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The Taming of the Shrew
Induction, scene 2

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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 2
Enter aloft Christopher Sly, the drunkard, with
Attendants, some with apparel, basin and ewer, and
other appurtenances, and Lord dressed as an Attendant.


SLY For God’s sake, a pot of small ale.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 Will ’t please your Lord drink a cup of sack?
SECOND SERVINGMAN 
 Will ’t please your Honor taste of these conserves?
THIRD SERVINGMAN 
 What raiment will your Honor wear today?
SLY 5I am Christophero Sly! Call not me “Honor” nor
 “Lordship.” I ne’er drank sack in my life. An if you
 give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef.
 Ne’er ask me what raiment I’ll wear, for I have no
 more doublets than backs, no more stockings than
10 legs, nor no more shoes than feet, nay sometime
 more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look
 through the over-leather.
LORD, as Attendant 
 Heaven cease this idle humor in your Honor!
 O, that a mighty man of such descent,
15 Of such possessions, and so high esteem
 Should be infusèd with so foul a spirit!

19
The Taming of the Shrew
IND. SC. 2

SLY What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher
 Sly, old Sly’s son of Burton Heath, by birth a
 peddler, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation
20 a bearherd, and now by present profession a
 tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot,
 if she know me not! If she say I am not fourteen
 pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the
 lying’st knave in Christendom. What, I am not
25 bestraught! Here’s—
THIRD SERVINGMAN 
 O, this it is that makes your lady mourn.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 
 O, this is it that makes your servants droop.
LORD, as Attendant 
 Hence comes it that your kindred shuns your house,
 As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
30 O noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth,
 Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment,
 And banish hence these abject lowly dreams.
 Look how thy servants do attend on thee,
 Each in his office ready at thy beck.
35 Wilt thou have music? Hark, Apollo plays,Music.
 And twenty cagèd nightingales do sing.
 Or wilt thou sleep? We’ll have thee to a couch
 Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
 On purpose trimmed up for Semiramis.
40 Say thou wilt walk, we will bestrew the ground.
 Or wilt thou ride? Thy horses shall be trapped,
 Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
 Dost thou love hawking? Thou hast hawks will soar
 Above the morning lark. Or wilt thou hunt?
45 Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them
 And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 Say thou wilt course. Thy greyhounds are as swift
 As breathèd stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.

21
The Taming of the Shrew
IND. SC. 2

SECOND SERVINGMAN 
 Dost thou love pictures? We will fetch thee straight
50 Adonis painted by a running brook,
 And Cytherea all in sedges hid,
 Which seem to move and wanton with her breath,
 Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
LORD, as Attendant 
 We’ll show thee Io as she was a maid
55 And how she was beguilèd and surprised,
 As lively painted as the deed was done.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 
 Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,
 Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds,
 And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,
60 So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
LORD, as Attendant 
 Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord;
 Thou hast a lady far more beautiful
 Than any woman in this waning age.
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 And till the tears that she hath shed for thee
65 Like envious floods o’errun her lovely face,
 She was the fairest creature in the world—
 And yet she is inferior to none.
SLY 
 Am I a lord, and have I such a lady?
 Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now?
70 I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak,
 I smell sweet savors, and I feel soft things.
 Upon my life, I am a lord indeed
 And not a tinker, nor Christopher Sly.
 Well, bring our lady hither to our sight,
75 And once again a pot o’ the smallest ale.
SECOND SERVINGMAN 
 Will ’t please your Mightiness to wash your hands?
 O, how we joy to see your wit restored!

23
The Taming of the Shrew
IND. SC. 2

 O, that once more you knew but what you are!
 These fifteen years you have been in a dream,
80 Or, when you waked, so waked as if you slept.
SLY 
 These fifteen years! By my fay, a goodly nap.
 But did I never speak of all that time?
FIRST SERVINGMAN 
 Oh, yes, my lord, but very idle words.
 For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
85 Yet would you say you were beaten out of door,
 And rail upon the hostess of the house,
 And say you would present her at the leet
 Because she brought stone jugs and no sealed
 quarts.
90 Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.
SLY Ay, the woman’s maid of the house.
THIRD SERVINGMAN 
 Why, sir, you know no house, nor no such maid,
 Nor no such men as you have reckoned up,
 As Stephen Sly and old John Naps of Greete,
95 And Peter Turph and Henry Pimpernell,
 And twenty more such names and men as these,
 Which never were, nor no man ever saw.
SLY Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends!
ALL Amen.
SLY 100I thank thee. Thou shalt not lose by it.

Enter Page as Lady, with Attendants.

PAGE, as Lady How fares my noble lord?
SLY Marry, I fare well, for here is cheer enough.
 Where is my wife?
PAGE, as Lady 
 Here, noble lord. What is thy will with her?
SLY 
105 Are you my wife, and will not call me “husband”?
 My men should call me “lord.” I am your goodman.

25
The Taming of the Shrew
IND. SC. 2

PAGE, as Lady 
 My husband and my lord, my lord and husband,
 I am your wife in all obedience.
SLY 
 I know it well.—What must I call her?
LORD, as Attendant 110 “Madam.”
SLY “Alice Madam,” or “Joan Madam”?
LORD 
 “Madam,” and nothing else. So lords call ladies.
SLY 
 Madam wife, they say that I have dreamed
 And slept above some fifteen year or more.
PAGE, as Lady 
115 Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
 Being all this time abandoned from your bed.
SLY 
 ’Tis much.—Servants, leave me and her alone.—
 Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.
PAGE, as Lady 
 Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
120 To pardon me yet for a night or two;
 Or if not so, until the sun be set.
 For your physicians have expressly charged,
 In peril to incur your former malady,
 That I should yet absent me from your bed.
125 I hope this reason stands for my excuse.
SLY Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long; but
 I would be loath to fall into my dreams again. I will
 therefore tarry in despite of the flesh and the
 blood.

Enter a Messenger.

MESSENGER 
130 Your Honor’s players, hearing your amendment,
 Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
 For so your doctors hold it very meet,

27
The Taming of the Shrew
IND. SC. 2

 Seeing too much sadness hath congealed your
 blood,
135 And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
 Therefore they thought it good you hear a play
 And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
 Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
SLY Marry, I will. Let them play it.Messenger exits.
140 Is not a comonty a Christmas gambold or a tumbling
 trick?
PAGE, as Lady 
 No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.
SLY What, household stuff?
PAGE, as Lady It is a kind of history.
SLY 145Well, we’ll see ’t. Come, madam wife, sit by my
 side, and let the world slip. We shall ne’er be
 younger.
They sit.