The The Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrewby William Shakespeare
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A rough-and-tumble farce centered around a lively battle of the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew brims with action and bawdy humor. The unconventional romance between a lusty fortune-hunter and a bitter shrew unfolds to the accompaniment of witty, fast-paced dialogue and physical humor in this excellent introduction to Shakespearean comedy.
The freebooter Petruchio arrives in Padua to hear of Katharina, a beautiful heiress whose waspish rants and caustic personality have repelled all attempts at courtship. Professing to admire a woman of spirit, Petruchio immediately sets about his wooing. The initial encounter between "Kate" and her wily suitor is spiked with impassioned exchanges of blows as well as jests. After a madcap wedding ceremony, the still-protesting Kate is whisked away to be "killed with kindness" and reborn as a loving wife.
One of the Bard's earliest and most popular plays, The Taming of the Shrew is rife with subplots involving his customary devices of disguise and mistaken identity. The vivid language, studded with elaborate puns, is an engaging complement to the play's slapstick humor. Reprinted complete and unabridged in this inexpensive edition, The Taming of the Shrew will delight any reader with its wonderful wordplay and rollicking good spirits.
"A radically fresh and challenging view of the play." The Times Higher Education Supplement
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The Taming of the Shrew
By WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, ADAM FROST
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 1997 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
SCENE I. Padua. A Public Place.
Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
LUC. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy;
And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa renowned for grave citizens
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.
Vincentio's son brought up in Florence
It shall become to serve all hopes conceived,
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
Virtue and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
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,
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
TRA. Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysics,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
LUG. 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
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
But stay a while: what company is this?
TRA. Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Enter BAPTISTA, KATHARINA, BIANCA, GREMIO, and HORTENSIO. LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
BAP. Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved you know;
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder:
If either of you both love Katharina,
Because I know you well and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
GRE. [Aside] To cart her rather: she 's too rough for me.
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
KATH. I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
HOR. Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
KATH. I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear:
I wis it is not half way to her heart;
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool
And paint your face and use you like a fool.
HOR. From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
GRE. And me too, good Lord!
TRA. Husht, master! here 's some good pastime toward:
That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
LUC. But in the other's silence do I see
Maid's mild behaviour and sobriety.
TRA. Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
BAP. Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
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.
KATH. A pretty peat! it is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
BIAN. Sister, content you in my discontent.
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
My books and instruments shall be my company,
On them to look and practise by myself.
LUC. Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.
HOR. Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good will effects
GRE. Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
BAP. Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
Go in, Bianca:
And for I know she taketh most delight
In music, instruments and poetry,
Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
Or Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing-up.
And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
For I have more to commune with Bianca.
KATH. Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?
What, shall I be appointed hours; as though, belike,
I knew not what to take, and what to leave, ha? [Exit.
GRE. You may go to the devil's dam: your gifts are so good, here 's none will hold you. Their love is not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together, and fast it fairly out: our cake 's dough on both sides. 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 wherein she delights, I will wish him to her father.
HOR. So will I, Signior Gremio: but a word, I pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never brooked parle, know now, upon advice, it toucheth us 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.
GRE. What 's that, I pray?
HOR. Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
GRE. A husband! a devil.
HOR. I say, a husband.
GRE. I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?
HOR. Tush, Gremio, though it pass your patience and mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the world, an a man could light on them, would take her with all her faults, and money enough.
GRE. I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with this condition, to be whipped at the high-cross every morning.
HOR. Faith, as you say, there 's small choice in rotten apples. But come; since this bar in law makes us 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 afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, Signior Gremio?
GRE. 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.
TRA. I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?
LUC. 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.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
TRA. Master, it is no time to chide you now;
Affection is not rated from the heart:
If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so,
"Redime te captum quam queas minimo."
LUC. Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel 's sound.
TRA. Master, you look'd so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you mark'd not what the pith of all.
LUC. 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 kiss'd the Cretan strond.
TRA. Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
LUC. 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.
TRA. Nay, then, 't is 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:
Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home;
And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.
LUC. Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father 's he!
But art thou not advised, he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
TRA. Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 't is plotted.
LUC. I have it, Tranio.
TRA. Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
LUC. Tell me thine first.
TRA. You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That 's your device.
LUC. It is: may it be done?
TRA. 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,
Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
LUC. Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we be distinguish'd 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:
I will some other be; some Florentine,
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
'T is hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once
Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak:
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
TRA. So had you need.
In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
And I am tied to be obedient,
For so your father charged me at our parting;
"Be serviceable to my son," quoth he,
Although I think 't was in another sense;
I am content to be Lucentio,
Because so well I love Lucentio.
LUC. Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves:
And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
Here comes the rogue.
Sirrah, where have you been?
BION. Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you? Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or you stolen his? or both? pray, what 's the news?
LUC. Sirrah, come hither: 't is no time to jest,
And therefore frame your manners to the time.
Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
And I for my escape have put on his;
For in a quarrel since I came ashore
I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:
Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
While I make way from hence to save my life:
You understand me?
BION. I, sir! ne'er a whit.
LUC. And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
BION. The better for him: would I were so too!
TRA. 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.
LUC. Tranio, let 's go: one thing more rests, that thyself execute, to make one among these wooers: if thou ask me why, sufficeth, my reasons are both good and weighty.
The presenters above speak
FIRST SERV. My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
SLY. Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely: comes there any more of it?
PAGE. My lord, 't is but begun.
SLY. 'T is a very excellent piece of work, madam lady: would 't were done!
[They sit and mark.
SCENE II. Padua. Before Hortensio's House.
Enter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIO
PET. 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.
Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.
GRU. Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there any man has rebused your worship?
PET. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
GRU. Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that I should knock you here, sir?
PET. Villain, I say, knock me at this gate
And rap me well, or I 'll knock your knave's pate.
GRU. My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,
And then I know after who comes by the worst.
PET. 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.
[He wrings him by the ears.
GRU. Help, masters, help! my master is mad.
PET. Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!
HOR. How now! what 's the matter? My old friend Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio! How do you all at Verona?
PET. Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
"Con tutto il core ben trovato," may I say.
HOR. "Alia nostra casa ben venuto, molto honorato signor mio Petrucio."
Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this quarrel.
GRU. Nay, 't is no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin. If 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 master so, being perhaps, for aught I see, two-and-thirty, a pip out?
Whom would to God I had well knock'd at first,
Then had not Grumio come by the worst.
PET. A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate
And could not get him for my heart to do it.
GRU. 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"?
PET. Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.
HOR. Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge:
Why, this 's a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale
Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
PET. 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,
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
Antonio, my father, is deceased;
And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Haply to wive and thrive as best I may:
Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home,
And so am come abroad to see the world.
HOR. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee,
And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thou 'ldst thank me but a little for my counsel:
And yet I 'll promise thee she shall be rich,
And very rich: but thou 'rt too much my friend,
And I 'll not wish thee to her.
PET. Signior 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,
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
As old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd
As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,
She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
As are the swelling Adriatic seas:
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
GRU. Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his mind is: why, give him gold enough and marry him to a puppet or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal.
HOR. Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
I will continue that I broach'd in jest.
I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
With wealth enough and young and beauteous,
Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
Is that she is intolerable curst
And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure,
That, were my state far worser than it is,
I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
PET. Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect:
Tell me her father's name and 't is enough;
For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
HOR. Her father is Baptista Minola,
An affable and courteous gentleman:
Her name is Katharina Minola,
Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
PET. 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,
Unless you will accompany me thither.
GRU. I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. 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 nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in his ropetricks. I 'll tell you what, sir, an she stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face and so disfigure her with it that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat. You know him not, sir.
HOR. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee;
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
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,
That ever Katharina will be woo'd;
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
That none shall have access unto Bianca
Till Katharine the curst have got a husband.
GRU. Katharine the curst!
A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
HOR. 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, by this device, at least
Have leave and leisure to make love to her,
And unsuspected court her by herself.
GRU. Here 's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks, how the young folks lay their heads together!
Excerpted from The Taming of the Shrew by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, ADAM FROST. Copyright © 1997 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) - 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some the best work produced in these genres even today. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.
Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as "not of an age, but for all time."
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century.
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This story is not one of a woman tamed, but of a passionate relationship between two equally matched, brilliant, and attractive people, who have an immediate attraction for one another. When Katharina agrees with Petruchio that the sun is a candle rush, she is not so much acquiescing as she is learning to be playful. She is becoming civilized and using her ample wit and passion in a more focused way. Her family had always given in to her bad temper and tantrums, but had not shown her love. Petruchio really loved and wanted her, and not just for her money. Initially he said that he was out for a rich bride, but after seeing her, he wanted her! She loved and wanted him, as evidenced by the fact that she cried when he was late to their wedding, not of broken pride, but of a broken heart. When he asked her to kiss him in the street, she did so, as an act of rebellion WITH him! In the end, her speech was very tongue in cheek, and she and Petruchio were playing the others. Chastising those who had chastised her so often gave her great pleasure. She was the most intelligent and respectful wife after all - because she was respected! The other wives were not as good as Kate, and certainly not as interesting! Petruchio had gotten the best woman, an equal in his eyes, and they had the utmost love and respect for each other. Shakespeare loved his women, and made all of them strong!
Having performed "Taming of the Shrew" for a local college, I was already familiar with Shakespeare's ubiquitous Comedy of the Sexes. Reading this edition, not only was I pleasantly reminded of the genius of the Bard, but surprised by the depth and richness of the supplemental articles and information contained in this book. The footnotes and language clarifications are terrific, and the articles themselves (including the obligatory description of Elizabethan England and a cross reference of plays, films, and performance pieces inspired by "Shrew") are full and informative. Good read.
This is terrible. The play is wonderful, but the way nook formats sucks. I have repeated pages and it's very difficult to find which ones I missing. I bought a nook because it came from an actual bookstore Vs. Kindle which comes from amazon. I assumed that because nook came from a bookstore thet would care about their ebooks. Now I have to purchase a hard copy of the book for school because this version is crap.
I purchased this but did not read it. When reading Shakespeare, I rely on the hyperlinked notes. The hyperlinks work, but the pages with the notes are solid black with no text. Ebook not usable. I will try to get my money back.
The Taming of the Shrew is one of the best Shakespeare's comedies. It is absolutely hilarious and, for once, the plot is fairly straightforward. Everyone should read this.
Hullo! We can discuss here!
Great Writing....!... Wonderful...! LOVE it...!
I had to read this book/play for my language arts class. At first I wasn't excited to read it at all, but I ended up loving it! It takes a little bit of work to understand but it is hilarious as well as the movie with Elizabeth Taylor. I truly think this was one of Shakespeare's best plays. I absolutely loved it, Katherine was my favorite character! :)