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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 5, Scene 2




           Enter BAPTISTA, VINCENTIO, GREMIO,
           the PEDANT, LUCENTIO, and BIANCA;
           [PETRUCHIO, KATHARINA, HORTENSIO,]
           TRANIO, BIONDELLO, GRUMIO, and
           WIDOW: the Servingmen with Tranio bringing
stage direction. a banquet: i.e., the dessert trolley.
           in a banquet.

      LUCENTIO
  1   At last, though long, our jarring notes agree:
  2   And time it is, when raging war is done,
3. scapes: escapes; close calls with disaster. overblown: blown over.
  3   To smile at scapes and perils overblown.
  4   My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome,
  5   While I with self-same kindness welcome thine.
  6   Brother Petruchio, sister Katharina,
  7   And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow,
  8   Feast with the best, and welcome to my house:
9. close our stomachs up: 1) finish off the feast; 2) end our quarrels.
  9   My banquet is to close our stomachs up,
 10   After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down;
 11   For now we sit to chat as well as eat.

      PETRUCHIO
 12   Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!

      BAPTISTA
 13   Padua affords this kindness, son Petruchio.

      PETRUCHIO
kind: natural and pleasant.
 14   Padua affords nothing but what is kind.

      HORTENSIO
 15   For both our sakes, I would that word were true.

      PETRUCHIO
16. fears: The verb "to fear" was used to mean both "to be afraid" and "to make someone else afraid."
 16   Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.

      Widow
17. afeard: afraid. The widow asserts that she is not at all afraid of Hortensio.
 17   Then never trust me, if I be afeard.

      PETRUCHIO
 18   You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:
 19   I mean, Hortensio is afeard of you.

      Widow
20. He ... round: This saying means that people project their own faults on others.
 20   He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.

      PETRUCHIO
21. Roundly: frankly; plainly.
 21   Roundly replied.

      KATHARINA
 21                               Mistress, how mean you that?

      Widow
22. Thus I conceive by him: i.e., I got my idea by observing Petruchio. The Widow explains exactly what she means in lines 28-30.
 22   Thus I conceive by him.

      PETRUCHIO
23. Conceives by me!: Petruchio takes up conceives in the sense of is made pregnant.
 23   Conceives by me! How likes Hortensio that?

      HORTENSIO
24. conceives her tale: devises (with possible pun on tale, tail).
 24   My widow says, thus she conceives her tale.

      PETRUCHIO
 25   Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.

      KATHARINA
 26   "He that is giddy thinks the world turns round":
 27   I pray you, tell me what you meant by that.

      Widow
 28   Your husband, being troubled with a shrew,
29. Measures: Judges.
 29   Measures my husband's sorrow by his woe:
 30   And now you know my meaning.

      KATHARINA
31. very mean: i.e., very contemptible.
 31   A very mean meaning.

      Widow
 31                                   Right, I mean you.

      KATHARINA
32. I am mean indeed, respecting you: I am in the mean—moderate and even-tempered—in comparison to you.
 32   And I am mean indeed, respecting you.

      PETRUCHIO
 33   To her, Kate!

      HORTENSIO
 34   To her, widow!

      PETRUCHIO
35. mark: coin worth about ⅔ of a pound. put her down: overcome or defeat her.
 35   A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down.

      HORTENSIO
36. That's my office: i.e. I'm her husband, so it's my job to have sex with her.
 36   That's my office.

      PETRUCHIO
37. ha': i.e., here's.
 37   Spoke like an officer; ha' to thee, lad!

           Drinks to Hortensio.

      BAPTISTA
 38   How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks?

      GREMIO
39. butt together well: i.e., are entertaining and well-matched in their battles of wits.
 39   Believe me, sir, they butt together well.

      BIANCA
40-41. head ... horn: I think "horn" must be an allusion to the horns of a cuckold, but I don't understand by what pass of wit Bianca gets from "butt" to "Head, and butt," and thence to "head and horn."
 40   Head, and butt! an hasty-witted body
 41   Would say your head and butt were head and horn.

      VINCENTIO
 42   Ay, mistress bride, hath that awaken'd you?

      BIANCA
 43   Ay, but not frighted me; therefore I'll sleep again.

      PETRUCHIO
 44   Nay, that you shall not: since you have begun,
45. Have at you: I shall come at you. bitter: shrewd, sharp.
 45   Have at you for a bitter jest or two!

      BIANCA
46. your bird: i.e., the bird you are aiming your darts at. shift my bush: fly to another tree (so that he will have to follow her if he intends to keep her as his target).
 46   Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush;
 47   And then pursue me as you draw your bow.
 48   You are welcome all.

           Exit Bianca [with Katharina
           and Widow].

      PETRUCHIO
49. prevented: forestalled.
 49   She hath prevented me. Here, Signior Tranio.
50. This bird you aim'd at: i.e., This Bianca, (bird) whom Tranio courted (aim'd at) in his disguise as Lucentio.
 50   This bird you aim'd at, though you hit her not;
 51   Therefore a health to all that shot and miss'd.

      TRANIO
52. slipp'd: unleashed.
 52   O, sir, Lucentio slipp'd me like his greyhound,
 53   Which runs himself and catches for his master.

      PETRUCHIO
54. swift: (1) ready-witted; (2) having reference to swiftness. currish: (1) ignoble; (2) concerning dogs.
 54   A good swift simile, but something currish.

      TRANIO
 55   'Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself:
56. does hold you at a bay: turn to make a stand against you; turns on you like a cornered animal and holds you at a distance (hunting term).
 56   'Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.

      BAPTISTA
 57   O ho, Petruchio! Tranio hits you now.

      LUCENTIO
58. gird: taunt; sharp, biting jest.
 58   I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio.

      HORTENSIO
 59   Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here?

      PETRUCHIO
60. gall'd: wounded.
 60   A' has a little gall'd me, I confess;
 61   And, as the jest did glance away from me,
 62   'Tis ten to one it maim'd you two outright.

      BAPTISTA
63. good sadness: all seriousness.
 63   Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio,
 64   I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.

      PETRUCHIO
65. assurance: proof.
 65   Well, I say no: and therefore for assurance
 66   Let's each one send unto his wife;
 67   And he whose wife is most obedient
 68   To come at first when he doth send for her,
 69   Shall win the wager which we will propose.

      HORTENSIO
 70   Content. What is the wager?

      LUCENTIO
 70                                             Twenty crowns.

      PETRUCHIO
 71   Twenty crowns!
72. of my hawk: on my hawk.
 72   I'll venture so much of my hawk or hound,
 73   But twenty times so much upon my wife.

      LUCENTIO
 74   A hundred then.

      HORTENSIO
 74                             Content.

      PETRUCHIO
74. A match: agreed.
 74                                             A match! 'tis done.

      HORTENSIO
 75   Who shall begin?

      LUCENTIO
 75                             That will I.
 76   Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.

      BIONDELLO
 77   I go.

           Exit.

      BAPTISTA
78. I'll be your half: I'll share the wager with you by paying half your bet.
 78   Son, I'll be your half, Bianca comes.

      LUCENTIO
 79   I'll have no halves; I'll bear it all myself.

           Enter BIONDELLO.

 80   How now! what news?

      BIONDELLO
 80                                   Sir, my mistress sends you word
 81   That she is busy and she cannot come.

      PETRUCHIO
 82   How! she is busy and she cannot come!
 83   Is that an answer?

      GREMIO
 83                               Ay, and a kind one too:
 84   Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.

      PETRUCHIO
85. hope: expect.
 85   I hope better.

      HORTENSIO
 86   Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wife
 87   To come to me forthwith.

           Exit Biondello.

      PETRUCHIO
 87                                         O, ho! entreat her!
 88   Nay, then she must needs come.

      HORTENSIO
 88                                                 I am afraid, sir,
 89   Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.

           Enter BIONDELLO.

 90   Now, where's my wife?

      BIONDELLO
 91   She says you have some goodly jest in hand:
 92   She will not come: she bids you come to her.

      PETRUCHIO
 93   Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile,
 94   Intolerable, not to be endured!
 95   Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress;
 96   Say, I command her to come to me.

           Exit [Grumio].

      HORTENSIO
 97   I know her answer.

      PETRUCHIO
 97                               What?

      HORTENSIO
 97                                         She will not.

      PETRUCHIO
 98   The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.

      BAPTISTA
99. by my holidame: i.e., by my Holy Dame (the Virgin Mary). The phrase was a common one, with little or no Christian meaning.
 99   Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!

           Enter KATHARINA.

      KATHARINA
100   What is your will, sir, that you send for me?

      PETRUCHIO
101   Where is your sister, and Hortensio's wife?

      KATHARINA
102. conferring: i.e., chatting.
102   They sit conferring by the parlor fire.

      PETRUCHIO
103   Go fetch them hither: if they deny to come,
104. Swinge me: i.e., Thrash them at my behest.
104   Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands:
105   Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.

           [Exit Katharina.]

      LUCENTIO
106   Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.

      HORTENSIO
107   And so it is: I wonder what it bodes.

      PETRUCHIO
108   Marry, peace it bodes, and love and quiet life,
109. aweful rule: authority commanding respect or awe.
109   And aweful rule and right supremacy;
110   And, to be short, what not, that's sweet and happy?

      BAPTISTA
111. fair: good fortune.
111   Now, fair befall thee, good Petruchio!
112-113. I will add ...crowns: Baptista has just doubled Katharina's dowry; See Act 2, Scene 1, line 122.

112   The wager thou hast won; and I will add
113   Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns;
114   Another dowry to another daughter,
115   For she is changed, as she had never been.

      PETRUCHIO
116   Nay, I will win my wager better yet
117   And show more sign of her obedience,
118   Her new-built virtue and obedience.

           Enter KATE, BIANCA, and WIDOW.

119. froward wives: difficult wives.
119   See where she comes and brings your froward wives
120   As prisoners to her womanly persuasion.
121   Katharina, that cap of yours becomes you not:
122   Off with that bauble, throw it under-foot.

           [Kate throws down her cap and treads on it.]

      Widow
123   Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh,
124. pass: state of affairs.
124   Till I be brought to such a silly pass!

      BIANCA
125. duty: obedience.
125   Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?

      LUCENTIO
126   I would your duty were as foolish too:
127   The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
128   Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-time.

      BIANCA
129. laying: wagering, betting.
129   The more fool you, for laying on my duty.

      PETRUCHIO
130   Katharina, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women
131   What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.

      Widow
132   Come, come, you're mocking: we will have no telling.

      PETRUCHIO
133   Come on, I say; and first begin with her.

      Widow
134   She shall not.

      PETRUCHIO
135   I say she shall: and first begin with her.

      KATHARINA
136   Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
137   And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
138   To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
139. as frosts do bite the meads: as frosts disfigure the meadow. 140. Confounds thy fame: ruins your reputation. 141. meet: fitting; appropriate.
139   It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
140   Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
141   And in no sense is meet or amiable.
142. mov'd: angry.
142   A woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled,
143. ill-seeming: ugly.
143   Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
144   And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
145   Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
146   Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
147   Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
148   And for thy maintenance commits his body
149   To painful labor both by sea and land,
150   To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
151   Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
152   And craves no other tribute at thy hands
153   But love, fair looks and true obedience;
154   Too little payment for so great a debt.
155   Such duty as the subject owes the prince
156   Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
157. froward: difficult, wayward.
157   And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
158   And not obedient to his honest will,
159   What is she but a foul contending rebel
160   And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
161. simple: foolish.
161   I am ashamed that women are so simple
162   To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
163   Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
164   When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
165   Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
166. Unapt to: Unfit for.
166   Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
167. conditions: dispositions.
167   But that our soft conditions and our hearts
168   Should well agree with our external parts?
169. unable worms: i.e., poor weak creatures.
169   Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
170. as big: as haughty, arrogant.
170   My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
171   My heart as great, my reason haply more,
172   To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
173   But now I see our lances are but straws,
174   Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
175   That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
176. Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot: Then lower your pride, for there is no help for it.
176   Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
177   And place your hands below your husband's foot:
178   In token of which duty, if he please,
179. do him ease: give him pleasure.
179   My hand is ready; may it do him ease.

      PETRUCHIO
180   Why, there's a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.

      LUCENTIO
go ... ha't: i.e., Good going, my good old buddy Petruchio, for you're going to have everything you want.
181   Well, go thy ways, old lad; for thou shalt ha't.

      VINCENTIO
182. 'Tis a good hearing when children are toward: i.e., one likes to hear when children are obedient.
182   'Tis a good hearing when children are toward.

      LUCENTIO
183. froward: difficult.
183   But a harsh hearing when women are froward.

      PETRUCHIO
184   Come, Kate, we'll to bed.
185. We three are married, but you two are sped: i.e., all we three men have taken wives, but you two are done for (sped) because you've lost the bet.
185   We three are married, but you two are sped.

           [To Lucentio.]

186. white: center of the target; playing on Bianca's name, which in Italian means "white."
186   'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white;
187   And, being a winner, God give you good night!

           Exit Petruchio [with Kate].

      HORTENSIO
188. thou hast tam'd a curst shrow: you have tamed a cursed shrew.
188   Now, go thy ways; thou hast tam'd a curst shrow.

      LUCENTIO
189   'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd so.

           [Exeunt.]