Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 1

           Enter LUCENTIO and his man

  1   Tranio, since for the great desire I had
2. nursery of arts: Padua's university was and still is one of the most prestigious in Europe. 3. am arriv'd for: have come here on my way to (?). fruitful: fertile.
  2   To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
  3   I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy,
  4   The pleasant garden of great Italy;
  5   And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
  6   With his good will and thy good company,
7. approv'd: tested and proved dependable.
  7   My trusty servant, well approv'd in all,
8. breathe: pause for breath, i.e., remain for a time. haply: by good chance; i.e., because we now have the opportunity. institute: embark upon. 9. ingenious: intellectual.
  8   Here let us breathe and haply institute
  9   A course of learning and ingenious studies.
 10   Pisa renown'd for grave citizens
11. first: i.e., before me.
 11   Gave me my being and my father first,
12. traffic: business.
 12   A merchant of great traffic through the world,
 13   Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
 14   Vincetino's son brought up in Florence
15. become: befit. to serve all hopes conceiv'd: i.e., to fulfill all hopes that his friends and family have for him. 16. deck: adorn.
 15   It shall become to serve all hopes conceiv'd,
 16   To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
 17   And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
 18   Virtue and that part of philosophy
19. apply: study. treats of: concerns.
 19   Will I apply that treats of happiness
 20   By virtue specially to be achieved.
 21   Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
 22   And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
23. plash: pool.
 23   A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
 24   And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.

25. Mi perdonato: pardon me [Italian]. gentle: gentlemanly.
26. affected: disposed.
 25   Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
 26   I am in all affected as yourself;
 27   Glad that you thus continue your resolve
 28   To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
 29   Only, good master, while we do admire
 30   This virtue and this moral discipline,
31. stocks: i.e., mere blocks of wood.
 31   Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
32. devote: devoted. checks: restraints.
 32   Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
33. As: so that. Ovid: the Latin love-poet . . . more.
34. Balk logic: i.e., bandy arguments.
 33   As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
 34   Balk logic with acquaintance that you have
 35   And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
36. quicken: stimulate, enliven.
 36   Music and poesy use to quicken you;
 37   The mathematics and the metaphysics,
38. Fall to: partake of. stomach: appetite, inclination.
 38   Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
 39   No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
40. affect: find pleasing.
 40   In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

41. Gramercies: many thanks.
 41   Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
42. Biondello: Biondello, Lucentio's other servant, is not present at the moment. Perhaps he stayed behind to handle the luggage.
 42   If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
 43   We could at once put us in readiness,
 44   And take a lodging fit to entertain
 45   Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
 46   But stay a while: what company is this?

 47   Master, some show to welcome us to town.

           Enter BAPTISTA with his two
           daughters, KATHARINA and BIANCA,
pantaloon: i.e., a foolish, rich, lecherous, old man, like the commedia dell'arte character Pantalone.
           GREMIO, a pantaloon, HORTENSIO,
           [suitor] to Bianca. LUCENTIO,
           TRANIO stand by.

 48   Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
 49   For how I firmly am resolved you know;
 50   That is, not bestow my youngest daughter
 51   Before I have a husband for the elder:
 52   If either of you both love Katharina,
 53   Because I know you well and love you well,
 54   Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

55. cart: Carting—being paraded through the streets in a cart—was a slut-shaming punishment.
 55   To cart her rather: she's too rough for me.
 56   There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife?

 57   I pray you, sir, is it your will
58. stale: decoy. mates: rude louts (but Hortensio takes the word in the sense of "husbands").
 58   To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

 59   Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
 60   Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.

 61   I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear:
62. I wis: indeed. it: i.e., marriage. 62‑63. her . . . her: Katharina is speaking of herself in the third person.
 62   I wis it is not half way to her heart;
 63   But if it were, doubt not her care should be
64. noddle: noodle, head.
 64   To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool
 65   And paint your face and use you like a fool.

 66   From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!

 67   And me too, good Lord!

68. Husht: Hush. toward: developing.
 68   Husht, master! here's some good pastime toward:
69. wonderful froward: astoundingly headstrong.
 69   That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.

 70   But in the other's silence do I see
 71   Maid's mild behavior and sobriety.
71. Peace, Tranio!: Quiet, Tranio!
 72   Peace, Tranio!

 73   Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.

 74   Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
 75   What I have said, Bianca, get you in:
 76   And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
 77   For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.

78. peat: pet, spoiled darling.
 78   A pretty peat! it is best
79. Put finger in the eye: i.e., make a big show of crying by poking one's own eye. an: if.
 79   Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.

79. content you in my discontent: i.e., be happy that I am unhappy.
 80   Sister, content you in my discontent.
 81   Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
 82   My books and instruments shall be my company,
 83   On them to took and practise by myself.

84. Minerva: goddess of wisdom.
 84   Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.

85. so strange: i.e., so unnatural a father.
 85   Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
86. Sorry am I that our good will effects Bianca's grief: i.e., I'm sorry that our good intentions have resulted in Bianca's grief.
 86   Sorry am I that our good will effects
 87   Bianca's grief.

87. mew her up: shut her up; isolate her.
 87                               Why will you mew her up,
88. for this fiend of hell: i.e., rather than Katharina.
 88   Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
89. her . . . her: i.e., Bianca . . . Katherina's.
 89   And make her bear the penance of her tongue?

 90   Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
 91   Go in, Bianca:

           Exit BIANCA.

92. for: because.
 92   And for I know she taketh most delight
 93   In music, instruments and poetry,
 94   Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
 95   Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
 96   Or Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
97. Prefer: recommend. cunning: skillful, able.
 97   Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
 98   I will be very kind, and liberal
 99   To mine own children in good bringing up:
100   And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
101. commune: talk over.
101   For I have more to commune with Bianca.


102   Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What,
103   shall I be appointed hours; as though, belike, I
104   knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?


105. dam: mother. 105‑106. your gifts ... hold you: i.e., you have so many wonderful qualities that no one here will hold you back from leaving as quickly as possible. 106. Their love: i.e., the love of women for men. 107. blow our nails: i.e., twiddle our thumbs. 108. fast it fairly out: i.e., pass our time doing without. 108‑109. our cake's dough on both sides: i.e., we're getting nowhere. 111-112. wish him to her father: recommend him to Baptista.
105   You may go to the devil's dam: your gifts are so
106   good, here's none will hold you. Their love is not
107   so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
108   together, and fast it fairly out: our cake's dough on
109   both sides. Farewell: yet for the love I bear my
110   sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit
111   man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will
112   wish him to her father.

113   So will I, Signior Gremio: but a word, I pray.
114   Though the nature of our quarrel yet never
115. brook'd parle: allowed for a discussion of any compromise. upon advice: on second thought. toucheth: behooves, concerns.
115   brook'd parle, know now, upon advice, it toucheth
116   us both, that we may yet again have access to our fair
117   mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca's love, to
118   labor and effect one thing specially.

119   What's that, I pray?

120   Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

121   A husband! a devil.

122   I say, a husband.

123   I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though
124. so very a fool: such an absolute fool.
124   her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool
125   to be married to hell?

126. pass: exceeds.
126   Tush, Gremio, though it pass your patience and
127. alarums: i.e., screeches, curses, etc.
127   mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there
128-129. an a man could light on them: if a man could find them.
128   be good fellows in the world, an a man could light
129   on them, would take her with all faults, and money
130   enough.

131. I cannot tell: i.e., maybe you're right, but I doubt it.
132. high cross: crossroad? a cross set in a crossroad?
131   I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with
132   this condition, to be whipped at the high cross
133   every morning.

134   Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
135. bar in law: legal restriction; i.e., Baptista's "law" that Bianca cannot be married until Katharina has a husband.
135   apples. But come; since this bar in law makes us
136   friends, it shall be so far forth friendly
137   maintained till by helping Baptista's eldest daughter
138   to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband,
139-140. Happy man be his dole: i.e., may the man who marries Bianca be happy for life. 140. ring: prize, with play on "wedding ring."
139   and then have to't afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man
140   be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring.
141   How say you, Signior Gremio?

142   I am agreed; and would I had given him the best
143   horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
144   thoroughly woo her, wed her and bed her and rid the
145   house of her! Come on.

stage direction.ambo: both.
           Exeunt ambo [GREMIO and HORTENSIO].
stage direction.Manent: remain in place.
           Manent Tranio and Lucentio.

146   I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
147   That love should of a sudden take such hold?

148   O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
149   I never thought it possible or likely;
150   But see, while idly I stood looking on,
151. the effect of love in idleness: i.e., the magical love-inducing power the heartsease (pansy).
151   I found the effect of love in idleness:
152   And now in plainness do confess to thee,
153   That art to me as secret and as dear
154. Anna: the sister and confidante of Dido, Queen of Carthage, beloved of Aeneas.
154   As Anna to the queen of Carthage was,
155   Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
156   If I achieve not this young modest girl.
157   Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
158   Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.

159   Master, it is no time to chide you now;
160. Affection is not rated from the heart: i.e., love cannot be driven away by scolding.
160   Affection is not rated from the heart:
161   If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so,
162. Redime te captum quam queas minimo: "Ransom yourself from captivity as cheaply as you can." . . . more.
162   "Redime te captum quam queas minimo."

163. contents: is satisfying.
Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:
164   The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.

165. look'd so longly on: i.e., spent so much of your time looking at. 166. pith: essence, gist.
165   Master, you look'd so longly on the maid,
166   Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.

167   O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
168. daughter of Agenor: Europa, loved by Jupiter; he assumed the form of a bull to carry her off. 169. him: himself.
168   Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
169   That made great Jove to humble him to her hand.
170. strond: strand, shore.
170   When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strond.

171   Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
172   Began to scold and raise up such a storm
173   That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?

174   Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
175   And with her breath she did perfume the air:
176   Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.

177   Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
178   I pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid,
179   Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
180. curst and shrewd: The adjectives are synonyms, both meaning here "ill-natured, shrewish."
180   Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
181   That till the father rid his hands of her,
182   Master, your love must live a maid at home;
183. closely mew'd her up: placed her in close confinement (see line 87). 184. Because: so that.
183   And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
184   Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.

185   Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
186. advis'd: aware.
186   But art thou not advis'd, he took some care
187   To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?

188   Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 'tis plotted.

189   I have it, Tranio.

189. for: by.
                        Master, for my hand,
190. inventions: plans, schemes. jump: tally, agree.
190   Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

191   Tell me thine first.

191                                 You will be schoolmaster
192   And undertake the teaching of the maid:
193   That's your device.

193                                 It is: may it be done?

194   Not possible; for who shall bear your part,
195   And be in Padua here Vincentio's son,
196   Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
197   Visit his countrymen and banquet them?

198. Basta: enough. [Italian.] full: i.e., fully planned.
198   Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
199   We have not yet been seen in any house,
200   Nor can we be distinguish'd by our faces
201   For man or master; then it follows thus;
202   Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
203. port: state, style of living.
203   Keep house and port and servants as I should:
204   I will some other be, some Florentine,
205. meaner: of a lower social class.
205   Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
206   'Tis hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once
207. Uncase: undress; i.e., remove hat and cloak.  colour'd: In Shakespeare's time it was expected that the rich upper classes would dress more colorfully than their servants.
207   Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak:

           [They begin to exchange clothes.]

208   When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
209. charm: i.e., very strongly persuade.  keep his tongue: keep quiet [about our scheme].
209   But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.

210. So had you need: i.e., Yes, you'd better do that. —Apparently Biondello is a blabbermouth. 211. sith: since.
210   So had you need.
211   In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
212   And I am tied to be obedient;
213   For so your father charged me at our parting,
214. serviceable: diligent in service.
214   "Be serviceable to my son," quoth he,
215   Although I think 'twas in another sense;
216   I am content to be Lucentio,
217   Because so well I love Lucentio.

218   Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves:
219   And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
220. Whose sudden sight: i.e., the sudden sight of whom.  thrall'd: captured, enthralled.  wounded eye: —Lucentio's eye has been wounded by a dart of love shot from Cupid's bow.
220   Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
221   Here comes the rogue.

           Enter BIONDELLO.

222   Sirrah, where have you been?

223   Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
224   Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or
225   you stolen his? or both? pray, what's the news?

226   Sirrah, come hither: 'tis no time to jest,
227   And therefore frame your manners to the time.
228   Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
229. count'nance: outward appearance.
229   Puts my apparel and my count'nance on,
230   And I for my escape have put on his;
231   For in a quarrel since I came ashore
232. descried: seen, identified.
232   I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:
233. as becomes: as is suitable.
233   Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
234   While I make way from hence to save my life:
235   You understand me?

235. ne'er a whit: not even a little bit.
235                                     I, sir! ne'er a whit.

236   And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
237   Tranio is changed into Lucentio.

238   The better for him: would I were so too!

239   So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
240   That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter.
241   But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master's, I advise
242   You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies:
243   When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio;
244   But in all places else your master Lucentio.

245. rests: remains to be done.
245   Tranio, let's go: one thing more rests, that
246   thyself execute, to make one among these wooers: if
247. sufficeth: it suffices that.
247   thou ask me why, sufficeth, my reasons are both good
248   and weighty.


[stage direction].Presenters: i.e. Sly and the servants of the lord who is playing the trick on Sly. A presenter is one who, by means of a prologue or an induction, introduces or presents a play to the spectators.  above: i.e., seated in the balcony above the stage.  249. mind: pay attention to.
           The Presenters above speak.

      First Servant
249   My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.

250   Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely:
251   comes there any more of it?

252   My lord, 'tis but begun.

253   'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady:
254   would 'twere done!

[stage direction].mark: observe, pay attention to [the play].
           They sit and mark.