The Taming of the Shrew


Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Petruchio and his man Grumio


Verona, for a while I take my leave,

To see my friends in Padua, but of all

My best beloved and approved friend,

Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.
trow (v.) 2 think, expect, believe

Here, sirrah Grumio, knock, I say.


Knock, sir? Whom should I knock? Is there any

man has rebused your worship?
rebuse (v.) malapropism for ‘abuse’


Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
villain (n.) 2 scoundrel, rogue, rascal


Knock you here, sir? Why, sir, what am I, sir,

that I should knock you here, sir?


Villain, I say, knock me at this gate,

And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count
pate (n.) head, skull See Topics: Frequency count


My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,

And then I know after who comes by the worst.


Will it not be?

Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it.

I'll try how you can sol-fa and sing it.
sol-fa (v.) sing a scale, make a tune
try (v.) 1 prove, ascertain, find out

He wrings him by the ears


Help, masters, help! My master is mad.


Now knock when I bid you, sirrah villain.

Enter Hortensio


How now, what's the matter? My old friend

Grumio and my good friend Petruchio! How do you all

at Verona?


Signor Hortensio, come you to part the fray?

Con tutto il cuore ben trovato, may I say.


Alla nostra casa ben venuto,

Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.

Rise, Grumio, rise. We will compound this quarrel.
compound (v.) 1 agree, settle


Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin. If
'lege (v.) allege

this be not a lawful cause for me to leave his service,

look you, sir. He bid me knock him and rap him

soundly, sir. Well, was it fit for a servant to use his
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage

master so, being perhaps, for aught I see, two and thirty,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count

a pip out?
pip (n.) mark on a playing card [as used in the game of ‘one-and-thirty’]

Whom would to God I had well knocked at first,

Then had not Grumio come by the worst.


A senseless villain. Good Hortensio,
senseless (adj.) 3 lacking in sense, stupid, foolish

I bade the rascal knock upon your gate,
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell

And could not get him for my heart to do it.
heart, for my for my life


Knock at the gate? O heavens! Spake you not

these words plain, ‘ Sirrah, knock me here, rap me here,

knock me well, and knock me soundly ’? And come you

now with ‘ knocking at the gate ’?


Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.


Petruchio, patience, I am Grumio's pledge.
pledge (n.) 2 guarantor, surety

Why, this's a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
chance (n.) 1 event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 1 long-established, long-standing
pleasant (adj.) 2 merry, festive, jolly

And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale

Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?


Such wind as scatters young men through the world

To seek their fortunes farther than at home,

Where small experience grows. But in a few,
few, in (a) in few words, in short, in brief

Signor Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
stand (v.) 1 be, appear

Antonio, my father, is deceased,

And I have thrust myself into this maze,
maze (n.) 2 chance wandering about, labyrinthine business

Haply to wive and thrive as best I may.
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home,

And so am come abroad to see the world.
abroad (adv.) 3 away from home, out of the house


Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee
come (v.) 3 speak, talk, express oneself
roundly (adv.) 1 plainly, to the point, straight out

And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favoured wife?
ill-favoured (adj.) ugly, unattractive, unsightly
shrewd (adj.) 4 shrewish, bad-tempered, difficult
wish (v.) 4 commend, recommend

Thou'dst thank me but a little for my counsel,

And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich,

And very rich. But th' art too much my friend,

And I'll not wish thee to her.


Signor Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we

Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know

One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife –

As wealth is burden of my wooing dance –
burden, burthen (n.) 2 bass accompaniment [in a song]

Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
foul (adj.) 1 plain-looking, unattractive, ugly

As old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
shrewd (adj.) 4 shrewish, bad-tempered, difficult

As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,

She moves me not, or not removes at least
move (v.) 8 shake one's resolve, alter one's position

Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
affection (n.) 1 fancy, inclination, desire
edge (n.) 1 ardour, keen desire

As are the swelling Adriatic seas.

I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;

If wealthily, then happily in Padua.


Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his
flatly (adv.) 1 plainly, straight, bluntly

mind is. Why, give him gold enough and marry him to
mind (n.) 2 intention, purpose, intent

a puppet or an aglet-baby, or an old trot with ne'er a
aglet-baby (n.) [unclear meaning] small ornamental figure forming the tag of a lace
trot (n.) old woman, hag

tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases

as two and fifty horses. Why, nothing comes amiss, so

money comes withal.


Petruchio, since we are stepped thus far in,
step in (v.) move forward, go along

I will continue that I broached in jest.
broach (v.) 2 raise, introduce into conversation

I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife

With wealth enough, and young and beauteous,

Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

Her only fault – and that is faults enough –

Is that she is intolerable curst,
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
intolerable (adv.) excessively, exceedingly, extremely

And shrewd and froward so beyond all measure
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable
shrewd (adj.) 4 shrewish, bad-tempered, difficult

That, were my state far worser than it is,
state (n.) 11 estate, property, wealth, means

I would not wed her for a mine of gold.


Hortensio, peace. Thou know'st not gold's effect.

Tell me her father's name and 'tis enough.

For I will board her though she chide as loud
board (v.) 1 accost, address, approach, tackle

As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count


Her father is Baptista Minola,

An affable and courteous gentleman.

Her name is Katherina Minola,

Renowned in Padua for her scolding tongue.


I know her father, though I know not her,

And he knew my deceased father well.

I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her,

And therefore let me be thus bold with you

To give you over at this first encounter,
give over (v.) 1 desert, leave, abandon

Unless you will accompany me thither.


I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she would

think scolding would do little good upon him. She may

perhaps call him half a score knaves or so. Why, that's
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks.
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count
rope-trick (n.) [unclear meaning] possibly a malapropism of ‘rhetoric’ or ‘rope-rhetoric’ [i.e. bombastic rhetoric]

I'll tell you what, sir, an she stand him but a little, he
stand (v.) 14 withstand, endure, stand up to

will throw a figure in her face, and so disfigure her with
figure (n.) 2 figure of speech, device, piece of rhetoric

it that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a

cat. You know him not, sir.


Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger

For in Baptista's keep my treasure is.
keep (n.) keeping, custody, care

He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
hold (n.) 3 guard, custody, confinement

His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca,

And her withholds from me and other more,

Suitors to her and rivals in my love,

Supposing it a thing impossible,

For those defects I have before rehearsed,
rehearse (v.) 1 relate, recount, give an account of

That ever Katherina will be wooed.

Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
order (n.) 1 arrangement, disposition, direction

That none shall have access unto Bianca

Till Katherine the curst have got a husband.
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross


Katherine the curst,

A title for a maid of all titles the worst.


Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
grace (n.) 5 favour, good will

And offer me disguised in sober robes
sober (adj.) 4 subdued in colour, somber

To old Baptista as a schoolmaster

Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca,
seen, well well-versed, with good qualifications

That so I may by this device at least
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick

Have leave and leisure to make love to her,

And unsuspected court her by herself.


Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks,
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick
knavery (n.) 1 roguish trick, rouguery, trickery

how the young folks lay their heads together.

Enter Gremio, and Lucentio disguised as Cambio, a


Master, master, look about you. Who goes there, ha?


Peace, Grumio. It is the rival of my love.

Petruchio, stand by a while.


A proper stripling and an amorous!
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

They stand aside
note (n.) 8 list, record, roll


O, very well – I have perused the note.

Hark you, sir, I'll have them very fairly bound –
fairly (adv.) 2 neatly, elegantly, handsomely, beautifully

All books of love, see that at any hand –
hand, at / in any in any case, at any rate
see (v.) 2 see to, manage, attend to

And see you read no other lectures to her.
lecture (n.) 2 classroom lesson

You understand me. Over and beside

Signor Baptista's liberality,

I'll mend it with a largess. Take your paper too.
largess (n.) free gift, generous present
mend (v.) 4 supplement, augment

And let me have them very well perfumed,

For she is sweeter than perfume itself

To whom they go to. What will you read to her?


Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you

As for my patron, stand you so assured,
assured (adj.) 1 certain, definite, sure
stand (v.) 9 act as, be, hold good as

As firmly as yourself were still in place,
place, in present, attending, at hand

Yea, and perhaps with more successful words

Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.


O this learning, what a thing it is!


woodcock (n.) type of game bird, thought to be easily tricked or snared; simpleton

O this woodcock, what an ass it is!



Peace, sirrah.



Grumio, mum! (Coming forward) God save you, Signor Gremio.
mum (int.) be quiet, shush See Topics: Attention signals


And you are well met, Signor Hortensio.

Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
trow (v.) 1 know, guess, imagine

I promised to enquire carefully

About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca,

And by good fortune I have lighted well
light on (v.) come across, meet with, chance upon

On this young man, for learning and behaviour

Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
turn (n.) 1 need, requirement, purpose [especially in the phrase ‘serve one's turn’ = meet one's need]

And other books – good ones, I warrant ye.
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count


'Tis well. And I have met a gentleman

Hath promised me to help me to another,

A fine musician to instruct our mistress.

So shall I no whit be behind in duty

To fair Bianca, so beloved of me.


Beloved of me, and that my deeds shall prove.


bag (n.) money-bag, purse

And that his bags shall prove.


Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love.
vent (v.) 1 utter, express, air, proclaim

Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
fair (adv.) 1 kindly, encouragingly, courteously

I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
indifferent (adv.) 2 equally, alike, correspondingly

Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met,

Upon agreement from us to his liking,

Will undertake to woo curst Katherine,
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross

Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.


So said, so done, is well.

Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?


I know she is an irksome brawling scold.
scold (n.) abusive woman, quarreller

If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.


No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman?


Born in Verona, old Antonio's son.

My father dead, my fortune lives for me,

And I do hope good days and long to see.


O sir, such a life with such a wife were strange.

But if you have a stomach, to't a God's name –
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

You shall have me assisting you in all.

But will you woo this wildcat?


                         Will I live?


Will he woo her? Ay, or I'll hang her.


Why came I hither but to that intent?
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?

Have I not in my time heard lions roar?

Have I not heard the sea, puffed up with winds,

Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
chafe (v.) 2 enrage, irritate, anger

Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
field (n.) 1 field of battle, battleground, field of combat See Topics: Frequency count
ordnance, ordinance (n.) cannon, artillery

And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?

Have I not in a pitched battle heard

Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 3 disturbance, turbulence, trouble, loud noise

And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,

That gives not half so great a blow to hear

As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?

Tush, tush, fear boys with bugs!
bug (n.) 1 bogey, bugbear, imaginary terror
fear (v.) 1 frighten, scare, terrify, daunt


                         For he fears none.


Hortensio, hark.

This gentleman is happily arrived,
happily (adv.) 2 opportunely, propitiously, with good fortune

My mind presumes, for his own good and yours.


I promised we would be contributors

And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
charge (n.) 7 expense, cost, outlay


And so we will – provided that he win her.


I would I were as sure of a good dinner.

Enter Tranio, bravely dressed as Lucentio, and



Gentlemen, God save you. If I may be bold,
bravely (adv.) 3 in fine clothes, splendidly dressed

Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
ready (adj.) 2 easy, quick, convenient

To the house of Signor Baptista Minola?


He that has the two fair daughters – is't he

you mean?


Even he, Biondello.


Hark you, sir, you mean not her too?


Perhaps him and her, sir. What have you to do?


Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count
hand, at / in any in any case, at any rate


I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's away.
chider (n.) quarreller, abusive person



Well begun, Tranio.


                         Sir, a word ere you go.

Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no?


And if I be, sir, is it any offence?


No, if without more words you will get you hence.


Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free

For me as for you?


                         But so is not she.


For what reason, I beseech you?


                         For this reason, if you'll know,

That she's the choice love of Signor Gremio.
choice (adj.) 1 chosen, specially worthy, excellent


That she's the chosen of Signor Hortensio.


Softly, my masters! If you be gentlemen,
softly (adv.) slowly, gently

Do me this right – hear me with patience.

Baptista is a noble gentleman,

To whom my father is not all unknown,

And were his daughter fairer than she is,

She may more suitors have and me for one.

Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers,

Then well one more may fair Bianca have.

And so she shall. Lucentio shall make one,

Though Paris came, in hope to speed alone.
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness


What, this gentleman will out-talk us all!


Sir, give him head, I know he'll prove a jade.
head (n.) 2 power, strength, scope
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag


Hortensio, to what end are all these words?


Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,

Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?


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.


Sir, sir, the first's for me, let her go by.


Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules,

And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.


Sir, understand you this of me in sooth,
sooth (n.) 1 truth See Topics: Swearing

The youngest daughter whom you hearken for
hearken for (v.) 2 desire, be attracted to

Her father keeps from all access of suitors,

And will not promise her to any man

Until the elder sister first be wed.

The younger then is free, and not before.


If it be so, sir, that you are the man

Must stead us all – and me amongst the rest –
stead (v.) help, assist, benefit

And if you break the ice and do this feat,

Achieve the elder, set the younger free

For our access – whose hap shall be to have her
hap (n.) 1 fortune, lot, fate

Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
ingrate (adj.) ungrateful, unthankful, unappreciative


Sir, you say well, and well you do conceive.
conceive (v.) 1 understand, comprehend, follow

And since you do profess to be a suitor,

You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
gratify (v.) 1 reward, repay, show gratitude for

To whom we all rest generally beholding.
beholding (adj.) beholden, obliged, indebted


Sir, I shall not be slack. In sign whereof,
slack (adj.) less attentive, remiss, lax

Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,
contrive (v.) 2 pass the time, spend, while away

And quaff carouses to our mistress' health,
carouse (n.) toast, long draught, cup filled to the brim to be downed in one go
quaff (v.) drink down, take a long draught of

And do as adversaries do in law,

Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.


O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be gone.
motion (n.) 6 proposal, proposition, suggestion, offer


The motion's good indeed, and be it so.

Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.
ben venuto (n.) warm welcome


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