A line-by-line translation

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew Translation Table of Contents

Katherine swears she’ll never marry. Her younger sister, Bianca, can’t marry until Katherine does. So when Bianca falls in love with Lucentio, she needs her older sister to wed so Bianca can fulfill her heart’s desire. Enter Petruchio, determined to marry a wealthy woman, who sets his eyes on the reluctant Katherine. Katherine and Petruchio’s battle of wills is famous in literature, and Katherine’s eventual submission to her husband is much debated, either as a sign of her love, or a revelation of her fear. The Shakescleare modern English translation of The Taming of the Shrew makes it easy to decipher Shakespeare’s nuanced language and will help you appreciate all of the play’s most famous lines--like “If I be waspish, best beware my sting.”

Induction, Scene 1

Sly is drunk and kicked out of an inn. A lord comes along, finds Sly sleeping, and decides to play a practical joke.

Induction, Scene 2

Sly wakes up in the lord's house and is told that he is the lord. Actors are going to perform a play for him.

Act 1, Scene 1

Lucentio sees Bianca and instantly falls in love with her. Lucentio, with Tranio's help, plans to woo her.

Act 1, Scene 2

Petruchio is trying to find a rich wife. Lucentio pretends to be a music teacher, and Tranio a suitor for Bianca.

Act 2, Scene 1

Katherine shows her foul temper. Petruchio comes to marry Katherine and deliberately winds her up.

Act 3, Scene 1

Hortensio and Lucentio, disguised as teachers, both try to get Bianca alone to woo her. Lucentio reveals his identity.

Act 3, Scene 2

Katherine and Petruchio get married, but Petruchio turns up late and poorly dressed, and then brings Kate to his house.

Act 4, Scene 1

Petruchio has been deliberately annoying, and deprives Katherine of food and sleep to "train" her like a hunting bird.

Act 4, Scene 2

Hortensio gives up on wooing Bianca. Tranio and Lucentio plan to use a merchant to stand in for Lucentio's father.

Act 4, Scene 3

Petruchio continues to deprive Katherine of food, and teases her with clothes, demanding that she is obedient to him.

Act 4, Scene 4

The Merchant pretends to be Lucentio's father, allowing Tranio (dressed as Lucentio) to arrange a marriage with Bianca.

Act 4, Scene 5

Petruchio breaks Katherine with exhaustion and she starts agreeing with him. They meet Lucentio's father on the road.

Act 5, Scene 1

Vincentio confuses Tranio and Lucentio's plan. Lucentio marries Bianca and begs his father for forgiveness.

Act 5, Scene 2

The newlywed men place bets on which wife will be the most obedient. Petruchio wins as Katherine follows his orders.
Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.