now in plainness I confess to thee,
Whenever she is gazed upon by twits.” Tranio: I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
Exit If I achieve not this young m odest girl.
GREM IO Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
No man is worthy of a wit so fine! Assist m e, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
Look at the queue of suitors at your gate! TRANIO
I fear, Hortensio, that we’ve a while to wait. Affection is not chided from the heart,
Yet for the love I bear my sweet Bianca, So I will chide you not, Lucentio.
I’ll find a man to teach what she delights in, There is no choice: When love enslaves a man,
And I’ll recom mend him to her father. He buys his freedom cheaply as he can.
We may again be rivals, when her hand Your counsel is sound, but it’s not m uch of a plan.
Is wooable. Till then, shall we be allies? TRANIO
GREMIO Master, you look'd so longingly on the m aid,
In what endeavor? Perhaps you m ark'd not what's the pith of all.
To get a husband for her sister. O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
A husband! a devil. Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
HORTENSIO Began to scold and raise up such a storm
I say, a husband. That m ortal ears m ight hardly endure the din?
I say, a devil. Her father may be rich, Tranio, I saw Bianca’s lips to m ove
Her dowry huge, her face well shaped, and yet And with her breath she did perfum e the air:
What m an is fool enough to marry hell? Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
Tush, Grem io. Though we’re too sensitive Nay, then, 'tis tim e to stir him from his trance.
To bear the lashing of the sister’s tongue, I pray, awake, sir: if you love the m aid,
Why, man, there be good fellows in the world, Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it
If we could only find one, who would take her stands:
With all her faults, and money enough. Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd
— 5 —
10. That till the father rid his hands of her, Or you stolen his? or both? W hat's the news?
Master, your love m ust live a maid at home. LUCENTIO
LUCENTIO Sirrah, com e hither: 'tis no time to jest,
Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he! And therefore frame your m anners to the time.
TRANIO Your fellow Tranio here, to save m y life,
But art thou not advised, he took som e care Puts m y apparel and my countenance on,
To get her cunning schoolm asters to instruct her? And I for m y escape have put on his;
LUCENTIO For in a quarrel since I cam e ashore
Lucky tutors, with her hours a day. I kill'd a m an and fear that I was seen.
TRANIO Be servant to him , so others are convinced,
And now 'tis plotted. W hile I m ake way from hence to save m y life:
LUCENTIO You understand me?
I have it, Tranio. BIONDELLO
TRANIO I, sir! Not a whit.
Both our inventions meet and jum p in one. LUCENTIO
LUCENTIO And not a jot of Tranio in your m outh:
Tell m e thine first. Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
You will be a tutor The better for him : would I were so too!
And undertake the teaching of the m aid: TRANIO
That's your device. [Aside] So could I, boy, to have the next wish after,
LUCENTIO That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest
It is: can it be done? daughter.
TRANIO Not for m y sake, but your m aster's, I advise:
Not possible; for who shall bear your part, Use your manners discreetly in all com panies:
And be in Padua here Vincentio's son, W hen we’re alone, why, then I’m Tranio;
Keep house, and ply his book, welcom e his friends, But in all places else, your m aster Lucentio.
Visit his countrymen and banquet them ? LUCENTIO
LUCENTIO And one thing m ore: When you’re Lucentio,
Basta; content thee, for I have it full. Make one am ong these wooers. Don’t ask me why.
We have not yet been seen in any house; Trust that m y reasons are both good and weighty.
And solely by our faces, who would know Exeunt. Lights up on the company with Sly
The servant from the master? SERVANT 1
TRANIO My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
Do you think? SLY
LUCENTIO Yes, by Saint Anne, I do. A good story! Comes there any more of it?
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in m y stead, SERVANT 2
Keep house and port and servants as I should: My lord, 'tis but begun.
I’ll be a sonnetizing Florentine. SLY
'Tis hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once 'Tis a very excellent piece of work. I’m eager for it to be done.
Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak: They sit and watch
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee; SCENE II. Padua. Before HORTENSIO'S house.
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue. Enter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIO
You must — he bridles it for no one else. Verona, for a while I take my leave,
Your father charged me at our parting to obey, To see m y friends in Padua, but of all
'Be serviceable to my son,' quoth he, My best beloved and approved friend,
Although I think 'twas in another sense; Hortensio; and this m ust be his house.
I am content to be Lucentio, Here, sirrah Grum io; knock, I say.
Because so well I love Lucentio. GRUMIO
LUCENTIO Knock, sir! whom should I knock? Is there man has
Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves: rebused you?
And let m e be a slave, to achieve that m aid PETRUCHIO
Whose sudden sight enthralled my wounded eye. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
Here comes the rogue. GRUMIO
Enter BIONDELLO Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that I
Sirrah, where have you been? should knock you here, sir?
Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you? Villain, I say, knock m e at this gate
Master, has m y fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.
— 6 —
11. I want no fight with you! If I knock first, She cannot dull affection’s edge in m e.
You’ll knock me second, and by far the worst! I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
PETRUCHIO If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
If you'll not knock, I'll try my hand at ringing — GRUMIO
I’ll soon have you dancing here, and singing! Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his m ind is:
He stomps on Grumio’s foot and wrings him by W hy, give him gold enough, and m arry him to a
the ears. puppet or a button, or an old nag with never a tooth
GRUMIO in her head, though she have as many diseases as
Help, masters, help! my master is mad. two and fifty horses: why, nothing com es am iss, so
PETRUCHIO m oney com es withal.
Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain! HORTENSIO
Enter HORTENSIO Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
HORTENSIO I will continue what I broach'd in jest.
How now! what's the m atter? My old friend Grum io! I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
and m y good friend Petruchio! How do you all at W ith wealth enough and young and beauteous,
Verona? Brought up as best becom es a gentlewoman:
PETRUCHIO Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray? Is that she is intolerable. Curst
'Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato,' may I say. And shrewish and froward, so beyond all measure
HORTENSIO That, were m y state far worser than it is,
'Alla nostra casa ben venuto, molto honorato signor I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
mio Petruchio.' Rise, Grum io, rise: we will compound PETRUCHIO
this quarrel. Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect:
GRUMIO Tell m e her father's nam e and 'tis enough;
Don’t believe a word of what he says in Latin! If this For I will board her, though she chide as loud
be not a lawful case for me to leave his service, look As thunder when the clouds in autum n crack.
you, sir, he bid m e knock him and rap him soundly, HORTENSIO
sir: Well, was it fit for a servant to use his master so? Her father is Baptista M inola,
PETRUCHIO An affable and courteous gentleman:
A senseless villain! Good Hortensio, Her nam e is Katharina M inola,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
And could not get him for m y heart to do it. PETRUCHIO
GRUMIO I’ve m et her father, though I know not her;
Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spoke you not these And he knew m y deceased father well.
words plain, 'Sirrah, knock me here, rap me here, I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
knock me well, and knock me soundly'? And come And therefore let m e be thus bold with you
you now with, 'knocking at the gate'? To give you over at this first encounter,
PETRUCHIO Unless you will accom pany m e thither.
So he defends his disobedience GRUMIO
By claim ing to be stupid. Both offenses I pray you, sir, let him go while the m ood lasts. On
Merit a beating, or tight trousers. m y word, if she knew him as well as I do, she would
HORTENSIO think scolding would do little good upon him: she
He’s always been this way, Petruchio. m ay perhaps call him half a score knaves or so: why,
So tell m e now, sweet friend, what happy gale that's nothing. Once he begins railing, he’ll rail a
Blows you to Padua here from old Verona? fence around her. I'll tell you what sir, if she rag him
PETRUCHIO but a little, he’ll soon have her all in rags. From
The wind that scatters young men through the world, raging to raggedy, from shrew to shreds, all in a half-
To test our luck on unfamiliar ground. dozen snipping sentences, till she’s unseamed and
Antonio, m y father, is deceased; unseem ly, naked for lack of answers. You know him
And I have thrust m yself into this maze, not, sir.
Hoping to wive and thrive as best I may. HORTENSIO
HORTENSIO W ell then, Petruchio, I m ust go with thee,
Petruchio, what kind of friend am I, For in Baptista's keep m y treasure is:
To offer thee a shrewish, quarrelsome wife? He has the jewel of m y life in hold,
And yet she’s rich. But I’m too good a friend. His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca.
PETRUCHIO Supposing it a thing im possible
Hortensio, such friends as we m ay speak That ever Katharina will be woo'd;
With perfect candor. Therefore, if thou know Baptista has sworn that none shall see Bianca
One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife, Till Katharina the curst have got a husband.
Be she old or harsh or ugly as a stum p, GRUMIO
— 7 —
12. Katharina the curst! A title for a maid of all titles the W ill undertake to woo curst Katharina —
worst. Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
But what Baptista does allow is tutors. A m an can say m uch and do little.
Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace, Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?
And offer me disguised in sober robes PETRUCHIO
To old Baptista as a schoolm aster, I know she is an irksome brawling scold:
Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca; If that be all, m asters, I hear no harm .
By this device I’ll see her every day, GREM IO
And unsuspected court her by herself. I’ve m et m y dearest friend. W here are you from?
If they made such plots to get a man’s money, they’d Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
be hanged for thieves. But to get his daughter, My father dead, his fortune lives for m e;
honest young gentlemen defraud a man — so they I m ean to marry it up, so when I’m done,
can call him father! I’ll live my span of years m ost prosperously.
Enter GREMIO, and LUCENTIO disguised GREM IO
HORTENSIO The shortest life, with such a wife, seem s long.
Peace, Grum io! There is the rival of my love. But if you have the stom ach for it, m an,
GRUMIO I’ll stand behind you. W ill you woo this wild-cat?
Which? The rich old m an or the poor but young? PETRUCHIO
GREM IO W ill I live?
I’ve armed you now with books of love in rhym es. GRUMIO
See you read no other lectures to her — W oo her? ay, or I'll hang her.
Except to speak the nam e of Grem io. PETRUCHIO
Besides Signior Baptista’s generous wage, Think you a little din can daunt m ine ears?
I'll pay you well. Oh, take your paper too, Have I not in m y tim e heard lions roar?
And let m e have it very well perfum ed, Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds
For she is sweeter than perfum e itself Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
To whom they go to. What will you read to her? Have I not heard great cannons in the field,
LUCENTIO And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
Whatever I read to her, I'll plead for you. Have I not in a pitched battle heard
I’ll let the finest poets speak your love Harsh scream s, neighing steeds, and trumpets'
For they have art that melts a lady’s heart. clang?
GREM IO And do you tell m e of a wom an's tongue,
O this learning, what a thing it is! That gives not half so great a blow to hear
GRUMIO As will a chestnut in a farm er's fire?
O this woodcock, what an ass it is! Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
Peace, sirrah! For he fears none.
God save you, Signior Grem io. This gentlem an is happily arrived,
GREM IO My m ind presum es, for his own good and ours.
And you are well m et, Signior Hortensio. HORTENSIO
By good fortune I have lighted well I prom ised we would be contributors
On this young man, for learning and behavior And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
Fit for her turn, well read in poetry GREM IO
And other books — good ones, I prom ise you. And so we will, provided that he win her.
Good for you! And you’ll be glad to know I would I were as sure of a good dinner.
I’ve found a fine m usician for our mistress. Enter TRANIO in gentleman’s dress, and
So shall I be no whit behind in duty BIONDELLO
To fair Bianca, so beloved of me. TRANIO
GREM IO Gentlem en, God save you. If I m ay be bold,
Beloved of me; and that my deeds shall prove. Tell m e, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
GRUMIO To the house of Signior Baptista M inola?
Only in his dreams will he find love. BIONDELLO
HORTENSIO He that has the two fair daughters: is that the one
Grem io, 'tis now no tim e for rivalry. you m ean, m aster?
I have news that’s good for both of us. TRANIO
This gentlem an, with our encouragem ent, Even he, Biondello.
— 8 —
13. GREM IO Then you’re the benefactor of us all.
Hark you, sir; you have not come to woo! HORTENSIO
TRANIO So will you join with us, and pay your share
Perhaps I have, or not. What’s it to you? Of the cost of Petruchio’s wooing?
Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray. You’ll see m y gratitude, Petruchio.
TRANIO And let the three of you, this afternoon,
I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's away. Come visit m e and drink to our m istress’s health,
LUCENTIO And do as adversaries do in law:
[Aside to Tranio] Well begun, Tranio. Strive m ightily, but eat and drink as friends.
Sir, before you go; O excellent m otion!
Are you a suitor to the m aid you talk of, yes or no? BIONDELLO
TRANIO W hat are we waiting for!
And if I be, sir, is it any offence? HORTENSIO
GREM IO The m otion's good indeed and be it so.
No; if without more words you will get you hence. But first, Petruchio, come with m e,
TRANIO And with Baptista I will sponsor you.
Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free Exeunt
For me as for you? ACT II
GREM IO SCENE I. Padua. A room in BAPTISTA'S house.
But so is not she. Enter KATHARINA and BIANCA.
For what reason, I beseech you? Good sister, wrong m e not, nor wrong yourself,
GREM IO To m ake a bondmaid and a slave of m e;
For this reason, if you'll know, If you dislike the baubles that I wear,
That she's the love of Signior Grem io. Unbind m y hands, I'll pull them off myself,
HORTENSIO Yea, all m y raiment, to m y petticoat;
That she's the chosen of Hortensio. Or what you will comm and m e will I do,
TRANIO So well I know m y duty to m y elders.
Fair Helen of Troy had a thousand wooers; KATHARINA
Sweet Bianca surely merits three, Of all thy suitors, here I charge thee, tell
And I, Lucentio, shall make the third. W hom thou lovest best: see thou dissem ble not.
Or do you claim she has not beauty enough BIANCA
To win three hearts? Is that your word? Believe m e, sister, of all the m en alive
GREM IO I never yet beheld that special face
What! this gentlem an will out-talk us all. W hich I could fancy m ore than any other.
Sir, let him talk. Fear not his empty boast. Minion, thou liest. Is it not Hortensio?
Bianca’s stable has too m any m ounts. If you wish for him , sister, here I swear
My Katharina’s has but one to ride. I'll plead for you m yself, for you should have him.
Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter? Oh, now I see, you fancy riches more:
TRANIO You will have Grem io to keep you fair.
No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two, BIANCA
The one as fam ous for a scolding tongue Is it for him that you resent m e so?
As is the other for beauteous modesty. Nay then you jest, and now I well perceive
PETRUCHIO You have but jested with m e all this while:
Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by. I prithee, sister Kate, untie m y hands.
Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules. They pine for love of her who m ocks at them.
PETRUCHIO They’re all a jest to thee, but know it not
Sir, understand you this of me in sooth: Because thy smiles are liars, while I, who show
The youngest daughter whom you hearken for The feelings thou concealest, bear their scorn!
Her father keeps from all access of suitors, Strikes her. Enter BAPTISTA
And will not promise her to any man BAPTISTA
Until the elder sister first be wed: W hy, how now, dame! whence grows this insolence?
The younger then is free and not before. Bianca, stand aside. Poor girl! she weeps.
TRANIO Go ply thy needle; m eddle not with her.
— 9 —
14. For sham e, thou spawn of a devilish spirit, But for m y daughter Katharina, this I know,
Why harm a child who does no harm to thee? She’s not the one you want, the m ore m y grief.
When did she cross thee with a bitter word? PETRUCHIO
KATHARINA I see you do not mean to part with her,
Her silence mocks m e, and I'll be revenged. Or else you like not of m y company.
BAPTISTA Mistake me not; I speak but as I find.
What, in my sight? Bianca, get thee in. W here are you from , sir? what m ay I call you?
KATHARINA Petruchio of Verona, Antonio's son,
You bear me, Father, but you never hear me. A m an well known throughout all Italy.
She is your treasure, she m ust have a husband; BAPTISTA
I must dance barefoot on her wedding day I know him well: you are welcome for his sake.
And for your love to her lead apes in hell. GREM IO
BAPTISTA Saving your tale, Petruchio, I pray,
I have decreed that you shall marry first! Let us, that are poor petitioners, speak too:
What m ore can a father do — Baccare! you are m arvellous forward.
Talk not to me: I believe in getting to the point.
I’ll shed my tears alone, since no one hears, GREM IO
Nor tells the world of any good in m e. I doubt it not, but you will curse your wooing.
Exit Neighbour, this is a fine gift, I’m sure,
BAPTISTA W hich you must pay for with a daily wage.
Was ever gentleman thus grieved as I? I, on the other hand, freely give you
But who comes here? This young scholar,
Enter GREMIO, LUCENTIO in the habit of a Presenting LUCENTIO
mean man; PETRUCHIO, with HORTENSIO as a cunning in Latin, Greek,
musician; and TRANIO, with BIONDELLO Music and m athem atics: his nam e is Cambio.
bearing a lute and books BAPTISTA
GREM IO A thousand thanks, Signior Grem io.
Good m orrow, neighbour Baptista. W elcome, good Cam bio.
Good m orrow, neighbour Grem io. But, gentle sir, I believe I know you not.
God save you, gentlemen! May I be so bold to know the cause of your coming?
And you, good sir! Pray, have you not a daughter Pardon me, sir, the boldness is m ine own,
Call'd Katharina, fair and virtuous? That, being a stranger in this city here,
BAPTISTA Do m ake m yself a suitor to your daughter,
I have a daughter, sir, called Katharina. Unto Bianca, fair and virtuous.
GREM IO Nor is your firm resolve unknown to me,
You are too blunt: go to it orderly. In the preferment of the eldest sister.
PETRUCHIO This liberty is all that I request,
You wrong me, Signior Gremio: give me leave. That, upon knowledge of m y parentage,
I am a gentlem an of Verona, sir, I m ay have welcome am ongst the rest that woo.
That, hearing of her beauty and her wit, And, toward the education of your daughters,
Her affability and bashful modesty, I here bestow a simple instrum ent,
Her wondrous qualities and mild behavior, And this small packet of Greek and Latin books:
Am bold to show myself a forward guest If you accept them , then their worth is great.
Within your house, to m ake mine eye the witness BAPTISTA
Of that report which I so oft have heard. Lucentio is your nam e; where from I pray?
And, for an entrance to my entertainm ent, TRANIO
I do present you with a m an of mine, Of Pisa, sir; son to Vincentio.
Cunning in m usic and the mathematics, A m ighty m an of Pisa; by report
To instruct her fully in those sciences, I know him well: you are very welcom e, sir,
Whereof I know she is not ignorant: Take you the lute, and you the set of books;
Accept of him, or else you do m e wrong: You shall go see your pupils presently.
His name is Licio, born in M antua. [LEE-chee-oh] Holla, within!
BAPTISTA Enter a Servant
You're welcome, sir; and he, for your good sake. Sirrah, lead these gentlem en
— 10 —
15. To my daughters; and tell them both, And through the instrum ent m y pate m ade way;
These are their tutors: bid them use them well. And there I stood amazed for a while,
Exit Servant, with LUCENTIO and HORTENSIO, As on a pillory, looking through the lute;
BIONDELLO after W hile she did call m e rascal fiddler
We will go walk a little in the orchard, And twangling Jack; with twenty such vile terms,
And then to dinner. You all are welcome. As if she’d studied to m isuse m e so.
Signior Baptista, business presses me, Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench;
And every day I cannot come to woo. I love her ten tim es m ore than I did before:
You knew m y father well, and in him me, O, how I long to have som e chat with her!
Left solely heir to all his lands and goods, BAPTISTA
Which I have better'd rather than decreased: Proceed in practise with m y younger daughter;
Then tell me, if I get your daughter's love, She's apt to learn and thankful for good turns.
What dowry shall I have with her to wife? Signior Petruchio, will you go with us,
BAPTISTA Or shall I send m y daughter Kate to you?
After I die, one half; and at the wedding, PETRUCHIO
Cash in hand, som e twenty thousand crowns. I pray you send her.
And, for that dowry, I'll secure her wealth PETRUCHIO
In widowhood, if she survive me. I’ll attend her here,
Let papers be therefore drawn between us, And woo her with som e spirit when she com es.
That covenants may be kept on either hand. Say that she rail; why then I'll tell her plain
BAPTISTA She sings as sweetly as a nightingale:
Ay, when the special thing is well obtain'd, Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear
That is, her love; for that is all in all. As m orning roses newly wash'd with dew:
PETRUCHIO Say she be m ute and will not speak a word;
Why, that is nothing: for I tell you, Father, Then I'll comm end her volubility,
I am as perem ptory as she’s proud-m inded; And say she utters piercing eloquence:
And where two raging fires meet together If she should bid m e pack, I'll give her thanks,
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury: As though she bid m e stay by her a week:
Though little fire grows great with little wind, If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day
Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all: W hen I shall ask the banns and when be married.
So I to her and so she yields to me; Enter KATHARINA
For I am rough and woo not like a babe. Good m orrow, Cake; for that's your nam e, I hear.
Well mayst thou woo, and happy be thy speed! W ell have you heard, but something hard of hearing:
But be thou arm 'd for som e unhappy words. They call m e Katharina that do talk of m e.
Ay, to the proof; as m ountains are for winds, You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate,
That shake not, though they blow perpetually. And bonny Kate and som etimes Kate the curst;
Re-enter HORTENSIO, with his head broke But Cake, the prettiest Cake in Christendom
BAPTISTA Cake of Cake Hall, m y super-dainty Cake,
How now, my friend! why dost thou look so pale? For dainties are all Cakes, and therefore, Cake,
HORTENSIO Take this of m e, Cake of m y consolation;
For fear, I promise you, if I look pale. Hearing thy m ildness praised in every town,
BAPTISTA Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
What, will my daughter prove a good musician? My heart was stirred to woo thee for m y wife.
I think she'll sooner prove a soldier Stirred! Let the cook that stirred this gruel
Iron may hold with her, but never lutes. Serve it to beggars, or pour it on the floor.
Then canst thou not break her to the lute? You’d pour m e out untasted? And let m y love be
Why, no; for she hath broke the lute to me. Resist m e not, m y piece de resistance!
I did but tell her she mistook her frets, KATHARINA
And bow'd her hand to teach her fingering; I am no piece for thee!
When, with a m ost impatient devilish spirit, PETRUCHIO
'Frets, call you these?' quoth she; 'I'll fum e with And without thee I have no peace!
them:' I seethe, I boil, I bake for love of thee!
And, with that word, she struck me on the head, KATHARINA
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16. What cook would roast m e up a dish so foul? Good Kate; I am a gentleman.
What, I, a fowl? You call me a goose? That I'll test!
KATHARINA She strikes him
A turkey, rather! PETRUCHIO
She swings at him; he ducks. I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again.
Better yet, a duck. A cuff of lace, and a lacy ruff —
I am thy feast, a table spread for thee! Are you a m an or an old maid’s curtain?
More like a one-legged milking stool. I’d gladly be the lacy dressing gown
PETRUCHIO That covers you prettily after your bath.
Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me. KATHARINA
KATHARINA You’ll tat no lace that touches me.
Asses are made to bear, and so are you. PETRUCHIO
PETRUCHIO That’s fair.
Women are made to bear, and so are you. KATHARINA
KATHARINA W hat’s fair?
I’ll bear no burden given me by you. PETRUCHIO
PETRUCHIO W hy, tit for tat, as everyone knows.
I’ll carry every burden for my love, Nay, com e, Kate, com e; you m ust not look so sour.
And thus your days with me will all be light. KATHARINA
KATHARINA It is my fashion, when I see a slug.
Any day with you is dark as night. PETRUCHIO
PETRUCHIO I m ake no fist, and therefore there’s no slug.
I’ll make my love light-hearted in the dark. KATHARINA
KATHARINA A slug that leaves a trail of slim e.
In faith, m y heart’s too light for you to catch. PETRUCHIO
PETRUCHIO Show it to me.
I’ll have the whole of you as my holy match. KATHARINA
KATHARINA Had I a glass, I would.
Whole or part, I’ll m ake no match with thee. PETRUCHIO
PETRUCHIO I’ll be a snail, to share a house with thee.
Thou art the m atch that lit a fire in m e. KATHARINA
KATHARINA A louse’s house is not for m e.
That light in you is madness, not from me! PETRUCHIO
Though I’m as heavy as my weight should be. Your blouse, sweet m ouse, is m y treasure house.
Should be! should — buzz! Nothing in this house belongs to you.
Well taken, and like a buzzard. Until you sweetly whisper m e, “I do.”
Come, come, you wasp; in faith, you are too angry. I’d rather a knacker melt m e down for glue.
If I be waspish, best beware m y sting. The words I hoped to hear! She m elts for me!
My rem edy is, then, to pluck it out. I’d better go before you get too sticky.
Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies, My sticky bun, you won’t escape m e so!
Who knows not where a wasp must I’ll stick you in the eye! So let m e go!
Wear his sting? In his tail. PETRUCHIO
KATHARINA I’ll never let you go, my sweetm eat.
In his tongue. 'Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
PETRUCHIO And now I find report a very liar;
Whose tongue? For thou art pleasant, gam esom e, passing courteous,
KATHARINA But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell. Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
PETRUCHIO Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, com e again, Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
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17. But thou with mildness entertain'st thy wooers, Hark, Petruchio; she says she'll see thee hang'd first.
With gentle conference, soft and affable. TRANIO
Why does the world report that Kate doth lim p? Is this your fair faring? Good night our part!
O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel-twig PETRUCHIO
Is straight and slender and as brown in hue Be patient, gentlem en; I choose her for myself:
As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels. If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?
O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt. W e bargain'd between us, being alone,
KATHARINA That she’ll be rude to m e in company.
Where did you study all this goodly speech? I tell you, 'tis incredible to believe
PETRUCHIO How m uch she loves m e: O, the kindest Kate!
It is extem pore, from my mother-wit. She hung about m y neck; and kiss on kiss
KATHARINA She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
A witty m other! witless else her son. That in a twink she won me to her love.
PETRUCHIO You’re novices, to be so taken in
Am I not wise? By a fair m aid’s pantom im e of fishwifery.
KATHARINA Give m e thy hand, Kate: I will unto Venice,
Yes; keep you warm . To buy apparel for the wedding-day.
PETRUCHIO Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests;
Marry, so I m ean, sweet Katharina, in thy bed: Katharina is the wife that I have longed for,
And therefore, setting all this chat aside, And she has saved her lovely self for m e.
Thus in plain terms: your father has consented BAPTISTA
That you shall be m y wife; your dowry agreed on; I know not what to say: but give m e your hands;
And, will you, nil you, I will marry you. God send you joy, Petruchio! 'tis a m atch.
You see, Kate, I’m a husband for your turn; GREM IO
For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty, They are betrothed!
Thou m ust be married to no man but me; TRANIO
For I am he that’s born to tam e you, Cat, W e are the witnesses.
And bring you from a wild cat to a Cat GREM IO
Conform able as other household Cats. W ith honor pledged, these oaths cannot be broken.
Here comes your father: never make denial; PETRUCHIO
I must and will have Katharina to my wife. Father, and wife, and gentlemen, adieu;
SLY I will to Venice; Sunday comes apace:
Did you hear him talk of cats? That’s a pun on her name! Kate and cat! W e will have rings and things and fine array;
Did you get that? And kiss m e, Kate, we will be m arried on Sunday.
Petruchio starts menacingly toward Sly SLY
Re-enter BAPTISTA, GREMIO, and TRANIO That’s a kiss! That’s love! That’s mastery! How do you like that, you
BAPTISTA scolding wench!
Now, Signior Petruchio, how fare you with m y Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATHARINA severally
daughter? GREM IO
PETRUCHIO W as ever m atch clapp'd up so suddenly?
With one so fair, how could I fare but fairly? BAPTISTA
BAPTISTA I’m like a m erchant who has suddenly sold
Why, how now, daughter Katharina! in the dum ps? An item that he’d thought to own for life.
How dare you call me daughter! It was a perishable comm odity.
You have shown a tender fatherly regard, You found a buyer while it still was fresh.
To wish m e wed to this half-lunatic! BAPTISTA
I thought my sister’s suitors were buffoons, She disbelieves it, but I love her dearly;
But they were Solom ons com pared to this! If he can teach her how to be content,
PETRUCHIO Then she, and I, and he will all be blessed.
Father, 'tis thus: yourself and all the world, GREM IO
That talk'd of her, have talk'd am iss of her: Blessings enough for everyone, m y friend!
If she seems shrewish, it’s by clever plan, So now, Baptista, to your younger daughter:
To test the faithfulness of men’s desire. Now is the day we long have looked for:
For she's not quarrelsome, but modest as the dove. I am your neighbour, and was suitor first.
She is not hot, but temperate as the morn. BAPTISTA
And, to conclude, we’ve agreed so well together, W here is your longtim e rival, Hortensio?
That upon Sunday is the wedding-day. GREM IO
KATHARINA I am here for love, and he is not.
I'll see thee hang'd on Sunday first. TRANIO
GREM IO And I am one that loves Bianca m ore
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