-- 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 2
Enter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIO.
1Verona, for a while I take my leave,
2To see my friends in Padua, but of all
3My best beloved and approved friend,
4. trow: believe.
4Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.
5Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.
6Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there man has
7. rebus'd: "Abused" would make sense, but Grumio is putting on a show of being an ignorant servant.
7rebused your worship?
8,11,12. me: i.e., for me (but Grumio misunderstands, or pretends to).
8Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
9Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that
10I should knock you here, sir?
11Villain, I say, knock me at this gate
12And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.
13My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,
14And then I know after who comes by the worst.
15Will it not be?
16. ring: With play on wring.
16Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it;
17. I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it: i.e., I'll make you cry out, howl.
17I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.
He wrings him by the ears.
18Help, masters, help! my master is mad.
19. sirrah villain: i.e., little Mr. Rascal.
19Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!
20How now! what's the matter? My old friend
21Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio!
22How do you all at Verona?
23Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
24. Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato: with all my heart, well met. Apparently Shakespeare believes that since Padua is in Italy, the characters ought to speak a little Italian.
24Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato, may I say.
25-26. Alla nostra casa ben venuto, / Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio: Welcome to our house, my most honored Signor Petruchio. 27. compound: settle.
25Alla nostra casa ben venuto,
26Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.
27Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this quarrel.
28. 'leges: alleges. Latin: The joke is that Grumio, an Italian, thinks (or pretends to think) that when Petruchio speaks in Italian he's using a fancy-pants language that can't be understood by real people: Latin.
28Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin.
29if this be not a lawful case for me to leave his
30service, look you, sir, he bid me knock him and
31rap him soundly, sir: well, was it fit for a servant
32to use his master so, being perhaps, for aught I see,
33. two and thirty, a pip out: slang for "drunk" (deriving from the card game trentuno, or one and thirty; peep = pip, a spot on a playing card, and a peep out = off by one).
33two and thirty, a pip out? Whom would to God I
34had well knock'd at first, then had not Grumio
35come by the worst.
Graham Abbey as Petruchio
Wayne Best as Grumio
36A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
37I bade the rascal knock upon your gate
38And could not get him for my heart to do it.
39Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spake you
40not these words plain, "Sirrah, knock me here,
41rap me here, knock me well, and knock me
42soundly"? And come you now with, "knocking
43at the gate"?
44Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.
45. pledge: surety.
45Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge:
46. this': this is. heavy chance: sad accidental quarrel.
46Why, this' a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
47. ancient: of long standing. pleasant: i.e., prone to making amusing remarks.
47Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
48And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale
49Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
50Such wind as scatters young men through the world,
51To seek their fortunes farther than at home
52. in a few: in short.
52Where small experience grows. But in a few,
53Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
54Antonio, my father, is deceased;
55. maze: i.e., this new, exciting, and confusing world away from home. 56. Happily: haply, perchance.
55And I have thrust myself into this maze,
56Happily to wive and thrive as best I may:
57. crowns: silver coins.
57Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home,
58And so am come abroad to see the world.
59. come roundly: speak plainly.
59Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee
60. ill-favor'd: unpopular, widely disliked.
60And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favor'd wife?
61Thou'ldst thank me but a little for my counsel:
62And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich
63And very rich: but thou'rt too much my friend,
64And I'll not wish thee to her.
65Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we
66Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know
67One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife,
68. burden: i.e., ground base or undersong.
68As wealth is burden of my wooing dance,
69. foul: ugly. Florentius' love: a hag. ...more
69Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
70. Sibyl: prophetess of Cumae, who lived about a thousand years. ...more shrowd: shrewd; i.e., shrewish. 71. Xanthippe: Socrates' notoriously shrewish wife. 72. moves: disturbs, troubles.
70As old as Sibyl and as curst and shrowd
71As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,
72She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
73Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
74As are the swelling Adriatic seas:
75I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
76If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
77Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his
78. mind: intention.
78mind is: Why give him gold enough and marry him to
79. puppet: child's doll. aglet-baby: an aglet in the shape of a person? ...more trot: steet-walker; common prostitute.
79a puppet or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er
80a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases
81as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss,
82. withal: with it.
82so money comes withal.
83Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
84. that: that which.
84I will continue that I broach'd in jest.
85I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
86With wealth enough and young and beauteous,
87Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
88Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
89Is that she is intolerable curst
90And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure
91. state: financial situation.
91That, were my state far worser than it is,
92I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
93Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect:
94Tell me her father's name and 'tis enough;
95. board her: make advances to her (literally, come alongside a ship in order to attack). chide: rail, brawl.
95For I will board her, though she chide as loud
96As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
97Her father is Baptista Minola,
98An affable and courteous gentleman:
99Her name is Katharina Minola,
100Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
101I know her father, though I know not her;
102And he knew my deceased father well.
103I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
104And therefore let me be thus bold with you
105. give you over: leave you.
105To give you over at this first encounter,
106Unless you will accompany me thither.
107. humor: mood, whim.
107I pray you, sir, let him go while the humor lasts.
108O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she
109would think scolding would do little good upon him:
110she may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so:
111. an he begin once: if he gets started
111why, that's nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in
112. rope-tricks: malapropism for "rhetorics" ??
112his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what sir, an she
113. stand: withstand. figure: figure of speech ?? ...more
113stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in
114her face and so disfigure her with it that she
115. withal: with. no more eyes . . . than a cat: This is puzzling, as cats are renowned for having excellent eyes.
115shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat.
116You know him not, sir.
117Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
118. in Baptista's keep: in Baptista's keeping; in Baptista's stronghold.
118For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
119He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
120His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca,
121And her withholds from me and other more,
122Suitors to her and rivals in my love,
123Supposing it a thing impossible,
124. For those defects I have before rehearsed: because of those terrible qualities (of Katharina) that I have already told you about.
124For those defects I have before rehearsed,
125That ever Katharina will be woo'd;
126Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
127That none shall have access unto Bianca
128Till Katharina the curst have got a husband.
129Katharina the curst!
130A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
131. grace: a favor.
131Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
132And offer me disguised in sober robes
133To old Baptista as a schoolmaster
134. seen: skilled, versed.
134Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;
135That so I may, by this device, at least
136. Have leave and leisure to make love to her: have the opportunity and time to woo her. 137. unsuspected; i.e., without anyone suspecting that it's really me.
136Have leave and leisure to make love to her
137And unsuspected court her by herself.
138Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks,
139how the young folks lay their heads together!
Enter GREMIO, and LUCENTIO
disguised [as a schoolmaster].
140Master, master, look about you: who goes there, ha?
141. the rival of my love: i.e., my rival in my pursuit of Bianca.
141Peace, Grumio! it is the rival of my love.
142Petruchio, stand by a while.
143. proper stripling: handsome young man. Grumio is mocking old Gremio.
143A proper stripling and an amorous!
144. note: Maybe a list of books for Bianca.
144O, very well; I have perused the note.
145. I'll have them very fairly bound: i.e., see that they have handsome bindings. 146. see that at any hand: make sure of that in any case. 147. read no other lectures: teach no other lessons.
145Hark you, sir: I'll have them very fairly bound:
146All books of love, see that at any hand;
147And see you read no other lectures to her:
148You understand me: over and beside
149. liberality: i.e., generous payment for serving as Bianca's schoolmaster. 150. mend it with a largess: add to it with a liberal gift of money. paper: the "note" of line 144? 151. them: i.e., the books.
149Signior Baptista's liberality,
150I'll mend it with a largess. Take your paper too,
151And let me have them very well perfumed
152For she is sweeter than perfume itself
153To whom they go to. What will you read to her?
154Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you
155As for my patron, stand you so assured,
156. As firmly as yourself were still in place: as securely as if you yourself were always present.
156As firmly as yourself were still in place:
157Yea, and perhaps with more successful words
158. a scholar: a person able to read and write.
158Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
159O this learning, what a thing it is!
160. woodcock: A bird easily caught, hence proverbial for stupidity.
160O this woodcock, what an ass it is!
162Grumio, mum! God save you, Signior Gremio.
163And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
164. Trow: Know.
164Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
165I promised to inquire carefully
166About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca:
167And by good fortune I have lighted well
168On this young man, for learning and behavior
169Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
170And other books, good ones, I warrant ye.
171'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman
172. Hath: who has.
172Hath promised me to help me to another,
173A fine musician to instruct our mistress;
174So shall I no whit be behind in duty
175To fair Bianca, so beloved of me.
176Beloved of me; and that my deeds shall prove.
177. bags: i.e., money bags.
177And that his bags shall prove.
178. vent: express.
178Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love:
179. fair: courteously, civilly.
179Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
180. indifferent: equally.
180I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
181Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met,
182. Upon agreement from us to his liking: given that we agree to his terms. Apparently Petruchio's terms are that Gremio and Hortensio pay the extra expenses involved in courting Katharina (see lines 214-215, below).
182Upon agreement from us to his liking,
183Will undertake to woo curst Katharina,
184Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
185. So said, so done, is well: i.e., good deal, if it's carried out.
185So said, so done, is well.
186Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?
187I know she is an irksome brawling scold:
188If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
What countryman? i.e., where are you from? Gremio is expressing his surprise at Petruchio's strange attitude.
189No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman?
190Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
191My father dead, my fortune lives for me;
192And I do hope good days and long to see.
193O sir, such a life, with such a wife, were strange!
194. if you have a stomach: i.e., if you have the courage for it, and a taste for combat. to't a' God's name: i.e., have at it, by God!
194But if you have a stomach, to't a' God's name:
195You shall have me assisting you in all.
196But will you woo this wild-cat?
196Will I live?
197Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her.
198Why came I hither but to that intent?
199Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
200Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
201Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds
202. chafed: irritated.
202Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
203. ordnance: cannon.
203Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
204And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
205Have I not in a pitched battle heard
206. 'larums: alarums, calls to arms.
206Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
207And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,
208. blow: bang, boom. The "blow" of a roasted chestnut would be a pop, like the popping of a single kernel of popcorn. 210. fear boys with bugs: frighten children with bugbears, bogeymen.
208That gives not half so great a blow to hear
209As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?
210Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
210For he fears none.
212. happily: fortunately, just when needed.
212This gentleman is happily arrived,
213My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.
214I promised we would be contributors
215. charge: expense.
215And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
216And so we will, provided that he win her.
217I would I were as sure of a good dinner.
stage direction. brave: finely dressed.
Enter TRANIO brave [disguised as Lucentio],
218Gentlemen, God save you. If I may be bold,
219Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
220To the house of Signior Baptista Minola?
221He that has the two fair daughters: is't he you mean?
222Even he, Biondello.
223Hark you, sir; you mean not her to
224. him and her: i.e., both Baptista Minola and his daughter. what have you to do? what is it to you?
224Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have you to do?
225Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.
226I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's away.
227Well begun, Tranio.
227Sir, a word ere you go;
228Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no?
229And if I be, sir, is it any offence?
230No; if without more words you will get you hence.
231Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
232For me as for you?
232But so is not she.
233For what reason, I beseech you?
233For this reason, if you'll know,
234That she's the choice love of Signior Gremio.
235That she's the chosen of Signior Hortensio.
236. Softly: Gently.
236Softly, my masters! if you be gentlemen,
237. right: justice.
237Do me this right; hear me with patience.
238Baptista is a noble gentleman,
239To whom my father is not all unknown;
240And were his daughter fairer than she is,
241She may more suitors have and me for one.
242. Fair Leda's daughter: Helen of Troy.
245. Paris: Trojan prince who won Helen of Troy from her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta. came: were to come. speed: succeed.
245. Paris: Trojan prince who won Helen of Troy from her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta. came: were to come. speed: succeed.
242Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers;
243Then well one more may fair Bianca have:
244And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one,
245Though Paris came in hope to speed alone.
246What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.
247. give him head: I know he'll prove a jade: i.e., let him trot on: I know he'll turn out to be a quitter.
247Sir, give him head: I know he'll prove a jade.
248Hortensio, to what end are all these words?
249Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,
250Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?
251No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two,
252The one as famous for a scolding tongue
253As is the other for beauteous modesty.
254Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.
255Yea, leave that labor to great Hercules;
256. Alcides' twelve: i.e., the twelve labors of Hercules. Hercules was also known as "Alcides" because he was the descendant of Alcaeus.
256And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.
257. sooth: truth.
257Sir, understand you this of me in sooth:
258. you hearken for: i.e. you are hoping to see.
258The youngest daughter whom you hearken for
259Her father keeps from all access of suitors,
260And will not promise her to any man
261Until the elder sister first be wed:
262The younger then is free and not before.
263If it be so, sir, that you are the man
264. Must stead: who must help.
264Must stead us all and me amongst the rest,
265And if you break the ice and do this feat,
266Achieve the elder, set the younger free
267-268. whose hap . . . have her: i.e., he who has the good fortune to win Bianca will not be such a jerk that he won't give Petruchio a payoff.
267For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
268Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
269. conceive: understand.
269Sir, you say well and well you do conceive;
270And since you do profess to be a suitor,
271. gratify: requite, reward.
271You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
272. generally: as a whole. beholding: beholden, indebted.
272To whom we all rest generally beholding.
273Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof,
274. contrive: pass the time.
274Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,
275. quaff carouses: drink toasts.
275And quaff carouses to our mistress' health,
276. adversaries: i.e., lawyers on opposite sides of a case. 277. Strive: compete.
276And do as adversaries do in law,
277Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
278. motion: suggestion.
278O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be gone.
279The motion's good indeed and be it so,
280. ben venuto: welcome; i.e., host.
280Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.