The Taming of the Shrew

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#1/Background/Act 1, Scene 1.1

Lucentio is pontificating to his servant, Tranio, as the
play opens.  The two of them have arrived
in “fair Padua, nursery of liberal arts, the pleasant garden of great
Italy.”  Lucentio was born in Pisa,
brought up in Florence and is the son of Vincentio, a “merchant trading
extensively through the world.”  Lucentio
tells Tranio that he “will study that part of philosophy that deals with the
happiness achieved through virtue.”  A
less than convinced Tranio responds, saying “while we do admire this virtue and
moral discipline, let’s be not be stoics nor unfeeling people.  Let mathematics and metaphysics fall as you
find they serve you.”  Lucentio says
“Thanks, Tranio, well dost thou advise.”
Baptista, his two daughters Katherine and Bianca, along with Gremio and
Hortensio, both suitors to Bianca, enter.
Lucentio and Tranio step aside.
Baptista speaks directly to Gremio and Hortensio, saying “Gentlemen, I
firmly am resolved you know; that is, not to bestow my youngest daughter before
I have a husband for the elder.”
Katherine is the elder.  Katherine
makes some outspoken comments. Aside to Lucentio, Tranio says “That wench is
stark mad or ungovernable.”  Aside to
Tranio, Lucentio says “But in the other’s silence do I see maid’s mild behavior
and sobriety.”  Baptista says “Bianca,
get you in, and let it not displease thee.”
Bianca replies “Sir, my books and instruments shall be my company; on
them to look and practice by myself.”
Bianca exits.  Baptista says “I
know she taketh most delight in music, instruments, and poetry.  Schoolmasters will I keep within my house fit
to instruct her youth.”  Baptista tells
Gremio to let him know if he knows of any good schoolmasters.  Baptista and Katherine exit.  Gremio tells Hortensio that “if I can find a
fit man to teach her, I will wish him to her father.”  Hortensio says “It toucheth us both to effect
one thing specially.”  Gremio asks
“What’s that.”  Hortensio says “Marry,
sir, to get a husband for her sister.
There be good fellows in the world would take her with all faults, and
money enough.”  The two of them agree
that if they can find a husband for Katherine, then they would “set his
youngest free for a husband.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#2/Disguise/Act 1, Scene 1.2

Gremio and Hortensio exit.  Tranio and Lucentio remain on stage.  Lucentio lets Tranio know that he is in love.
Tranio says “Is it possible that love should of a sudden take such hold?”  Lucentio says “Tranio, I burn, I perish.  Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou
wilt.”  Tranio says “Master, you looked
so longingly on the maid; perhaps you did not notice the essence of all.”  Lucentio cries “O yes, I saw sweet beauty in
her face.  I saw her coral lips to move,
and with her breath she did perfume the air. Sacred and sweet was all I saw in
her.”  Tranio says that he has an idea.  He tells him “You will be schoolmaster and
undertake the teaching of the maid.”
Lucentio snaps “May it be done?”
Tranio says “Not possible.  For
who shall bear your part and be Vincentio’s son here in Padua, keep house,
welcome his friends”  Lucentio counters,
saying “Then it follows thus: thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead, keep
house, and style, and servants, as I should.
Take my colored hat and cloak.”
They exchange clothes.  Tranio
says “In brief, sir, I am content to be Lucentio.”  Lucentio’s second servant, Biondello, enters
and cries “Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes?  Or have you stolen his?  What’s the news?”   Lucentio says “Sirrah, come hither.  Tranio here, to save my life, puts my apparel
and my appearance on, for in a quarrel since I came ashore I killed a man and
fear I was identified.  You understand
me?”  Aside, Biondello says “Ne’er a
whit.”  Tranio says “I advise you use
your manners discreetly in all kind of companies.  When I am alone, why then I am Tranio; but in
all places else, your master Lucentio.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#3/Introductions/Act 1, Scene 2.1

Petruchio and his servant Grumio arrive in Padua.  Petruchio says “Verona, for a while I take my
leave to see my friends in Padua, but of all my best beloved and approved
friend, Hortensio.”  They greet Hortensio
at his home.  Hortensio asks “Tell me
now, good friend, what happy gale blows you to Padua here from old
Verona?”  Petruchio tells him “Antonio,
my father, is deceased.  Coins in my
purse I have and goods at home, and so am come to see the world.”  Hortensio tells him “Petruchio, shall I wish
thee to a shrewd bad-tempered wife?  Yet
I’ll promise thee she shall be rich, and very rich.”  Petruchio says that a woman with that
description sounds fine to him.
Hortensio tells him “I can help thee to a wife with wealth enough, and
young and beauteous.  Her only fault is
that she is intolerable curst, shrewish and perverse.”  Petruchio says “Tell me her father’s name,
and ‘tis enough.”  Hortensio says “Her
father is Baptista Minola; her name is Katherina Minola.  Petruchio says “I know her father, and he
knew my deceased father well.  I will not
sleep, Hortensio, till I see her.”
Hortensio tells him “Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee, for he hath
the jewel of my life in hold, his youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca.”  He tells him that Baptista’s order is “that
none shall have access unto Bianca till Katherine the curst have got a
husband.”  Picking up on the opportunity
presented, Hortensio says “Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace and offer
me disguised in sober robes to old Baptista as a schoolmaster well seen in
music, to instruct Bianca, that so I may have leave to make love to her and
unsuspected court her by herself.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#4/Competition/Act 1, Scene 2.2

Lucentio enters disguised as Cambio, a schoolmaster.  Gremio is with him.  Petruchio, Hortensio and Grumio are on stage,
but stand aside, Hortensio having said “Quiet, Grumio, it is the rival of my
love.”  Grumio is one of Petruchio’s
servants.  Gremio says to Lucentio “Hark
you, sir.  I’ll have them very fairly
bound, all books of love.  What will you
read to her?”  Lucentio as Cambio says
“Whate’er I read to her, I’ll plead for you as for my patron.”  Hortensio comes forward.  Gremio says “Signior Hortensio. I am going to
Baptista Minola, having promised to enquire carefully about a schoolmaster for
Bianca, and by good fortune I have lighted well on this young man, well read in
poetry.”  Hortensio says “’Tis well.  I have met a gentleman, a fine musician to
instruct our mistress.”  Hortensio
presents Petruchio, and says “Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met and will
undertake to woo curst Katherine, yea, and to marry her, if her dowry
please.”  Gremio says “Hortensio, have
you told him all her faults?”  Petruchio
interrupts, saying “I hear no harm.”
Gremio asks “What countryman?”
Petruchio replies “Born in Verona, old Antonio’s son.  My father dead, my fortune lives for
me.”  He goes on to say “Think you a
little noise can daunt mine ears?  Have I
not in my time heard lions roar; have I not heard ordinance in the field?”  Gremio cries “Hortensio, hark.  This gentleman is happily arrived.”  Tranio enters disguised as Lucentio.  Biondello is with him.  Tranio disguised as Lucentio asks “Tell me, I
beseech you, which is the readiest way to the house of Signior Baptista Minola,
he with two fair daughters?”  Petruchio
asks “Not her that chides, I pray.”
Tranio as Lucentio says “I love no chiders, sir.”  Hortensio asks “Are you a suitor to the maid
you talk of, yea or no?”  Tranio as
Lucentio says “An if I be, sir, is it any offense?”  Gremio says “She’s the choice love of Signior
Gremio.”  Hortensio says “She’s the
chosen of Signior Hortensio.”  Tranio as
Lucentio says “Softly, gentlemen.  Helen
of Troy had a thousand wooers. Fair Bianca may have more. And so she
shall.  Lucentio shall be one.”  Gremio says “This gentleman will out-talk us
all!”  Hortensio jumps in, saying “Did
you ever see Baptista’s daughter?”
Tranio says “No, sir, but hear I do that he hath two.  The one as famous for a scolding tongue as is
the other for beauteous modesty.”
Petruchio cries “Sir, the first’s for me; let her go by.”  Hortensio says to Tranio as Lucentio “Sir,
since you do profess to be a suitor, you must pay this gentleman, to whom we
all rest beholding.”  Tranio as Lucentio
says “Sir, I shall not be slack.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#5/Tutors and Suitors/Act 2, Scene 1.1

Katherine and Bianca are on stage, and Katherine has tied
Bianca’s hands.  Bianca cries “Unbind my
hands.”  Katherine smugly says “Of all
thy suitors, whom thou lov’st best?”
Bianca replies “Believe me, sister, I could not fancy one more than the
other.”  Katherine says “Is ‘t not
Hortensio?”  Bianca answers “If you like
him, you shall have him.  I prithee,
sister Kate, untie my hands.”  Katherine
strikes her.  Baptista enters.  He unties her hands.  He says to Katherine “Why dost thou wrong her
that did ne’er wrong thee?”   Katherine
responds “Her silence mocks me.”  Bianca
exits.  Katherine says “Will you not
tolerate me?  Talk not to me. I will weep
till I can find occasion of revenge.”
Katherine exits.  Baptista says
“Was ever gentleman thus grieved as I?”
Gremio, Lucentio as Cambio, Petruchio, Hortensio as Litio, and Tranio as
Lucentio enter.  Petruchio asks “Pray,
have you not a daughter called Katherina, fair and virtuous?”  Baptista replies “I have a daughter called
Katherina.”  Petruchio says “I am a
gentleman of Verona, sir, that hearing of her beauty and wit, am here to show
myself a guest, and present you with a man of mine, accomplished in music and
mathematics.  His name is Litio, born in
Mantua.”  Baptista says “You’re welcome
sir. Mistake me not. What may I call your name?”  Petruchio says “Petruchio, Antonio’s son.”  Baptista says “I know him well.”   Gremio jumps in, saying “Let us speak
too!”  He presents Lucentio disguised as
Cambio and says “He hath studied in Rheims, is well-versed in Greek, Latin and
in music and mathematics.  His name is
Cambio.”  Baptista welcomes him, and
turns to Tranio as Lucentio and says “May I be so bold to know the cause of
your coming?”  Tranio as Lucentio says
“Being a stranger in this city here I do make myself a suitor to your daughter,
Bianca, fair and virtuous.  Towards the education
of your daughters I here bestow this small packet of Greek and Latin
books.”  Biondello comes forward with the
books.  Baptista asks “Lucentio. Of
whence, I pray?”  Tranio as Lucentio says
“Of Pisa, sir, son of Vincentio.”
Baptista responds “A mighty man of Pisa. You are very welcome,
sir.”  He says to Hortensio as Litio
“Take you the lute.”  To Lucentio as
Cambio he says “And you the set of books.”
A servant enters.  Baptista says
“Sirrah, these are my daughters’ tutors. Bid them well.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#6/Proposal/Act 2, Scene 1.2

Petruchio and Baptista remain on stage, Petruchio using
the opportunity to initiate a serious conversation.  He says “Signior Baptista, you knew my father
well, and in him me, left the sole heir, which I have bettered rather than
decreased.  If I get your daughter’s
love, what dowry shall I have with her to wife?”  Baptista says “After my death, one half of my
lands and twenty thousand crowns.”
Petruchio says if she survives me “I’ll assure her of all my lands and
leases whatsoever.”  Baptista says “Ay,
her love, for that is all in all.  Well
mayst thou woo, but be thou armed for some unhappy words.”  Petruchio responds “Mountains shake not,
though winds blow perpetually.”
Hortensio as Litio enters holding his head.  Baptista asks “Will my daughter prove a good
musician?”  Hortensio as Litio says “I
think she’ll sooner prove a soldier!  She
has broken the lute on my head.  I told
her she places her fingers wrong on the frets, and she struck me. She called me
a rascal fiddler and twangling Jack.”
Petruchio jumps in, saying “It is a lusty wench. I love her ten times
more.”  Baptista tells Hortensio as Litio
to “proceed in practice with my younger daughter.”  All exit but Petruchio.  Katherine enters.  He says “Good morrow, Kate.”  She says “They call me Katherine that do talk
of me.”  He says “But Kate, the prettiest
Kate in Christendom, thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded, myself am
moved to woo thee for my wife.”  She says
“Moved!  Let him that moved you hither
remove you hence.”  He says “Nay, good
Kate.  I am a gentleman.”  She strikes him.  He accepts the hit and woos her with
pleasantries.  She says “Where did you
study all this goodly speech?”  He says
“It is extempore.  Setting all this chat
aside, your father hath consented that you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed
on, and whether you like it or not, I will marry you.”  Baptista, Gremio and Tranio as Lucentio
enter.  Baptista asks “Now, Signior
Petruchio, how speed you with my daughter?”
Petruchio says “How but well, sir?”
Baptista turns to Katherine and asks “Why do you look out of sorts,
daughter?”  Katherine cries “Call you me
daughter?  I assure you you have wished
me to wed to one half lunatic, a madcap ruffian, a swearing Jack.”  Petruchio says “Father, ‘tis thus: she’s not
quarrelsome, but modest as the dove; she is not angry, but temperate as the
morn.  We have ‘greed so well together
that upon Sunday is the wedding day.” Katherine yells “I’ll see thee hanged on Sunday
first.”  Petruchio says “Be patient,
gentlemen.  I choose her for myself.  If she and I be pleased, what’s that to
you?  I tell you, ‘tis incredible to
believe how much she loves me.  O, the
kindest Kate!  I will unto Venice to buy
apparel ‘gainst the wedding day.  Provide
the feast, father, and bid the guests.  I
will be sure my Katherine shall be fine.”
Baptista says “I know not what to say, but give me your hands.”  Gremio and Tranio as Lucentio says “Amen, say
we.”  Petruchio says “We will have rings
and fine array.  And kiss me, Kate.  We will be married o’ Sunday.”  Petruchio and Katherine exit through
different doors.

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#7/Challenge/Act 2, Scene 1.3

Gremio says “Was ever match arranged so suddenly?  Now, Baptista, to your younger daughter.  I was suitor first.”  Tranio as Lucentio says “But I love her
more.”  Baptista steps in, saying “Content you, gentlemen.  He of both that
can assure my daughter greatest dower shall have my Bianca’s love.”  Gremio says “First my house within the city
is richly furnished and all things that belong to house.  At my farm I have a hundred cows and six
score fat oxen.  Myself is stuck in
years, I must confess, and if I die tomorrow this is hers, if whilst I live she
will be only mine.”  Tranio as Lucentio
says “I am my father’s heir and only son.
If I may have your daughter to my wife, I’ll leave three or four houses
within rich Pisa walls, besides two thousand ducats rent by the year of
fruitful land.”  Gremio cries “Two
thousand ducats by the year of land?”
Aside, he says “My land amounts not to so much in all.”  To Baptista he says “If you like me, she
shall have me and mine.”  Baptista turns
to Tranio as Lucentio and says “I must confess your offer is the best, and, let
your father make her the assurance; she is your own.  On the Sunday following Sunday next, shall
Bianca be bride to you, if you make this assurance. If not, to Signior Gremio. And
so I take my leave.”  He exits.  Gremio exits.
Tranio says “I see no reason but supposed Lucentio must get a father,
called ‘supposed Vincentio’.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#8/Competition/Act 3, Scene 1

Lucentio as Cambio and Hortensio as Litio are on stage
trading demeaning comments with each other.
Bianca tries to put a stop to it, saying Why, gentlemen, you do me
double wrong.  To cut off all strife,
here sit we down.”  Hortensio steps aside
to tune his lute.  Lucentio reads to
her.  The men continue to nip at each
other.  Each wants the other to leave him
alone with Bianca.  Lucentio steps
aside.  Hortensio gives her a paper to
read.  A servant enters, saying “Mistress,
your father prays you leave your books and help your sister.  You know tomorrow is the wedding day.”  Bianca, the Servant and Lucentio exit.  Hortensio says to himself “Methinks he looks
as though he were in love.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#9/Wedding/Act 3, Scene 2.1

Baptista says to Tranio as Lucentio “This is the ‘pointed
day that Katherine and Petruchio should be married, and yet we hear not of our
son-in-law.  What will be said?”  Katherine jumps in, saying “No shame of
mine.  I told you he was a frantic fool.”  Tranio as Lucentio replies “Patience, good
Katherine, and Baptista too.  Upon my
life, Petruchio means but well.”
Katherine exits, weeping.
Biondello enters, crying “He is coming. Petruchio is coming in a new hat
and an old jacket.”  He proceeds to describe
in humorous detail how poorly Petruchio is dressed and of the broken-down
condition of his horse. Baptista asks “Who comes with him?”  Biondello quickly replies “Oh, sir, his
lackey, not dressed as a gentleman’s lackey.”
Tranio says “’Tis some odd humor.”
Baptista says “I am glad he’s come, howsoe’er he comes.”  Petruchio and Grumio enter, asking “But where
is Kate?”  After a brief pause he says
“Gentles, methinks you frown. He asks “Wherefore gaze this goodly company as if
they saw some comet or unusual wonder?”
Baptista says “Sir, you know this is your wedding day.”  Petruchio says “Sufficeth I am come to keep
my word.”  Tranio as Lucentio says “See
not your bride in these unreverent robes.”
Petruchio says “To me she’s married, not unto my clothes.”  He and Grumio exit.  Baptista exits, saying “I’ll after him, and
see the outcome of this.”  All but Tranio
and Lucentio exit.  Tranio tells Lucentio
that “I am to get a man who shall be ‘Vincentio of Pisa’ and provide guarantees
here in Padua of greater sums than I have promised.”  Lucentio says she will be mine if we do
whatever it takes to have us married.
Having come from the church, Gremio enters, saying “He’s a devil, a very
fiend.”  Tranio as Lucentio says “She’s a
devil, the devil’s dam.”  Gremio says
“When the priest should ask if Katherine should be his wife, he swore so loud
that, all amazed, the priest let fall the book. As he stooped to pick it up,
this mad-brained bridegroom cuffed him, and down fell the priest and
book.”  Tranio as Lucentio asks “What
said the wench when he rose again?”
Gremio says “trembled and shook.”
He immediately turns the conversation back to Petruchio, saying “He
calls for wine, as if carousing to his shipmates after a storm, quaffs the
muscatel, and throws the cake in the sexton’s face.  This done, he took the bride about the neck
and kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack that at parting the church did
echo.  Such a mad marriage never was
before. Hark, I hear the minstrels play.”

Abridged The Taming of the Shrew/#10/Departure/Act 3, Scene 2.2

Petruchio enters, saying “Gentlemen and friends, I thank
you for your pains.  But, my haste doth call me hence, and therefore here I mean to take my leave.  I must be away today, before night come.  If you knew my business, you would ask me rather
go than stay.  I thank you all that have
beheld me give away myself to this most patient, sweet, and virtuous wife.
Farewell to you all.”  Katherine says
“Let me ask. Are you content to stay?  If
you love me, stay.”  Petruchio says
“Grumio, my horse.”  She says “I will not
go today.  For me, I’ll not be gone till
I please myself.”  Petruchio says “O
Kate, prithee, be not angry.”  She says
“I will be angry.  What hast thou to
do?”  He doesn’t answer her, but says
“She is my goods, my chattels, my anything.
Grumio, draw forth thy weapon.  We
are beset with thieves.  Rescue thy
mistress if thou be a man!”  Petruchio
and Katherine exit, along with Grumio.
Baptista says “Nay, let them go. A couple of quiet ones!”  Tranio as Lucentio says “Of all mad matches
never was the like.”  Lucentio as Cambio
asks Bianca “Mistress, what’s your opinion of your sister?”  Bianca says “That being mad herself, she’s
madly mated.”  Gremio adds “I warrant
him, Petruchio is Kated.”  Baptista says
to Tranio “Lucentio, you shall supply the bridegroom’s place and let Bianca
take her sister’s room.”  Tranio as
Lucentio asks “Shall sweet Bianca practice how to bride it?”  Baptista says “She shall, Lucentio.”