List iconThe Taming of the Shrew:
Act 1, scene 1
List icon

The Taming of the Shrew
Act 1, scene 1



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The Taming of the Shrew begins with an “induction” in which a nobleman plays a trick on a beggar, Christopher Sly,…

Induction, scene 1

Christopher Sly, a drunken beggar, is driven out of an alehouse by its hostess. A great lord, returning from the…

Induction, scene 2

The newly awakened Sly is offered delicacies and fine clothes. When he demands his usual ale and beef, the lord…

Act 1, scene 1

Lucentio has come with his servant Tranio to Padua to study philosophy. They witness an encounter between Baptista and his…

Act 1, scene 2

Petruchio, with his servant Grumio, has just arrived in Padua. His friend Hortensio suggests that Petruchio woo Katherine. Petruchio enthusiastically…

Act 2, scene 1

Baptista stops Katherine from abusing Bianca and receives a visit from Petruchio, who presents Hortensio (disguised as Litio, a music…

Act 3, scene 1

Under cover of their disguises as schoolmasters, first Lucentio (as Cambio) and then Hortensio (as Litio) try for Bianca’s love….

Act 3, scene 2

Petruchio is late arriving for his wedding, to Katherine’s great embarrassment. When he finally presents himself, he is dressed in…

Act 4, scene 1

At Petruchio’s house in the country, Grumio tells his fellow servant Curtis about the wild journey home to Petruchio’s after…

Act 4, scene 2

In Padua, Hortensio (as Litio) leads Tranio (as Lucentio) to spy on Bianca and Lucentio-Cambio as the couple kiss and…

Act 4, scene 3

At Petruchio’s home, Grumio torments Katherine by promising her food that he fails to bring. Petruchio then serves Katherine himself,…

Act 4, scene 4

In Padua, the Merchant impersonating Vincentio visits Baptista with Tranio, who is still disguised as Lucentio. Baptista accepts the Merchant’s…

Act 4, scene 5

Katherine now gives assent to every word Petruchio says. On their way to her father’s, they meet the true Vincentio,…

Act 5, scene 1

After Bianca has secretly married Lucentio, Petruchio, Katherine, and Lucentio’s father arrive at Lucentio’s lodging. They are rebuffed by the…

Act 5, scene 2

Three couples attend the wedding banquet—Lucentio and Bianca, Petruchio and Katherine, and Hortensio and the Widow. Petruchio is repeatedly teased…

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Scene 1
Flourish. Enter Lucentio and his man Tranio.

 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,
5 And by my father’s love and leave am armed
 With his goodwill 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.
10 Pisa, renownèd for grave citizens,
 Gave me my being, and my father first,
 A merchant of great traffic through the world,
 Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.
 Vincentio’s son, brought up in Florence,
15 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
20 By virtue specially to be achieved.
 Tell me thy mind, for I have Pisa left
 And am to Padua come, as he that leaves

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

 A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
 And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
25 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
30 This virtue and this moral discipline,
 Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
 Or so devote to Aristotle’s checks
 As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
 Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
35 And practice 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.
40 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
45 Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.

Enter Baptista with his two daughters, Katherine and
Bianca; Gremio, a pantaloon, and Hortensio, suitors
to Bianca.

 But stay awhile! What company is this?
 Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Lucentio and Tranio stand by.
BAPTISTA, to Gremio and Hortensio 
 Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
 For how I firmly am resolved you know:

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

50 That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
 Before I have a husband for the elder.
 If either of you both love Katherine,
 Because I know you well and love you well,
 Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
55 To cart her, rather. She’s too rough for me.—
 There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
KATHERINE, to Baptista 
 I pray you, sir, is it your will
 To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
 “Mates,” maid? How mean you that? No mates for
60 you,
 Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.
 I’ faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.
 Iwis it is not halfway to her heart.
 But if it were, doubt not her care should be
65 To comb your noddle with a three-legged stool
 And paint your face and use you like a fool.
 From all such devils, good Lord, deliver us!
GREMIO And me too, good Lord.
TRANIO, aside to Lucentio 
 Husht, master, here’s some good pastime toward;
70 That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
LUCENTIO, aside to Tranio 
 But in the other’s silence do I see
 Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.
 Peace, Tranio.
TRANIO, aside to Lucentio 
 Well said, master. Mum, and gaze your fill.
BAPTISTA, to Gremio and Hortensio 
75 Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
 What I have said—Bianca, get you in,

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

 And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
 For I will love thee ne’er the less, my girl.
 A pretty peat! It is best
80 Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
 Sister, content you in my discontent.—
 Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.
 My books and instruments shall be my company,
 On them to look and practice by myself.
LUCENTIO, aside to Tranio 
85 Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak!
 Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
 Sorry am I that our goodwill effects
 Bianca’s grief.
GREMIO  Why will you mew her up,
90 Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
 And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
 Gentlemen, content you. I am resolved.—
 Go in, Bianca.Bianca exits.
 And for I know she taketh most delight
95 In music, instruments, and poetry,
 Schoolmasters will I keep within my house
 Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
 Or, Signior Gremio, you know any such,
 Prefer them hither. For to cunning men
100 I will be very kind, and liberal
 To mine own children in good bringing up.
 And so, farewell.—Katherine, you may stay,
 For I have more to commune with Bianca.He exits.
 Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?
105 What, shall I be appointed hours as though, belike,
 I knew not what to take and what to leave? Ha!
She exits.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

GREMIO You may go to the Devil’s dam! Your gifts are
 so good here’s none will hold you.—Their love is
 not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
110 together and fast it fairly out. Our cake’s dough on
 both sides. Farewell. Yet for the love I bear my
 sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit
 man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will
 wish him to her father.
HORTENSIO 115So will I, Signior Gremio. But a word, I
 pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never
 brooked parle, know now upon advice, it toucheth
 us both (that we may yet again have access to our
 fair mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca’s love) to
120 labor and effect one thing specially.
GREMIO What’s that, I pray?
HORTENSIO Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
GREMIO A husband? A devil!
HORTENSIO I say “a husband.”
GREMIO 125I say “a devil.” Think’st thou, Hortensio,
 though her father be very rich, any man is so very a
 fool to be married to hell?
HORTENSIO Tush, Gremio. Though it pass your patience
 and mine to endure her loud alarums, why,
130 man, there be good fellows in the world, an a man
 could light on them, would take her with all faults,
 and money enough.
GREMIO I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry
 with this condition: to be whipped at the high cross
135 every morning.
HORTENSIO Faith, as you say, there’s small choice in
 rotten apples. But come, since this bar in law
 makes us friends, it shall be so far forth friendly
 maintained till by helping Baptista’s eldest daughter
140 to a husband we set his youngest free for a
 husband, and then have to ’t afresh. Sweet Bianca!
 Happy man be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the
 ring. How say you, Signior Gremio?

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

GREMIO I am agreed, and would I had given him the
145 best horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
 thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid
 the house of her. Come on.
Gremio and Hortensio exit.
Tranio and Lucentio remain onstage.

 I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
 That love should of a sudden take such hold?
150 O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
 I never thought it possible or likely.
 But see, while idly I stood looking on,
 I found the effect of love-in-idleness,
 And now in plainness do confess to thee
155 That art to me as secret and as dear
 As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was:
 Tranio, I burn, I pine! I perish, Tranio,
 If I achieve not this young modest girl.
 Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.
160 Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
 Master, it is no time to chide you now.
 Affection is not rated from the heart.
 If love have touched you, naught remains but so:
 Redime te captum quam queas minimo.
165 Gramercies, lad. Go forward. This contents;
 The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.
 Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
 Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.
 O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
170 Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
 That made great Jove to humble him to her hand
 When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
 Began to scold and raise up such a storm
175 That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
 Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move,
 And with her breath she did perfume the air.
 Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
TRANIO, aside 
 Nay, then ’tis time to stir him from his trance.—
180 I pray, awake, sir! If you love the maid,
 Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it
 Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd
 That till the father rid his hands of her,
185 Master, your love must live a maid at home,
 And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
 Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.
 Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father’s he!
 But art thou not advised he took some care
190 To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
 Ay, marry, am I, sir—and now ’tis plotted!
 I have it, Tranio!
TRANIO  Master, for my hand,
 Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
195 Tell me thine first.
TRANIO  You will be schoolmaster
 And undertake the teaching of the maid:
 That’s your device.
LUCENTIO  It is. May it be done?
200 Not possible. For who shall bear your part

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

 And be in Padua here Vincentio’s son,
 Keep house, and ply his book, welcome his friends,
 Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
 Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
205 We have not yet been seen in any house,
 Nor can we be distinguished by our faces
 For man or master. Then it follows thus:
 Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
 Keep house, and port, and servants, as I should.
210 I will some other be, some Florentine,
 Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
 ’Tis hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once
 Uncase thee. Take my colored hat and cloak.
They exchange clothes.
 When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,
215 But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
TRANIO So had you need.
 In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
 And I am tied to be obedient
 (For so your father charged me at our parting:
220 “Be serviceable to my son,” quoth he,
 Although I think ’twas in another sense),
 I am content to be Lucentio,
 Because so well I love Lucentio.
 Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves,
225 And let me be a slave, t’ achieve that maid
 Whose sudden sight hath thralled my wounded eye.

Enter Biondello.

 Here comes the rogue.—Sirrah, where have you
 Where have I been? Nay, how now, where are you?

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 1

230 Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes?
 Or you stolen his? Or both? Pray, what’s the news?
 Sirrah, come hither. ’Tis no time to jest,
 And therefore frame your manners to the time.
 Your fellow, Tranio here, to save my life,
235 Puts my apparel and my count’nance on,
 And I for my escape have put on his;
 For in a quarrel since I came ashore
 I killed a man and fear I was descried.
 Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
240 While I make way from hence to save my life.
 You understand me?
BIONDELLO  Ay, sir. Aside. Ne’er a whit.
 And not a jot of “Tranio” in your mouth.
 Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
245 The better for him. Would I were so too.
 So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
 That Lucentio indeed had Baptista’s youngest
 But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master’s, I
250 advise
 You use your manners discreetly in all kind of
 When I am alone, why then I am Tranio;
 But in all places else, your master Lucentio.
LUCENTIO 255Tranio, let’s go. One thing more rests, that
 thyself execute, to make one among these wooers. If
 thou ask me why, sufficeth my reasons are both
 good and weighty.They exit.
The Presenters above speak.
 My lord, you nod. You do not mind the play.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 1. SC. 2

SLY 260Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely.
 Comes there any more of it?
PAGE, as Lady My lord, ’tis but begun.
SLY ’Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady.
 Would ’twere done.
They sit and mark.