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The Taming of the Shrew

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Act V, Scene 2




  • Lucentio. At last, though long, our jarring notes agree;
    And time it is when raging war is done 2490
    To smile at scapes and perils overblown.
    My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome,
    While I with self-same kindness welcome thine.
    Brother Petruchio, sister Katherina,
    And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow, 2495
    Feast with the best, and welcome to my house.
    My banquet is to close our stomachs up
    After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down;
    For now we sit to chat as well as eat. [They sit]
  • Petruchio. Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat! 2500
  • Petruchio. Padua affords nothing but what is kind.
  • Hortensio. For both our sakes I would that word were true.
  • Petruchio. Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.
  • Widow. Then never trust me if I be afeard. 2505
  • Petruchio. YOU are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:
    I mean Hortensio is afeard of you.
  • Widow. He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.
  • Widow. Thus I conceive by him.
  • Petruchio. Conceives by me! How likes Hortensio that?
  • Hortensio. My widow says thus she conceives her tale.
  • Petruchio. Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.
  • Katherina. 'He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.' 2515
    I pray you tell me what you meant by that.
  • Widow. Your husband, being troubled with a shrew,
    Measures my husband's sorrow by his woe;
    And now you know my meaning.
  • Widow. Right, I mean you.
  • Katherina. And I am mean, indeed, respecting you.
  • Petruchio. A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down. 2525
  • Petruchio. Spoke like an officer- ha' to thee, lad.

[Drinks to HORTENSIO]

  • Gremio. Believe me, sir, they butt together well. 2530
  • Bianca. Head and butt! An hasty-witted body
    Would say your head and butt were head and horn.
  • Vincentio. Ay, mistress bride, hath that awakened you?
  • Bianca. Ay, but not frighted me; therefore I'll sleep again.
  • Petruchio. Nay, that you shall not; since you have begun, 2535
    Have at you for a bitter jest or two.
  • Bianca. Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush,
    And then pursue me as you draw your bow.
    You are welcome all.


  • Petruchio. She hath prevented me. Here, Signior Tranio,
    This bird you aim'd at, though you hit her not;
    Therefore a health to all that shot and miss'd.
  • Tranio. O, sir, Lucentio slipp'd me like his greyhound,
    Which runs himself, and catches for his master. 2545
  • Petruchio. A good swift simile, but something currish.
  • Tranio. 'Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself;
    'Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.
  • Lucentio. I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio. 2550
  • Hortensio. Confess, confess; hath he not hit you here?
  • Petruchio. 'A has a little gall'd me, I confess;
    And, as the jest did glance away from me,
    'Tis ten to one it maim'd you two outright.
  • Baptista Minola. Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio, 2555
    I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.
  • Petruchio. Well, I say no; and therefore, for assurance,
    Let's each one send unto his wife,
    And he whose wife is most obedient,
    To come at first when he doth send for her, 2560
    Shall win the wager which we will propose.
  • Petruchio. Twenty crowns?
    I'll venture so much of my hawk or hound, 2565
    But twenty times so much upon my wife.
  • Lucentio. That will I.
    Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.
  • Lucentio. I'll have no halves; I'll bear it all myself. 2575
    [Re-enter BIONDELLO]
    How now! what news?
  • Biondello. Sir, my mistress sends you word
    That she is busy and she cannot come.
  • Petruchio. How! She's busy, and she cannot come! 2580
    Is that an answer?
  • Gremio. Ay, and a kind one too.
    Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.
  • Hortensio. Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wife 2585
    To come to me forthwith. Exit BIONDELLO
  • Petruchio. O, ho! entreat her!
    Nay, then she must needs come.
  • Hortensio. I am afraid, sir,
    Do what you can, yours will not be entreated. 2590
    [Re-enter BIONDELLO]
    Now, where's my wife?
  • Biondello. She says you have some goodly jest in hand:
    She will not come; she bids you come to her.
  • Petruchio. Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile, 2595
    Intolerable, not to be endur'd!
    Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress;
    Say I command her come to me. Exit GRUMIO
  • Petruchio. The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.


  • Katherina. What is your sir, that you send for me? 2605
  • Petruchio. Where is your sister, and Hortensio's wife?
  • Katherina. They sit conferring by the parlour fire.
  • Petruchio. Go, fetch them hither; if they deny to come.
    Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands.
    Away, I say, and bring them hither straight. 2610


  • Lucentio. Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.
  • Hortensio. And so it is. I wonder what it bodes.
  • Petruchio. Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life,
    An awful rule, and right supremacy; 2615
    And, to be short, what not that's sweet and happy.
  • Baptista Minola. Now fair befall thee, good Petruchio!
    The wager thou hast won; and I will add
    Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns;
    Another dowry to another daughter, 2620
    For she is chang'd, as she had never been.
  • Petruchio. Nay, I will win my wager better yet,
    And show more sign of her obedience,
    Her new-built virtue and obedience.
    [Re-enter KATHERINA with BIANCA and WIDOW] 2625
    See where she comes, and brings your froward wives
    As prisoners to her womanly persuasion.
    Katherine, that cap of yours becomes you not:
    Off with that bauble, throw it underfoot.

[KATHERINA complies]

  • Widow. Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh
    Till I be brought to such a silly pass!
  • Bianca. Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?
  • Lucentio. I would your duty were as foolish too;
    The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca, 2635
    Hath cost me a hundred crowns since supper-time!
  • Bianca. The more fool you for laying on my duty.
  • Petruchio. Katherine, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women
    What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.
  • Widow. Come, come, you're mocking; we will have no telling. 2640
  • Petruchio. Come on, I say; and first begin with her.
  • Petruchio. I say she shall. And first begin with her.
  • Katherina. Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
    And dart not scornful glances from those eyes 2645
    To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.
    It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
    Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
    And in no sense is meet or amiable.
    A woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled- 2650
    Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
    And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
    Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
    Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee, 2655
    And for thy maintenance commits his body
    To painful labour both by sea and land,
    To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
    Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
    And craves no other tribute at thy hands 2660
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience-
    Too little payment for so great a debt.
    Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
    Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
    And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour, 2665
    And not obedient to his honest will,
    What is she but a foul contending rebel
    And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
    I am asham'd that women are so simple
    To offer war where they should kneel for peace; 2670
    Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
    When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
    Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
    Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
    But that our soft conditions and our hearts 2675
    Should well agree with our external parts?
    Come, come, you forward and unable worms!
    My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
    My heart as great, my reason haply more,
    To bandy word for word and frown for frown; 2680
    But now I see our lances are but straws,
    Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
    That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
    Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
    And place your hands below your husband's foot; 2685
    In token of which duty, if he please,
    My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
  • Petruchio. Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.
  • Lucentio. Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shalt ha't.
  • Vincentio. 'Tis a good hearing when children are toward. 2690
  • Lucentio. But a harsh hearing when women are froward.
  • Petruchio. Come, Kate, we'll to bed.
    We three are married, but you two are sped.
    [To LUCENTIO] 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white;
    And being a winner, God give you good night! 2695


  • Hortensio. Now go thy ways; thou hast tam'd a curst shrow.
  • Lucentio. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd so.