Scene-by-scene

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Induction Scenes I and II

In the induction, we meet a drunk beggar named Christopher Sly, who is arguing with the Hostess of an Alehouse over glassware he has broken in his drunken state. Sly leaves but soon passes out, where he is discovered by a lord returning from the hunt. This lord decides to have a bout of fun and orders his servants to take Sly back to his house and treat him as if he were the lord: put him to bed, place rings on his fingers and prepare a banquet for him. The confusion that follows not only provides excellent comedy, but also introduces important topics in the play: the roles of class, gender, and marital status (normally set in stone) in the play become matters of appearance and perception.

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Induction Scenes I and II

In the induction, we meet a drunk beggar named Christopher Sly, who is arguing with the Hostess of an Alehouse over glassware he has broken in his drunken state. Sly leaves but soon passes out, where he is discovered by a lord returning from the hunt. This lord decides to have a bout of fun and orders his servants to take Sly back to his house and treat him as if he were the lord: put him to bed, place rings on his fingers and prepare a banquet for him. The confusion that follows not only provides excellent comedy, but also introduces important topics in the play: the roles of class, gender, and marital status (normally set in stone) in the play become matters of appearance and perception.

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Induction Scenes I and II

In the induction, we meet a drunk beggar named Christopher Sly, who is arguing with the Hostess of an Alehouse over glassware he has broken in his drunken state. Sly leaves but soon passes out, where he is discovered by a lord returning from the hunt. This lord decides to have a bout of fun and orders his servants to take Sly back to his house and treat him as if he were the lord: put him to bed, place rings on his fingers and prepare a banquet for him. The confusion that follows not only provides excellent comedy, but also introduces important topics in the play: the roles of class, gender, and marital status (normally set in stone) in the play become matters of appearance and perception.

“The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare

Induction Scenes I and II

In the induction, we meet a drunk beggar named Christopher Sly, who is arguing with the Hostess of an Alehouse over glassware he has broken in his drunken state. Sly leaves but soon passes out, where he is discovered by a lord returning from the hunt. This lord decides to have a bout of fun and orders his servants to take Sly back to his house and treat him as if he were the lord: put him to bed, place rings on his fingers and prepare a banquet for him. The confusion that follows not only provides excellent comedy, but also introduces important topics in the play: the roles of class, gender, and marital status (normally set in stone) in the play become matters of appearance and perception.

William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Induction Scenes I and II

In the induction, we meet a drunk beggar named Christopher Sly, who is arguing with the Hostess of an Alehouse over glassware he has broken in his drunken state. Sly leaves but soon passes out, where he is discovered by a lord returning from the hunt. This lord decides to have a bout of fun and orders his servants to take Sly back to his house and treat him as if he were the lord: put him to bed, place rings on his fingers and prepare a banquet for him. The confusion that follows not only provides excellent comedy, but also introduces important topics in the play: the roles of class, gender, and marital status (normally set in stone) in the play become matters of appearance and perception.

Taming of the Shrew (Act I, Sc. I)

Act I, Scene I, Lines 1-47

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!

Lucentio
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.

Tranio
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.

Lucentio
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?

Tranio
Master, some show to welcome us to town.
(lines 1-46)

Taming of the Shrew (Act IV, Sc. III)

kateThis scene takes place in Petruchio’s country house.  Katharina has been begging for food from Grumio, stating that she has never had to beg before.  Petruchio and Hortensio eat the food in front of Katharina.  Petruchio also sends the tailor and haberdasher away, giving them a tongue-lashing about his wife’s appearance, despite Katherine loving the outfits.  This scene, the climax of the main plot,  demonstrates the final steps in Petruchio’s successful taming of his wife, albeit it cruel and unthinkable by today’s standards!  This scene inspired Hannah’s beautiful drawing of Katharina.  Hannah is a grade 9 student.

Petruchio:
What is the jay more precious than the lark,
Because his fathers are more beautiful?
Or is the adder better than the eel,
Because his painted skin contents the eye?
O, no, good Kate; neither art thou the worse
For this poor furniture and mean array.
if thou account’st it shame. lay it on me;
And therefore frolic: we will hence forthwith,
To feast and sport us at thy father’s house.
Go, call my men, and let us straight to him;
And bring our horses unto Long-lane end;
There will we mount, and thither walk on foot
Let’s see; I think ’tis now some seven o’clock,
And well we may come there by dinner-time.
(lines 176-189)

Taming of the Shrew (Act IV, Sc. V)

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

Petruchio
Come on, i’ God’s name; once more toward our father’s.
Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!

Kathatrina
The moon! the sun: it is not moonlight now.

Petruchio
I say it is the moon that shines so bright.

Kathatrina
I know it is the sun that shines so bright.

Petruchio
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!

Hortnesio
Say as he says, or we shall never go.
(lines 1-11)

Taming of the Shrew (Act V, Sc. II)

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!

Kathatrina

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)