An introductory speech by Lucentio (son of the great merchant of Venice, Vincentio of Pisa) and his manservant Tranio. Vincentio has given permission to his son Lucenetio to travel to Padua to study “virtue, and that part of philosophy/ … that treats of happiness/By virtue specially achieved.” Tranio has other ideas, however, and advises his master not to forget the joys of courtship and love!
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 renown’d for grave citizens
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
Vincetino’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.
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 cheques
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.
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?
Master, some show to welcome us to town. (lines 1-46)
Pertruchio, Katharina, Hortensio and their servants are on the way back to Padua and restng along the way. Pertruchio orders the company to continue with their journey. Katharina contradicts Pertruchio, and he responds with the opposite, saying whatever he says is fact. As suggested by Hortensio, Kate submits to Petruchio’s will; a further step into taming his wife.
Alyssa’s passion for animation comes to the fore in this clip, her Shakespeare presentation; something very different and colourful! Alyssa is in grade 6.
Enter PETRUCHIO, KATHARINA, HORTENSIO, and Servants
Come on, i’ God’s name; once more toward our father’s.
Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!
The moon! the sun: it is not moonlight now.
I say it is the moon that shines so bright.
I know it is the sun that shines so bright.
Now, by my mother’s son, and that’s myself,
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
Or ere I journey to your father’s house.
Go on, and fetch our horses back again.
Evermore cross’d and cross’d; nothing but cross’d!
Say as he says, or we shall never go. (lines 1-11)
In this well-known soliloquy, the now-tame Kate addresses the women at the wedding banquet: “Wipe those frowns off your faces and stop rolling your eyes”, which are considered to be “disrespectful” towards their husbands. This concludes the main plot of the play as Kate is now able to take her rightful place as Petruchio’s wife. The theme of ‘submission’ is certainly out of place in a modern context … was it ever appropriate? Shakespeare seems to be challenging this belief and typical 16th-century attitudes about matrimony are subtly mocked in the play. Yet, the theme of “respect” was an important lesson that Kate had to learn, and this scene is therefore a fitting end to the play.
Khylam (grade 9) had the following to say: “I am doing these lines because I think that they show very profound wisdom and Shakespeare’s deep understanding of things such as love, or loyalty … Very well said Khylam!
Fie, fie! unknit that threatening 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 mov’d 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 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
But love, fair looks, and true obedience-
Too little payment for so great a debt. (lines 143-161)