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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Enter BAPTISTA, VINCENTIO, GREMIO, the MERCHANT, LUCENTIO, BIANCA, PETRUCHIO, KATHERINE, HORTENSIO, WIDOW, TRANIO, BIONDELLO, and GRUMIO, with the Servingmen bringing in a banquet

LUCENTIO

At last, though long, our jarring notes agree, And time it is when raging war is done To smile at ’scapes and perils overblown. My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome, While I with selfsame kindness welcome thine. Brother Petruchio, sister Katherina, And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow, 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.

LUCENTIO

It's taken a long time, but at last we've all been reconciled. Now that the raging war is over, it's time to smile at our past dangers and adventures. My fair Bianca, welcome my father, while I with equal kindness welcome yours. Brother Petruchio, Sister Katherina, and you, Hortensio, with your loving widow, feast with the best of them, and welcome to my house. This dessert is to close up our stomachs—and any hard feelings—after our great feast. Please, sit down, for now we sit to chat as well as to eat.

PETRUCHIO

Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!

PETRUCHIO

Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!

BAPTISTA

Padua affords this kindness, son Petruchio.

BAPTISTA

Padua can afford this pleasant lifestyle, my son Petruchio.

PETRUCHIO

Padua affords nothing but what is kind.

PETRUCHIO

Padua contains nothing that isn't pleasant. 

HORTENSIO

For both our sakes, I would that word were true.

HORTENSIO

For both our sakes, I hope that's true.

PETRUCHIO

Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.

PETRUCHIO

Now, I swear! Hortensio fears his widow.

WIDOW

Then never trust me if I be afeard.

WIDOW

Don't worry, I'm not afraid of him.

PETRUCHIO

You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:I mean, Hortensio is afeard of you.

PETRUCHIO

You are very sensible, but you mistook my meaning: I meant that Hortensio is afraid of you.

WIDOW

He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.

WIDOW

He who is dizzy thinks the world spins round.

PETRUCHIO

Roundly replied.

PETRUCHIO

Well said.

KATHERINE

Mistress, how mean you that?

KATHERINE

Mistress, what do you mean by that?

WIDOW

Thus I conceive by him.

WIDOW

That's what I conceive of Petruchio.

PETRUCHIO

Conceives by me? How likes Hortensio that?

PETRUCHIO

She conceives by me? And what does Hortensio think of that?

HORTENSIO

My widow says, thus she conceives her tale.

HORTENSIO

My widow means that that's how she understands you.

PETRUCHIO

Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.

PETRUCHIO

Good job fixing that. Kiss him for that, good widow.

KATHERINE

“He that is giddy thinks the world turns round”—I pray you, tell me what you meant by that.

KATHERINE

"He who is dizzy thinks the world spins round"—Please, 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

Your husband, who has to live with a shrew, projects his own troubles onto my husband. And now you know my meaning.

KATHERINE

A very mean meaning.

KATHERINE

A very mean meaning.

WIDOW

Right, I mean you.

WIDOW

Right, because I mean you.

KATHERINE

And I am mean indeed, respecting you.

KATHERINE

And I demean myself by paying you any attention. 

PETRUCHIO

To her, Kate!

PETRUCHIO

Get her, Kate!

HORTENSIO

To her, widow!

HORTENSIO

Get her, widow!

PETRUCHIO

A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down.

PETRUCHIO

I'll bet you a hundred marks, my Kate will have her on her back.

HORTENSIO

That’s my office.

HORTENSIO

That's my job.

PETRUCHIO

Spoke like an officer! Ha' to thee, lad!

PETRUCHIO

Spoken like a good worker! Here's to you, boy!

Drinks to HORTENSIO

BAPTISTA

How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks?

BAPTISTA

How does Gremio like these quick-witted folks?

GREMIO

Believe me, sir, they butt together well.

GREMIO

Believe me, sir, they butt heads well.

BIANCA

Head and butt! An hasty-witted bodyWould say your head and butt were head and horn.

BIANCA

Head and butt! A clever person would say your butting head had horns.

VINCENTIO

Ay, mistress bride, hath that awakened you?

VINCENTIO

Ah, mistress bride, have we woken you up?

BIANCA

Ay, but not frighted me. Therefore I’ll sleep again.

BIANCA

Yes, but it hasn't frightened me. So I'll go back to sleep.

PETRUCHIO

Nay, that you shall not. Since you have begun,Have at you for a bitter jest or two!

PETRUCHIO

No, you certainly won't. Now that you've gotten started, be ready for a sharp joke 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.

BIANCA

Am I the bird you're shooting at now? I'll fly to a different tree, so you must follow me with your bow. You are all welcome here. Ladies, let me lead you out.

Exeunt BIANCA, KATHERINE and WIDOW

PETRUCHIO

She hath prevented me. Here, Signior Tranio,This bird you aimed at, though you hit her not.—Therefore a health to all that shot and missed.

PETRUCHIO

Well, she's escaped me. Sir Tranio, you also aimed at that bird, though you didn't hit her.—So here's a toast to all who have shot and missed.

TRANIO

Oh, sir, Lucentio slipped me like his greyhound,Which runs himself and catches for his master.

TRANIO

Oh, sir, Lucentio just let me off his leash like a greyhound. I did the running, but the catch was for my master.

PETRUCHIO

A good swift simile, but something currish.

PETRUCHIO

A good and fast answer, but also one for the dogs.

TRANIO

'Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself.'Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.

TRANIO

It's good, sir, that you hunted for yourself. There's a rumor that your deer has faced you down and cornered you.

BAPTISTA

Oh, Oh, Petruchio! Tranio hits you now.

BAPTISTA

Oh, oh, Petruchio! Now Tranio hits you with a good one.

LUCENTIO

I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio.

LUCENTIO

I thank you for that taunt, good Tranio.

HORTENSIO

Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here?

HORTENSIO

Admit it, admit, didn't that one hit close to home?

PETRUCHIO

He has a little galled me, I confess.And, as the jest did glance away from me,'Tis ten to one it maimed you two outright.

PETRUCHIO

He has wounded me a little, I confess. But since the taunt grazed me and kept flying, it's ten to one that it hit you two straight on.

BAPTISTA

Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio, I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.

BAPTISTA

In all seriousness though, my son Petruchio, I think you have the biggest 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, Shall win the wager which we will propose.

PETRUCHIO

Well, I have to disagree. But let's have some proof. Each one of us should send for his wife, and whoever's wife is most obedient, and comes immediately when he sends for her, that man will win the bet we make.

HORTENSIO

Content. What’s the wager?

HORTENSIO

Sounds good. What's the bet?

LUCENTIO

Twenty crowns.

LUCENTIO

Twenty crowns.

PETRUCHIO

Twenty crowns?I’ll venture so much of my hawk or hound, But twenty times so much upon my wife.

PETRUCHIO

Twenty crowns? I'd bet that much on my hawk or my hound, but I'd bet twenty times that on my wife.

LUCENTIO

A hundred then.

LUCENTIO

A hundred then.

HORTENSIO

Content.

HORTENSIO

Agreed.

PETRUCHIO

A match! 'Tis done.

PETRUCHIO

It's a bet! Let's do it.

HORTENSIO

Who shall begin?

HORTENSIO

Who should begin?

LUCENTIO

That will I.Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.

LUCENTIO

I will. Go, Biondello, and tell your mistress to come to me.

BIONDELLO

I go.

BIONDELLO

I go.

Exit

BAPTISTA

Son, I’ll be your half Bianca comes.

BAPTISTA

Son, I'll take half your bet that Bianca comes.

LUCENTIO

I’ll have no halves. I’ll bear it all myself.

LUCENTIO

I don't want any halves. I'll bear it all myself.

Enter BIONDELLO

How now, what news?

Well, what's the news?

BIONDELLO

Sir, my mistress sends you wordThat she is busy, and she cannot come.

BIONDELLO

Sir, my mistress says to tell you that she's busy, and she cannot come.

PETRUCHIO

How! “She’s busy, and she cannot come!”Is that an answer?

PETRUCHIO

What! "She's busy, and she cannot come!" Is that her answer?

GREMIO

Ay, and a kind one too.Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.

GREMIO

Yes, and a kind one at that. Pray to God, sir, that your wife doesn't send you a worse one.

PETRUCHIO

I hope better.

PETRUCHIO

I expect something better.

HORTENSIO

Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wifeTo come to me forthwith.

HORTENSIO

Biondello, boy, go and ask my wife to come to me right away.

Exit BIONDELLO

PETRUCHIO

O, ho, entreat her!Nay, then she must needs come.

PETRUCHIO

Oh ho, ask her! Well, then she has to come.

HORTENSIO

I am afraid, sir,Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.

HORTENSIO

I'm afraid that no matter what you do, sir, your wife won't let herself be asked for anything.

Enter BIONDELLO

Now, where’s my wife?

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.

BIONDELLO

She says you must be playing some kind of joke. She will not come. She tells you to come to her.

PETRUCHIO

Worse and worse. She will not come! O vile, intolerable, not to be endured!— Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress, Say I command her to come to me.

PETRUCHIO

Worse and worse. She will not come! Oh, it's vile, intolerable, not to be endured!—Grumio, go to your mistress. Say that I command her to come to me.

Exit GRUMIO

HORTENSIO

I know her answer.

HORTENSIO

I know what her answer will be.

PETRUCHIO

What?

PETRUCHIO

What?

HORTENSIO

She will not.

HORTENSIO

She will not.

PETRUCHIO

The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.

PETRUCHIO

That'll be the worse for me, and an end to the matter.

Enter KATHERINE

BAPTISTA

Now, by my holidam, here comes Katherina!

BAPTISTA

Now, by all that's holy, here comes Katherina!

KATHERINE

What is your will, sir, that you send for me?

KATHERINE

What is your will, sir, that you sent for me?

PETRUCHIO

Where is your sister, and Hortensio’s wife?

PETRUCHIO

Where are your sister and Hortensio's wife?

KATHERINE

They sit conferring by the parlor fire.

KATHERINE

They sit talking by the fire in the parlor. 

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.

PETRUCHIO

Go bring them here. If they refuse to come, give them a beating on my behalf to get them out here to their husbands. Go on, I say, and bring them here right away.

Exit KATHERINE

LUCENTIO

Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.

LUCENTIO

Here is a miracle, if we're speaking of miracles.

HORTENSIO

And so it is. I wonder what it bodes.

HORTENSIO

So it is. I wonder what it means.

PETRUCHIO

Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life,And awful rule, and right supremacy,And, to be short, what not that’s sweet and happy?

PETRUCHIO

Well, it means peace, and love, and a quiet life, and authority commanding respect, and proper hierarchy, and, in brief, everything sweet and happy.

BAPTISTA

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,For she is changed as she had never been.

BAPTISTA

Well, may you have good fortune, good Petruchio! You've won the bet, and I'll add twenty thousand crowns to these two men's losses. It will be a new dowry for a new daughter, for indeed she is so changed that she's like a whole new woman.

PETRUCHIO

Nay, I will win my wager better yet,And show more sign of her obedience,Her new-built virtue and obedience.

PETRUCHIO

Wait, I'll win the bet even more completely, and show more signs of her obedience, her newly-created virtue and obedience.

Enter KATHERINE with BIANCA and WIDOW

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.

See, here she comes, bringing your willful wives with her as prisoners of her womanly duty. Katherine, that cap of yours doesn't look good. Take off the silly thing and stomp on it. 

WIDOW

Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh,Till I be brought to such a silly pass!

WIDOW

Lord, don't let me ever be brought to such a silly state of affairs where someone could treat me like that!

BIANCA

Fie! What a foolish duty call you this?

BIANCA

For shame! What kind of foolish "obedience" do you call this?

LUCENTIO

I would your duty were as foolish too.The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,Hath cost me an hundred crowns since suppertime.

LUCENTIO

I wish your obedience was just as foolish. The wisdom of your obedience, fair Bianca, has cost me a hundred crowns since dinnertime. 

BIANCA

The more fool you for laying on my duty.

BIANCA

Then you're the bigger fool for betting money on my obedience.

PETRUCHIO

Katherine, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.

PETRUCHIO

Katherine, I want you to tell these headstrong women what kind of obedience they owe to their lords and husbands.

WIDOW

Come, come, you’re mocking. We will have no telling.

WIDOW

Come on, you're joking. She won't tell us anything.

PETRUCHIO

Come on, I say, and first begin with her.

PETRUCHIO

Do it, I say, and begin with her.

WIDOW

She shall not.

WIDOW

She won't.

PETRUCHIO

I say she shall.—And first begin with her.

PETRUCHIO

I say she will.—And first begin with her.

KATHERINE

Fie, fie! Unknit that threat'ning unkind brow And dart not scornful glances from those eyes 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 moved is like a fountain troubled, 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, And for thy maintenance commits his body To painful labor 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 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, And not obedient to his honest will, What is she but a foul contending rebel And graceless traitor to her loving lord? I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace; 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 Should well agree with our external parts? Come, come, you froward 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. 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: In token of which duty, if he please, My hand is ready, may it do him ease.

KATHERINE

For shame, for shame! Don't furrow your brow and glare so scornfully to try to wound the man who is your lord, your king, and your governor. It tarnishes your beauty like frost blights the meadows, and ruins your reputation like a strong wind shaking a flower bud. In no sense whatsoever is it appropriate or pleasant. An angry woman is like a stirred-up fountain—muddy, ugly, thick, lacking beauty—and while it's in this condition, no one, not even a dry or thirsty man, will stoop to sip or touch one drop of it. Your husband is your lord, your life, your keeper, your head, your ruler, and one who cares for you. To keep you safe and comfortable he commits his body to painful labor on both sea and land, to staying awake on stormy nights and cold days at sea, while you stay at home, warm and secure. And in exchange all he asks for is love, beauty, and true obedience—too little payment for so great a debt. A woman owes her husband the same obedience that a subject owes to his prince. And when she is stubborn, peevish, sullen, sour, and not obedient to his honest will, then what is she but a foul, vicious rebel, and a cursed traitor to her loving lord? I am ashamed that women are so foolish as to declare war when they should kneel and plead for peace. I'm ashamed that they should seek rulership, supremacy, and power when they are obligated to serve, love and obey. Why else are our bodies so soft and weak and smooth, unfit for labor and trouble in the world, if not so that our soft qualities and our hearts should agree with our external parts? Come, come, you weak, willful worms! My mind was once just as arrogant as yours, my courage just as great, and my wit perhaps even better when it came to tossing words back and forth and exchanging frowns for frowns. But now I see that our swords are only straws, our strength is just as weak, and our weakness is beyond compare, so that we seem to be exactly the thing we are not. So humble your pride, for it's useless. Place your hands beneath your husband's boot as a gesture of obedience. My hand is always ready to comfort and pleasure my husband, if he wants me to.

PETRUCHIO

Why, there’s a wench! Come on and kiss me, Kate.

PETRUCHIO

Why, there's a good girl! Come on and kiss me, Kate.

LUCENTIO

Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shalt ha ’t.

LUCENTIO

Well, what do you know, old boy, you've done it.

VINCENTIO

'Tis a good hearing when children are toward.

VINCENTIO

It's good to hear children being obedient.

LUCENTIO

But a harsh hearing when women are froward.

LUCENTIO

But it's unpleasant to hear women being willful.

PETRUCHIO

[To LUCENTIO] Come, Kate, we’ll to bed. We three are married, but you two are sped. 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white, And, being a winner, God give you good night!

PETRUCHIO

Come, Kate, we'll go to bed. We three are all married, but you two are done for—your wives are too disobedient. 

[To LUCENTIO] I won the wager, but you hit the white. And as the winner, I now bid you good night!

Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATHERINE

HORTENSIO

Now, go thy ways, thou hast tamed a curst shrew.

HORTENSIO

Well, go on. You've tamed a terrible shrew.

LUCENTIO

'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.

LUCENTIO

And it's a miracle, if I may say so, that she could be tamed like that.

Exeunt

The taming of the shrew
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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.