William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays >The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

The Taming of the Shrew Play

The Taming of the Shrew begins in Padua (Italy) with Lucentio and servant Tranio happening upon Bianca, Lucentio instantly falling in love. Bianca, no stranger to admiring glances from men is the youngest daughter of father Baptista, his other elder daughter being Katherine.

Gremio and Hortensio also desire Bianca, so Baptista decrees that neither may pursue her until the shrew Katherine has a husband, a seemingly impossible task. Liking a challenge, Hortensio and Gremio decide to find Katherine a husband. Lucentio has his servant impersonate him, Lucentio disguising himself as teacher Cambio to to get close to Bianca.

The somewhat unkept Petruchio of Verona and servant Grumio arrive and hearing of Katherine, decides to chase and marry her to obtain her family's wealth. Petruchio is encouraged by Lucentio, Gremio and Hortensio who agree to pay all costs of Petruchio's quest. The two meet, but is not a case of love at first sight, more fight at first sight!

Meanwhile, Hortensio decides disguise himself as school master Litio, instructing Bianca in music. Likewise, Petruchio has been busy wooing Katherine, even being slapped for his troubles. Petruchio, obstinately just becomes more determined to marry Katherine and ever bold, declares he will wed her on Sunday, earning Katherine's reply she would rather see him hanged first!

Amazingly, Petruchio successfully woos Katherine but to decide between Lucentio, Hortensio and Gremio, Baptista declares she will go to the wealthiest suitor. Eventually Baptista accepts Lucentio for Bianca but wants Lucentio's father to confirm Lucentio's wealth.

Petruchio arrives for his wedding, disappointing Katherine at every turn from arriving in a sorry excuse of a horse to wearing common clothes to kissing Katherine rudely then skipping the wedding banquet with dishevelled servant Grumio in tow for Petruchio's country home. Baptista, clearly lost for words is simply happy to see her gone. The ride is not pleasant, Katherine falling in mud only to have to defend Grumio from Petruchio.

It doesn't get any better at for Katherine. Petruchio, finds fault in everything, even a cap Katherine dearly loves. At every turn Petruchio must have the final word, giving poor Katherine a taste of her own medicine! Defeated, Hortensio decides to marry a widow. Petruchio continues to break Katherine's will, denying her food, clothing even company until she agrees with his word no matter how ridiculous. Katherine, sick of this, starts to agree to anything Petruchio says, just to have peace!

Back in Padua, a man is found to impersonate Lucentio's father Vincento who meets Baptista. Meanwhile, Lucentio is to marry Bianca. On the road, Petruchio and Katherine meet the real Vincentio, Petruchio even succeeding in having Katherine tell Vincentio he is a woman, then apologize and recognise her error.

Vincentio learns of Lucentio's marriage all travelling to Padua. Now in Padua Vincentio wishes to see his son to be denied this by both Pedant impersonating Vincento and Tranio impersonating Lucentio. They even try to have the real Vincentio arrested. Lucentio and Bianca declare their marriage, infuriating Baptista and the real Vincento alike. Eventually all decide to accept and celebrate the three marriages of Petruchio to Kate, Lucentio to Bianca, and Hortensio to the widow. Now eating dinner, Petruchio wins a bet against the Lucentio and Hortensio that he has the most obedient wife, telling her afterwards, "Kiss me Kate."

Contents

Dramatis Personæ

Induction
Scene I, Scene II

Act I

Scene I, Scene II

Act II
Scene I

Act III

Scene I, Scene II

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV, Scene V

Act V
Scene I, Scene II

< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards