The Taming of the Shrew


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Lucentio and his man Tranio
man (n.) 4 servant, attendant, lackey
since for (conj.) because of


LUCENTIO

Tranio, since for the great desire I had

To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,

The pleasant garden of great Italy,

And by my father's love and leave am armed

With his good will and thy good company,

My trusty servant well approved in all,
approve (v.) 3 put to the proof, test, try
approved (adj.) tested, tried, established, proven

Here let us breathe and haply institute
breathe (v.) 2 catch breath, pause, rest
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count
institute (v.) 2 begin, introduce, set up

A course of learning and ingenious studies.
ingenious (adj.) 2 intellectual, refined, in liberal arts

Pisa renowned for grave citizens

Gave me my being and my father first,
being (n.) 2 physical existence, life

A merchant of great traffic through the world,
traffic (n.) 1 trade, commerce, business, merchandise

Vincentio come of the Bentivolii.
come of (v.) descend from

Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence,

It shall become to serve all hopes conceived
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
deck (v.) cover, adorn, decorate
fortune (n.) 1 good fortune, success

And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
time, for the for the time being, at present

Virtue, and that part of philosophy

Will I apply that treats of happiness
apply (v.) 2 pursue, practise, devote oneself to

By virtue specially to be achieved.

Tell me thy mind, for I have Pisa left

And am to Padua come as he that leaves

A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep,
plash (n.) pool, puddle, pond

And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.


TRANIO

Mi perdonato, gentle master mine.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

I am in all affected as yourself,
affected (adj.) 1 disposed, inclined, minded

Glad that you thus continue your resolve

To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.

Only, good master, while we do admire
admire (v.) 2 revere, marvel at, respect

This virtue and this moral discipline,
discipline (n.) 2 learning, schooling, course of instruction

Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
stock (n.) 4 senseless person, stupid individual
stoic (n.) pleasure-despiser, over-rigorous person

Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
check (n.) 3 restraint, control, counsel of moderation
devote (adj.) 1 devoted, dedicated, addicted

As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
abjure (v.) swear to abandon, solemnly reject

Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
acquaintance (n.) friends, companions, associates
balk (v.) 2 argue over, quibble about

And practise rhetoric in your common talk,
common (adj.) 1 average, usual, general, ordinary

Music and poesy use to quicken you,
quicken (v.) 1 revive, rejuvenate, give life [to]

The mathematics and the metaphysics

Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
fall to (v.) begin to do, abandon oneself to
serve (v.) 3 provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour
stomach (n.) 2 wish, inclination, desire

No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.

In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
affect (v.) 1 incline to, like, favour, be drawn to


LUCENTIO

Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.

If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,

We could at once put us in readiness,

And take a lodging fit to entertain
entertain (v.) 2 welcome, receive kindly, treat well, show hospitality to

Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
beget (v.), past form begot 2 produce, engender, give rise to

Enter Baptista with his two daughters Katherina and

Bianca; Gremio, a pantaloon, and Hortensio, suitor

to Bianca. Lucentio and Tranio stand by

But stay awhile, what company is this?
pantaloon (n.) old man, dotard [i.e. one wearing pantaloons = breeches] See Topics: Clothing


TRANIO

Master, some show to welcome us to town.
show (n.) 2 spectacle, display, ceremony


BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
importune (v.) 2 beg [for], ask persistently [for]

For how I firmly am resolved you know;

That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
bestow (v.) 1 give, provide, grant

Before I have a husband for the elder.

If either of you both love Katherina,

Because I know you well and love you well,

Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.


GREMIO

To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
cart (v.) drive around in a cart [usual punishment for a prostitute]
rough (adj.) 5 difficult to manage, not thoroughly trained

There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?


KATHERINA

(to Baptista)

I pray you, sir, is it your will

To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
mate (n.) 2 fellow, individual
stale (n.) 2 dupe, sap, laughing-stock


HORTENSIO

Mates, maid, how mean you that? No mates for you

Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind
mould (n.) 2 nature, frame, character


KATHERINA

I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.

Iwis it is not halfway to her heart.
iwis (adv.) [archaism] assuredly, certainly, truly See Topics: Archaisms

But if it were, doubt not her care should be

To comb your noddle with a three-legged stool,

And paint your face, and use you like a fool.
use (v.) 2 treat, deal with, manage


HORTENSIO

From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!


GREMIO

And me too, good Lord!


TRANIO

(aside to Lucentio)
toward (adv.) impending, forthcoming, in preparation

Husht, master, here's some good pastime toward.

That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
froward (adj.) 1 perverse, obstinate, wilful, ungovernable
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count
wonderful (adv.) wonderfully, remarkably, incredibly


LUCENTIO

(aside to Tranio)

But in the other's silence do I see

Maid's mild behaviour and sobriety.

Peace, Tranio.


TRANIO

(aside to Lucentio)
mum (int.) be quiet, shush See Topics: Attention signals

Well said, master. Mum! And gaze your fill.


BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
make good 2 perform well, succeed in carrying out

What I have said – Bianca, get you in.

And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,

For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.


KATHERINA

A pretty peat! It is best
peat (n.) pet, spoilt darling

Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.


BIANCA

Sister, content you in my discontent.
content (v.) 3 take pleasure in, enjoy

Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will
subscribe to (v.) 1 concur with, give assent to

My books and instruments shall be my company,

On them to look and practise by myself.


LUCENTIO

(aside)

Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak.


HORTENSIO

Signor Baptista, will you be so strange?
strange (adj.) 7 aloof, distant, reserved

Sorry am I that our good will effects
effect (v.) 1 cause, produce, bring about

Bianca's grief.
mew up (v.) coop up, confine, shut up


GREMIO

                         Why will you mew her up,

Signor Baptista, for this fiend of hell,

And make her bear the penance of her tongue?


BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, content ye. I am resolved.
content (v.) 2 calm [down], settle, relax

Go in, Bianca.

Exit Bianca

And for I know she taketh most delight
for (conj.) 2 because

In music, instruments, and poetry,

Schoolmasters will I keep within my house

Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,

Or Signor Gremio, you, know any such,

Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever
prefer (v.) 2 present, put forward, introduce

I will be very kind, and liberal

To mine own children in good bringing-up.

And so farewell. Katherina, you may stay,

For I have more to commune with Bianca.
commune (v.) 1 talk, converse, discourse

Exit


KATHERINA

Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?

What, shall I be appointed hours, as though, belike,
hour (n.) 3 (plural) fixed time, timetable

I knew not what to take and what to leave? Ha?
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems See Topics: Frequency count

Exit


GREMIO

You may go to the devil's dam. Your gifts are so
dam (n.) mother See Topics: Family
gift (n.) 1 quality, accomplishment, talent

good here's none will hold you. There! Love is not so
hold (v.) 4 bear, tolerate, endure

great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together,
blow one's nail / nails twiddle one's thumbs, wait patiently

and fast it fairly out. Our cake's dough on both sides.
fairly (adv.) 1 cordially, warmly, becomingly
fast out (v.) pass a period of abstinence

Farewell. Yet, for the love I bear my sweet Bianca, if I

can by any means light on a fit man to teach her that
light on (v.) come across, meet with, chance upon

wherein she delights, I will wish him to her father.
wish (v.) 4 commend, recommend


HORTENSIO

So will I, Signor Gremio. But a word, I

pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never

brooked parle, know now, upon advice, it toucheth us
advice (n.) 1 consideration, reflection, deliberation
brook (v.) 2 allow, permit, bear
parle, parley (n.) 1 negotiation, meeting [between enemies under a truce, to discuss terms] See Topics: Frequency count
touch (v.) 1 affect, concern, regard, relate to

both – that we may yet again have access to our fair

mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca's love – to

labour and effect one thing specially.


GREMIO

What's that, I pray?


HORTENSIO

Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.


GREMIO

A husband? A devil.


HORTENSIO

I say a husband.


GREMIO

I say a devil. Think'st thou, Hortensio, though

her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute

married to hell?


HORTENSIO

Tush, Gremio. Though it pass your patience
pass (v.) 1 surpass, go beyond, outdo

and mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be
alarm, alarum, 'larm, 'larum (n.) 3 disturbance, turbulence, trouble, loud noise

good fellows in the world, an a man could light on them,
and, an (conj.) 1 if, even if
fellow (n.) 1 companion, associate
good (adj.) 4 amenable, tractable, manageable
light on (v.) come across, meet with, chance upon

would take her with all faults, and money enough.


GREMIO

I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry

with this condition – to be whipped at the high-cross
high-cross (n.) cross in a town centre
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count

every morning.


HORTENSIO

Faith, as you say, there's small choice in

rotten apples. But come, since this bar in law makes us
bar (n.) 3 objection, impediment

friends, it shall be so far forth friendly maintained till by

helping Baptista's eldest daughter to a husband we set

his youngest free for a husband, and then have to't
have to't let's go at it, let's renew the fight

afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man be his dole. He that
dole, happy man be his destiny, fate, lot

runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, Signor Gremio?


GREMIO

I am agreed, and would I had given him the best

horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would thoroughly

woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid the house

of her. Come on.

Exeunt Gremio and Hortensio


TRANIO

I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible

That love should of a sudden take such hold?


LUCENTIO

O Tranio, till I found it to be true,

I never thought it possible or likely.

But see, while idly I stood looking on,

I found the effect of love in idleness,

And now in plainness do confess to thee,

That art to me as secret and as dear

As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was –

Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,

If I achieve not this young modest girl.
achieve (v.) 1 gain, obtain, procure

Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.

Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.


TRANIO

Master, it is no time to chide you now;
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count

Affection is not rated from the heart.
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
rate (v.) 1 berate, reproach, rebuke, scold

If love have touched you, naught remains but so –

Redime te captum quam queas minimo.
redime... free yourself from captivity at the lowest ransom See Topics: Latin


LUCENTIO

Gramercies, lad. Go forward, this contents.
content (v.) 1 please, gratify, delight, satisfy
go forward (v.) 2 carry on, keep it up

The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.


TRANIO

Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
longly (adv.) for a long time, constantly, persistently

Perhaps you marked not what's the pith of all.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count
pith (n.) 2 essence, central point, main purpose


LUCENTIO

O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,

Such as the daughter of Agenor had,

That made great Jove to humble him to her hand,

When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.
strand, strond (n.) shore, land, region


TRANIO

Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

Began to scold and raise up such a storm

That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?


LUCENTIO

Tranio, 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.
sacred (adj.) 2 revered, respected [as if a holy thing]


TRANIO

Nay, then 'tis time to stir him from his trance.

I pray, awake, sir. If you love the maid,

Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
achieve (v.) 1 gain, obtain, procure
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn
wits, also five wits faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)

Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
curst (adj.) 1 bad-tempered, quarrelsome, shrewish, cross
shrewd (adj.) 4 shrewish, bad-tempered, difficult

That till the father rid his hands of her,

Master, your love must live a maid at home,

And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
closely (adv.) 2 in strict confinement, securely
mew up (v.) coop up, confine, shut up

Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.
annoy (v.) harm, molest, hurt, injure
because (conj.) so that, in order that


LUCENTIO

Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!

But art thou not advised he took some care
advise, avise (v.) 3 inform, be aware, apprise

To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever


TRANIO

Ay, marry, am I, sir – and now 'tis plotted.


LUCENTIO

I have it, Tranio.


TRANIO

                         Master, for my hand,

Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
invention (n.) 5 plan, scheme, stratagem
jump (v.) 1 agree, coincide, tally


LUCENTIO

Tell me thine first.


TRANIO

                         You will be schoolmaster,

And undertake the teaching of the maid –

That's your device.
device (n.) 2 plan, scheme, intention


LUCENTIO

                         It is. May it be done?


TRANIO

Not possible. For who shall bear your part

And be in Padua here Vincentio's son,

Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
keep (v.) 5 look after, watch over, maintain
ply one's book study, work at, apply oneself to

Visit his countrymen and banquet them?


LUCENTIO

Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
content (v.) 2 calm [down], settle, relax
full (adv.) 1 fully, completely, properly

We have not yet been seen in any house,

Nor can we be distinguished by our faces

For man or master. Then it follows thus –

Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,

Keep house, and port, and servants, as I should.
port (n.) 4 style of living, way of life

I will some other be – some Florentine,

Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
mean (adj.) 2 lowly, humble, poor

'Tis hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once

Uncase thee, take my coloured hat and cloak.
uncase (v.) take off outer garments, undress

When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,

But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
charm (v.) 6 bind, order, tell


TRANIO

So had you need.

They exchange garments
pleasure (n.) 1 wish, desire, will

In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,

And I am tied to be obedient –
tie (v.) 1 oblige, constrain, force

For so your father charged me at our parting:

‘ Be serviceable to my son,’ quoth he,
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count
serviceable (adj.) 2 diligent, subservient, ready to do anything

Although I think 'twas in another sense –

I am content to be Lucentio,
content (adj.) 1 agreeable, willing, ready See Topics: Frequency count

Because so well I love Lucentio.


LUCENTIO

Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves.

And let me be a slave t' achieve that maid
achieve (v.) 1 gain, obtain, procure

Whose sudden sight hath thralled my wounded eye.
thrall (v.) enslave, make captive

Enter Biondello

Here comes the rogue. Sirrah, where have you been?


BIONDELLO

Where have I been? Nay, how now, where

are you? Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your
fellow (n.) 5 fellow-servant, colleague

clothes, or you stolen his, or both? Pray, what's the

news?


LUCENTIO

Sirrah, come hither. 'Tis no time to jest,

And therefore frame your manners to the time.
frame (v.) 2 adapt, adjust, shape, accommodate

Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,

Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count
countenance (n.) 1 demeanour, bearing, manner

And I for my escape have put on his.

For in a quarrel since I came ashore

I killed a man, and fear I was descried.
descry (v.) 1 catch sight of, make out, espy, discover

Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

While I make way from hence to save my life.

You understand me?


BIONDELLO

                         I, sir? Ne'er a whit.


LUCENTIO

And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth.

Tranio is changed into Lucentio.


BIONDELLO

The better for him, would I were so too!


TRANIO

So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,

That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter.

But, sirrah, not for my sake but your master's, 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.


LUCENTIO

Tranio, let's go.

One thing more rests, that thyself execute –
execute (v.) 1 carry out, fulfil, perform
rest (v.) 2 remain [to be done], be left

To make one among these wooers. If thou ask me why,
make (v.) 7 become, form, make up

Sufficeth, my reasons are both good and weighty.

Exeunt

The Presenters above speak
mind (v.) 4 pay attention to, take notice of


LORD

My lord, you nod, you do not mind the play.


SLY

(coming to with a start) Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A

good matter, surely. Comes there any more of it?
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance
surely (adv.) certainly, doubtless, assuredly


PAGE

My lord, 'tis but begun.


SLY

'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady.

Would 'twere done!
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

They sit and mark

 
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