Summary of “The Taming of the Shrew”

It starts of when a very drunk person has a little argument with another person. Then a lord came by, and when this lord saw this drunkard he decided to pull a prank on him. So that is what the lord did.

He told his attendant next to him what his going to do. Then idea’s passes between the lord and the attendant, and then came some actors and actress who were willing to take part in the prank. The prank that the lord and his attendant came up with happened to that drunkard.

When the drunkard woke up he was not in an alley but in a Royal chamber instead. And he was being convinced that he was a lord, but he knew that he had not more than one set of clothes. The person who owed the chamber was busy also convincing that the drunkard was a noble not a peasant.

Then came in the nobles page dressed as a woman and pretended to be his wife and that she has been morning for fifteen years. And the drunkard asked the servants what he has been doing for 15 years and they replied “you have been sleeping/ dreaming for all those years”.

Then the drunkard excused the servants so that he could have some time/ sleep with his so pretending wife. So he asked his wife to undress herself and climb into bed with him. But she, he/ the page, refused to and simply replies something like this “I cannot because of you being so drunk all these years.” then came in the actors, actress and a servant who announced the play that was about to begin.

The drunkard so tired that he wanted to sleep instead of watching the play. The first scene of the play was about introducing the background of the play and some of the characters. The drunkard fell asleep during the first scene. The second act introduced some more of the characters in the story and Petruchio gets introduced to the Katherina, the shrew, and gets engaged to her.

The 3rd act is when the newly wedded couple comes home when supper is not ready, and the husband, Petruchio, takes it on his servants and practically starves his new mate until morning. She finally got to eat when her husband was buying some clothes for her from a tailor. Katharina’s sister’s, Bianca, teachers were in competition on who can win enough love to marry Bianca.

One of her teachers prevailed and got married to Bianca while the other teacher gave up and married a wealthy widow. At the wedding ceremony, the wives were in a separate room from where the husbands were. And the husbands betted 200 crowns for whoever’s wife comes when he calls for her by sending a servant instead of them going them self.

Bianca’s and the widow’s husband went first and failed then, Petruchio sent for his wife and won. Then Petruchio asked his wife to get the other two’s wives for them. She obeyed. When the three women came into the room Petruchio asked his wife to tell the other women what a husband expects of a wife. Then Katharina gave her famous speech.

“Fie, fie! Unknit that threatening unkind brow, and dart not scornful glances from those eyes.” meaning that women not look angry at their husbands.

“To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor. It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads, Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds, And in no sense is meet or amiable.” That treat they husbands with care.

“To painful labour both by sea and land, To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe; And craves no other tribute at thy hands But love, fair looks, and true obedience- Too little payment for so great a debt. Such duty as the subject owes the prince, Even such a woman oweth to her husband.” Meaning that a man/ husband works hard to keep his wife safe and all he is asking in return is love, obedience, and fair looks.

“What is she but a foul contending rebel And graceless traitor to her loving lord? I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace; Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway, When they are bound to serve, love, and obey. Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth, Unapt to toll and trouble in the world, But that our soft conditions and our hearts Should well agree with our external parts?” meaning that woman should not fight in wars, start wars, or have a desire to be above and rule over, but should ask for peace and nurture/ a woman using her body for its proper purposes.

Then Petruchio rewards her by asking her to kiss him.

Speeches are not in my words but the author’s (William Shakespeare) words.


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