List iconThe Taming of the Shrew:
Act 4, scene 1
List icon

The Taming of the Shrew
Act 4, 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
Enter Grumio.

GRUMIO Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters,
 and all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was
 ever man so ’rayed? Was ever man so weary? I am
 sent before to make a fire, and they are coming
5 after to warm them. Now were not I a little pot and
 soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my teeth, my
 tongue to the roof of my mouth, my heart in my
 belly, ere I should come by a fire to thaw me. But I
 with blowing the fire shall warm myself. For, considering
10 the weather, a taller man than I will take
 cold.—Holla, ho, Curtis!

Enter Curtis.

CURTIS Who is that calls so coldly?
GRUMIO A piece of ice. If thou doubt it, thou mayst
 slide from my shoulder to my heel with no greater
15 a run but my head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis!
CURTIS Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?
GRUMIO Oh, ay, Curtis, ay, and therefore fire, fire! Cast
 on no water.
CURTIS Is she so hot a shrew as she’s reported?
GRUMIO 20She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But
 thou know’st winter tames man, woman, and

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

 beast, for it hath tamed my old master and my new
 mistress and myself, fellow Curtis.
CURTIS Away, you three-inch fool, I am no beast!
GRUMIO 25Am I but three inches? Why, thy horn is a
 foot, and so long am I, at the least. But wilt thou
 make a fire? Or shall I complain on thee to our
 mistress, whose hand (she being now at hand) thou
 shalt soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being slow in
30 thy hot office?
CURTIS I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the
GRUMIO A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine,
 and therefore fire! Do thy duty, and have thy duty,
35 for my master and mistress are almost frozen to
CURTIS There’s fire ready. And therefore, good Grumio,
 the news!
GRUMIO Why, “Jack boy, ho boy!” and as much news
40 as wilt thou.
CURTIS Come, you are so full of cony-catching.
GRUMIO Why, therefore fire, for I have caught extreme
 cold. Where’s the cook? Is supper ready, the house
 trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept, the servingmen
45 in their new fustian, their white stockings,
 and every officer his wedding garment on? Be
 the Jacks fair within, the Jills fair without, the
 carpets laid, and everything in order?
CURTIS All ready. And therefore, I pray thee, news.
GRUMIO 50First, know my horse is tired, my master and
 mistress fallen out.
GRUMIO Out of their saddles into the dirt, and thereby
 hangs a tale.
CURTIS 55Let’s ha’ t, good Grumio.
GRUMIO Lend thine ear.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

GRUMIO There!He slaps Curtis on the ear.
CURTIS This ’tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.
GRUMIO 60And therefore ’tis called a sensible tale. And
 this cuff was but to knock at your ear and beseech
 list’ning. Now I begin: Imprimis, we came down a
 foul hill, my master riding behind my mistress—
CURTIS Both of one horse?
GRUMIO 65What’s that to thee?
CURTIS Why, a horse.
GRUMIO Tell thou the tale! But hadst thou not crossed
 me, thou shouldst have heard how her horse fell,
 and she under her horse; thou shouldst have heard
70 in how miry a place, how she was bemoiled, how he
 left her with the horse upon her, how he beat me
 because her horse stumbled, how she waded
 through the dirt to pluck him off me, how he swore,
 how she prayed that never prayed before, how I
75 cried, how the horses ran away, how her bridle was
 burst, how I lost my crupper, with many things of
 worthy memory which now shall die in oblivion,
 and thou return unexperienced to thy grave.
CURTIS By this reck’ning, he is more shrew than she.
GRUMIO 80Ay, and that thou and the proudest of you all
 shall find when he comes home. But what talk I of
 this? Call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Phillip,
 Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest. Let their heads
 be slickly combed, their blue coats brushed, and
85 their garters of an indifferent knit. Let them curtsy
 with their left legs, and not presume to touch a hair
 of my master’s horse-tail till they kiss their hands.
 Are they all ready?
CURTIS They are.
GRUMIO 90Call them forth.
CURTIS, calling out Do you hear, ho? You must meet
 my master to countenance my mistress.
GRUMIO Why, she hath a face of her own.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

CURTIS Who knows not that?
GRUMIO 95Thou, it seems, that calls for company to
 countenance her.
CURTIS I call them forth to credit her.
GRUMIO Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.

Enter four or five Servingmen.

NATHANIEL Welcome home, Grumio.
PHILLIP 100How now, Grumio?
JOSEPH What, Grumio!
NICHOLAS Fellow Grumio!
NATHANIEL How now, old lad?
GRUMIO Welcome, you!—How now, you?—What,
105 you!—Fellow, you!—And thus much for greeting.
 Now, my spruce companions, is all ready and all
 things neat?
NATHANIEL All things is ready. How near is our
GRUMIO 110E’en at hand, alighted by this. And therefore
 be not—Cock’s passion, silence! I hear my master.

Enter Petruchio and Katherine.

 Where be these knaves? What, no man at door
 To hold my stirrup nor to take my horse?
 Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Phillip?
ALL THE SERVANTS 115Here! Here, sir, here, sir!
 “Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir!”
 You loggerheaded and unpolished grooms.
 What? No attendance? No regard? No duty?
 Where is the foolish knave I sent before?
120 Here, sir, as foolish as I was before.
 You peasant swain, you whoreson malt-horse

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Did I not bid thee meet me in the park
 And bring along these rascal knaves with thee?
125 Nathaniel’s coat, sir, was not fully made,
 And Gabriel’s pumps were all unpinked i’ th’ heel.
 There was no link to color Peter’s hat,
 And Walter’s dagger was not come from sheathing.
 There were none fine but Adam, Rafe, and Gregory.
130 The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly.
 Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.
 Go, rascals, go, and fetch my supper in!
The Servants exit.
Sings. Where is the life that late I led?
 Where are those—

135 Sit down, Kate, and welcome.
They sit at a table.
 Soud, soud, soud, soud!

Enter Servants with supper.

 Why, when, I say?—Nay, good sweet Kate, be
 Off with my boots, you rogues, you villains! When?
Sings.140 It was the friar of orders gray,
 As he forth walkèd on his way—

Servant begins to remove Petruchio’s boots.

 Out, you rogue! You pluck my foot awry.
 Take that!He hits the Servant.
 And mend the plucking of the other.—
145 Be merry, Kate.—Some water here! What ho!

Enter one with water.

 Where’s my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence
 And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither.
A Servant exits.

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

 One, Kate, that you must kiss and be acquainted
150 Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?—
 Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.—
 You whoreson villain, will you let it fall?
He hits the Servant.
 Patience, I pray you, ’twas a fault unwilling.
 A whoreson beetle-headed flap-eared knave!—
155 Come, Kate, sit down. I know you have a stomach.
 Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?—
 What’s this? Mutton?
PETRUCHIO  Who brought it?
PETER 160 I.
PETRUCHIO ’Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.
 What dogs are these? Where is the rascal cook?
 How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser
 And serve it thus to me that love it not?
165 There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all!
He throws the food and dishes at them.
 You heedless joltheads and unmannered slaves!
 What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.
The Servants exit.
 I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.
 The meat was well, if you were so contented.
170 I tell thee, Kate, ’twas burnt and dried away,
 And I expressly am forbid to touch it,
 For it engenders choler, planteth anger,
 And better ’twere that both of us did fast
 (Since of ourselves, ourselves are choleric)
175 Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.
 Be patient. Tomorrow ’t shall be mended,

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 1

 And for this night we’ll fast for company.
 Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.
They exit.

Enter Servants severally.

NATHANIEL Peter, didst ever see the like?
PETER 180He kills her in her own humor.

Enter Curtis.

GRUMIO Where is he?
CURTIS In her chamber,
 Making a sermon of continency to her,
 And rails and swears and rates, that she (poor soul)
185 Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,
 And sits as one new-risen from a dream.
 Away, away, for he is coming hither!
The Servants exit.

Enter Petruchio.

 Thus have I politicly begun my reign,
 And ’tis my hope to end successfully.
190 My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,
 And, till she stoop, she must not be full-gorged,
 For then she never looks upon her lure.
 Another way I have to man my haggard,
 To make her come and know her keeper’s call.
195 That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
 That bate and beat and will not be obedient.
 She ate no meat today, nor none shall eat.
 Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.
 As with the meat, some undeservèd fault
200 I’ll find about the making of the bed,
 And here I’ll fling the pillow, there the bolster,
 This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.
 Ay, and amid this hurly I intend

The Taming of the Shrew
ACT 4. SC. 2

 That all is done in reverend care of her.
205 And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night,
 And, if she chance to nod, I’ll rail and brawl,
 And with the clamor keep her still awake.
 This is a way to kill a wife with kindness.
 And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.
210 He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
 Now let him speak; ’tis charity to shew.
He exits.