The Taming of the Shrew


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Grumio
jade (n.) 1 worn-out horse, hack, worthless nag


GRUMIO

Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters, and

all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was ever man so
foul (adj.) 4 dirty, miry, muddy
way (n.) 3 path, track, trail

rayed? Was ever man so weary? I am sent before to make
ray (v.) 2 dirty, soil, make filthy

a fire, and they are coming after to warm them. Now

were not I a little pot and soon hot, my very lips might

freeze to my teeth, my tongue to the roof of my mouth, my

heart in my belly, ere I should come by a fire to thaw me.
come by (v.) find, acquire, come across

But I with blowing the fire shall warm myself, for, considering

the weather, a taller man than I will take cold.

Holla, ho! Curtis.

Enter Curtis


CURTIS

Who is that calls so coldly?


GRUMIO

A piece of ice. If thou doubt it, thou mayst slide

from my shoulder to my heel with no greater a run but

my head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis.


CURTIS

Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?


GRUMIO

O ay, Curtis, ay – and therefore fire, fire, cast on

no water.


CURTIS

Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported?
hot (adj.) 1 hot-tempered, angry, passionate


GRUMIO

She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But thou

know'st winter tames man, woman, and beast; for it

hath tamed my old master, and my new mistress, and

myself, fellow Curtis.


CURTIS

Away, you three-inch fool! I am no beast.


GRUMIO

Am I but three inches? Why, thy horn is a foot,

and so long am I at the least. But wilt thou make a fire,

or shall I complain on thee to our mistress, whose hand

– she being now at hand – thou shalt soon feel, to thy

cold comfort, for being slow in thy hot office?
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count


CURTIS

I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the

world?

He kindles a fire


GRUMIO

A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine –

and therefore fire. Do thy duty, and have thy duty, for
duty (n.) 4 due, desert, deserving

my master and mistress are almost frozen to death.


CURTIS

There's fire ready – and therefore, good Grumio,

the news.


GRUMIO

Why, ‘ Jack, boy, ho boy!’ and as much news as

wilt thou.


CURTIS

Come, you are so full of cony-catching.
cony-catching (n.) rabbit-catching; trickery, evasion, knavery


GRUMIO

Why therefore fire, for I have caught extreme

cold. Where's the cook? Is supper ready, the house

trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept, the serving-men

in their new fustian, their white stockings, and
fustian (n.) 1 type of coarse cloth [of cotton and flax]

every officer his wedding-garment on? Be the Jacks
Jack (n.) 3 serving-man

fair within, the Jills fair without, the carpets laid, and
fair (adj.) 12 clean, unsoiled, not dirty
Jill (n.) serving-maid

everything in order?


CURTIS

All ready – and therefore, I pray thee, news.


GRUMIO

First know my horse is tired, my master and

mistress fallen out.


CURTIS

How?


GRUMIO

Out of their saddles into the dirt, and thereby

hangs a tale.


CURTIS

Let's ha't, good Grumio.


GRUMIO

Lend thine ear.


CURTIS

Here.


GRUMIO

There.

He boxes Curtis's ear


CURTIS

This 'tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.


GRUMIO

And therefore 'tis called a sensible tale; and this
sensible (adj.) 1 sensitive, responsive, capable of feeling

cuff was but to knock at your ear and beseech listening.

Now I begin. Imprimis, we came down a foul hill, my
foul (adj.) 4 dirty, miry, muddy
imprimis (adv.) in the first place

master riding behind my mistress –


CURTIS

Both of one horse?


GRUMIO

What's that to thee?


CURTIS

Why, a horse.


GRUMIO

Tell thou the tale. But hadst thou not crossed
cross (v.) 5 interrupt, cut in on

me, thou shouldst have heard how her horse fell, and

she under her horse; thou shouldst have heard in how

miry a place, how she was bemoiled, how he left her
bemoil (v.) cover with dirt, bemire

with the horse upon her, how he beat me because her

horse stumbled, how she waded through the dirt to

pluck him off me, how he swore, how she prayed that

never prayed before, how I cried, how the horses ran

away, how her bridle was burst, how I lost my crupper
burst (adj.) broken, shattered, rent in two
crupper (n.) leather saddle-strap on a horse

– with many things of worthy memory, which now shall

die in oblivion, and thou return unexperienced to thy
unexperienced (adj.) in ignorance, lacking in knowledge

grave.


CURTIS

By this reckoning he is more shrew than she.


GRUMIO

Ay, and that thou and the proudest of you all

shall find when he comes home. But what talk I of this?

Call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter,

Sugarsop, and the rest. Let their heads be slickly
slickly (adv.) smoothly, sleekly, neatly

combed, their blue coats brushed, and their garters

of an indifferent knit. Let them curtsy with their left
indifferent (adj.) 4 not different, identical, same
knit (n.) style, pattern, type

legs, and not presume to touch a hair of my master's

horse-tail till they kiss their hands. Are they all ready?


CURTIS

They are.


GRUMIO

Call them forth.


CURTIS

Do you hear, ho? You must meet my master to

countenance my mistress.
countenance (v.) 2 honour, grace, pay respect to


GRUMIO

Why, she hath a face of her own.


CURTIS

Who knows not that?


GRUMIO

Thou, it seems, that calls for company to countenance

her.


CURTIS

I call them forth to credit her.
credit (v.) 2 do credit to, grace, give esteem to


GRUMIO

Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.

Enter four or five Servingmen


NATHANIEL

Welcome home, Grumio.


PHILIP

How now, Grumio.


JOSEPH

What, Grumio.


NICHOLAS

Fellow Grumio.


NATHANIEL

How now, old lad.


GRUMIO

Welcome, you. How now, you. What, you.

Fellow, you. And thus much for greeting. Now, my spruce
spruce (adj.) 1 brisk, lively, smart

companions, is all ready, and all things neat?


NATHANIEL

All things is ready. How near is our master?


GRUMIO

E'en at hand, alighted by this. And therefore be

not – Cock's passion, silence! I hear my master.

Enter Petruchio and Katherine
knave (n.) 2 servant, menial, lackey


PETRUCHIO

Where be these knaves? What, no man at door

To hold my stirrup nor to take my horse?

Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Philip?


ALL SERVINGMEN

Here, here sir, here sir.


PETRUCHIO

Here sir, here sir, here sir, here sir!

You logger-headed and unpolished grooms!
groom (n.) 2 fellow, character, creature
logger-headed (adj.) thick-headed, stupid, doltish

What, no attendance? No regard? No duty?
regard (n.) 1 consideration, concern, thought, heed

Where is the foolish knave I sent before?
knave (n.) 2 servant, menial, lackey


GRUMIO

Here, sir, as foolish as I was before.


PETRUCHIO

You peasant swain, you whoreson malt-horse drudge!
drudge (n.) slave, serf, lackey
malthorse, malt-horse (n./adj.) heavy brewer's horse; so: drudge, idiot
peasant (adj.) 1 base, low, villainous
swain (n.) 1 [contemptuous] rustic, yokel, fellow
whoreson (adj.) [abusive intensifier, serious or jocular] bastard, wretched, vile See Topics: Swearing

Did I not bid thee meet me in the park

And bring along these rascal knaves with thee?
knave (n.) 2 servant, menial, lackey


GRUMIO

Nathaniel's coat, sir, was not fully made,

And Gabriel's pumps were all unpinked i'th' heel.
unpinked (adj.) unadorned, lacking ornamentation

There was no link to colour Peter's hat,
colour (v.) 3 dye, stain a new colour
link (n.) 2 blacking [from a burnt torch]

And Walter's dagger was not come from sheathing.
sheathing (n.) being fitted with a sheath

There were none fine but Adam, Rafe, and Gregory –

The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly.

Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.


PETRUCHIO

Go, rascals, go and fetch my supper in.

Exeunt Servingmen

He sings

Where is the life that late I led?

Where are those –

Sit down, Kate, and welcome. Food, food, food, food!

Enter Servants with supper

Why, when, I say? Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry.

Off with my boots, you rogues! You villains, when?

He sings

It was the friar of orders grey,

As he forth walked on his way –

Out, you rogue! You pluck my foot awry.
pluck (v.) 3 tug, yank, pull sharply

He strikes the Servant
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right
plucking (n.) pulling off, removal

Take that, and mend the plucking off the other.

Be merry, Kate. Some water here. What ho!

Enter one with water

Where's my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence,

And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither.

Exit another Servingman

One, Kate, that you must kiss and be acquainted with.

Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?

Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.

He knocks the basin out of the Servant's hands
whoreson (adj.) [abusive intensifier, serious or jocular] bastard, wretched, vile See Topics: Swearing

You whoreson villain, will you let it fall?

He strikes the Servant


KATHERINA

Patience, I pray you, 'twas a fault unwilling.


PETRUCHIO

A whoreson, beetle-headed, flap-eared knave!
beetle-headed (adj.) thick-headed, doltish
flap-eared (adj.) with long hanging ears
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count

Come, Kate, sit down, I know you have a stomach.
stomach (n.) 1 appetite, desire [for food]

Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?
give thanks say grace before meals

What's this? Mutton?


FIRST SERVINGMAN

                         Ay.


PETRUCHIO

                         Who brought it?


PETER

                                                         I.


PETRUCHIO

'Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.

What dogs are these! Where is the rascal cook?

How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser
dresser (n.) serving-table, kitchen table

And serve it thus to me that love it not?

There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all.
trencher (n.) plate, platter, serving dish

He throws the food and dishes at them
heedless (adj.) careless, slack, inattentive
jolthead, jolt-head (n.) blockhead, dolt, numskull
unmannered (adj.) ill-mannered, rude, insolent

You heedless joltheads and unmannered slaves!

What, do you grumble? I'll be with you straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt Servants hurriedly


KATHERINA

I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.
disquiet (adj.) upset, disturbed, troubled

The meat was well, if you were so contented.
contented (adj.) 2 not disposed to complain, amenable
well (adj.) fine, all right, satisfactory


PETRUCHIO

I tell thee, Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away,

And I expressly am forbid to touch it,

For it engenders choler, planteth anger;
choler (n.) anger, rage, wrath
engender (v.) produce, develop, generate

And better 'twere that both of us did fast,

Since, of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,
choleric (adj.) 1 inclined to anger, hot-tempered, irascible

Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.

Be patient, tomorrow't shall be mended,
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right

And for this night we'll fast for company.

Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.

Exeunt

Enter Servants severally
like, the the same
severally (adv.) separately, individually See Topics: Stage directions


NATHANIEL

Peter, didst ever see the like?


PETER

He kills her in her own humour.
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
kill (v.) 2 put down, outdo, master

Enter Curtis


GRUMIO

Where is he?


CURTIS

In her chamber,

Making a sermon of continency to her,
continency (n.) 1 moderation, self-restraint, patience

And rails, and swears, and rates, that she, poor soul,
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count
rate (v.) 1 berate, reproach, rebuke, scold

Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,

And sits as one new-risen from a dream.

Away, away, for he is coming hither.

Exeunt

Enter Petruchio
politicly (adv.) in a politic manner, strategically, shrewdly


PETRUCHIO

Thus have I politicly begun my reign,

And 'tis my hope to end successfully.

My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,
passing (adv.) very, exceedingly, extremely
sharp (adj.) 6 [falconry] famished, hungry, starving

And till she stoop she must not be full-gorged,
full-gorged (adj.) allowed to eat her fill
stoop (v.) 2 [falconry] swoop, descend swiftly

For then she never looks upon her lure.
look upon (v.) 3 take notice of, turn towards
lure (n.) [falconry] baited apparatus for recalling a hawk

Another way I have to man my haggard,
haggard (n.) [falconry] wild hawk
man (v.) 3 [falconry] tame, make tractable

To make her come and know her keeper's call,

That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
kite (n.) bird of prey; thieving bird [of ill omen; also, strong term of abuse]
watch (v.) 6 [falconry, in taming a hawk] prevent from sleeping, keep awake

That bate and beat and will not be obedient.
bate (v.) 6 [falconry] beat the wings, flutter
beat (v.) 4 beat the wings, flap wildly

She eat no meat today, nor none shall eat.

Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.

As with the meat, some undeserved fault

I'll find about the making of the bed,

And here I'll fling the pillow, there the bolster,

This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.

Ay, and amid this hurly I intend
hurly (n.) commotion, uproar, turmoil
intend (v.) 1 pretend, convey, purport, profess

That all is done in reverend care of her.
reverend (adj.) revered, worthy, respected

And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night,
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

And if she chance to nod I'll rail and brawl,
brawl (v.) 1 quarrel, squabble, contend
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

And with the clamour keep her still awake.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,

And thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humour.
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count

He that knows better how to tame a shrew,

Now let him speak – 'tis charity to show.

Exit

 
  Previous scene     Next scene