Taming of the Shrew Summary
Induction Scene 1
It begins in front of a bar in the English countryside, where the Hostess and the belligerent & drunk Christopher Sly argue about Sly trashing the tavern. When Sly threatens to beat the Hostess, she replies that Sly belongs in the “stocks”. Sly is indignant & calls her a whore, claims he is the descendant of “Richard the Conqueror” & refuses to pay for broken beer mugs. He misquotes lines from Thomas Kyd’s famous play, The Spanish Tragedy. The Hostess runs off to get the law & Sly continues to talk to nobody in particular until he passes out cold.

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Along comes the Lord & his group, looking to drink after hunting. The Lord & the Huntsmen talk about their hunting dogs & they notice Sly asleep on the ground. The Lord is disgusted. He calls Sly a “monstrous beast” & a “swine” & says he’s going to play an elaborate prank to teach Sly a lesson. The Lord gives his crew orders to take Sly to his fancy country estate, clean him up, & surround him with delicious food, great music, & obedient servants. The plan, he says, is to trick Sly into believing he is a nobleman instead of a drunken beggar.
While walking over to his place, the Lord continues to play director. He tells his crew to pretend Sly is a great lord whose recent illness has his wife upset. Everyone agrees that this is a great idea – if they play their roles right, Sly will have no choice but to believe he’s the person they say he is. Sly is carried up to a bedroom. Some actors show up at the estate. Being a big theater buff, the Lord offers to let them stay for the night in exchange for some entertainment. He tells them he’d like them to put on a play for a fellow “Lord” but there’s 1 small thing: the actors can’t laugh at this guy when he acts like someone who has never seen a play before.
This is no problem – they are actors. They leave to get food & drinks before the private performance. The Lord still needs someone to pretend to be Sly’s wife. He tells one of his people to fetch his best boy servant, Bartholomew, & to dress up him up like a trophy wife. The Lord gives all sorts of pointers on how the role of an obedient nobleman’s wife should be played – what she should wear, how she should speak & act, & what to do if Bart can’t make himself cry on cue (use an onion).
The Lord is thrilled about his practical joke & can’t wait to see what will happen when Sly sees Bart dressed like a woman. Not wanting his servants to screw things up, the Lord runs off to the bedroom to supervise.
Induction Scene 2
In a plush bedroom in the Lord’s house, Sly demands a pot of “small ale.” Sly is surrounded by servants who offer him food, drinks, clothes– all of which Sly rejects on the grounds that he is Christopher Sly, the guy who eats discounted beef, drinks cheap beer, owns only 1 outfit, & often goes barefoot. When the Lord insists that Sly act like a nobleman, Sly objects again & identifies himself as “Old Sly’s son,” the guy who can barely hold down a series of low-level trade jobs. If they don’t believe him they can go ask “Marian Hacket, the fat ale wife,” who will confirm that Sly isn’t some rich guy.
The Lord & his servants apply more pressure, insisting that this behavior is upsetting Sly’s wife, his servants, & all his rich friends. They offer him more luxuries & tell him he can have anything he wants (all the things that the average Elizabethan nobleman wants). The final enticement is that Sly has a beautiful wife in town, & she really misses him.
Sly wonders if he’s dreaming & decides that no, he is awake & therefore he must be a nobleman. His first command as a “nobleman” is something like this: “Bring me my woman… and another pitcher of ale!”Bartholomew enters the room dressed like a woman & says all the things an obedient & loving noblewoman would say – She also says that Sly’s doctor won’t allow sex for at least 24 hours, because it might cause Sly to relapse. Sly responds with a pun.
A messenger enters the room & announces that some actors want to perform for Sly as a “welcome back from your coma” gift. The messenger says that, according to the doctor, a play is just the right kind of medicine for a guy recovering from a 15-year-long nap.
Sly tells his wife to come over next to him so they can watch the play together.
Act 1, Scene 1
In Sly’s bedroom at the Lord’s house– Sly and his “wife” watch the play from a lofted space above the stage. **Note that Sly is watching the play.
The inset play opens on a street in Padua, where Lucentio & his trusty servant Tranio just arrived. Lucentio reveals that his father (Vicentio, a wealthy Pisan) has sent him to the famous college town so Lucentio can be educated (in a monologue). Tranio reminds Lucentio that studying philosophy is all good, but they need to have a little fun with the ladies & Lucentio agrees.
Lucentio & Tranio see Baptista, & his beautiful daughters (Bianca & Kate) talking with Bianca’s suitors. Lucentio & Tranio pause so that they can eavesdrop. Baptista tells Gremio & Hortensio to stop begging him for permission to marry Bianca, who isn’t allowed to get married until Kate marries. If they like, they’re welcome to court Kate & take her off Baptista’s hands.
Gremio scoffs at this & says he would rather “cart” Kate than marry her.
“Carting” refers to the way “shrewish” women were legally punished in 16th-century England for being disobedient & mouthy. Convicted “scolds” were sometimes tied up & strapped to the back of a cart so they could be paraded around town & publicly shamed.
Kate yells at her dad & says he’s out of line – he’s making her a laughing stock & treating her like a prostitute in front of these 2 men. When Hortensio interjects & tells Kate she’ll never be married unless she learns to quiet down, Kate gives him a tongue-lashing. This involves Kate talking about herself in the 3rd person & denying she’s interested in marriage.
Tranio says Kate is crazy & way too mouthy. Lucentio wants Bianca because she is nice & quiet, which is just how he likes women. Kate picks on Bianca. Bianca plays the good girl & tells her dad she’ll spend all her time studying until he says it’s time for her to get engaged. Gremio & Hortensio complain that Baptista is keeping Bianca penned up like an animal, but Baptista stands firm. Before he leaves he asks the suitors if they can recommend any teachers for his daughter, a hint that they should find some good tutors if they want to make him happy.
Baptista says he needs to go & talk with Bianca, but Kate is free to hang out with the guys if she likes. Kate gets huffy about being told what she can do & storms off. The suitors agree together that they need to find someone to marry Kate so they can have free access to Bianca. They hatch a plan, leaving Lucentio & Tranio to discuss what’s just happened. Lucentio is love struck & starts to say all kinds of cheesy things about how he burns for Bianca.
He asks Tranio for some advice, so the servant tells him to quit his yammering & think of a plan. Tranio & Lucentio decide that Lucentio will disguise himself as a teacher so he can give Bianca some “private tutoring.” Since Lucentio is expected to be seen in Padua studying & impressing all his dad’s rich friends, they decide that Tranio will disguise himself as Lucentio. They exchange clothes: now Lucentio is disguised as a teacher named Cambio & Tranio is disguised as Lucentio.
Next comes Biondello (another one of Lucentio’s servants). Lucentio & Tranio tell Biondello that they’re in disguise because Lucentio killed a man & needs to flee the city in case there are witnesses who can identify him. They explain that Tranio will pretend to be Lucentio in order to keep up appearances. Biondello (the other servant) believes their story and will help along with the deception–they exit the stage.
One of the Lord’s servants who has been watching the inset play with Sly & Bart, asks Sly why he has dozed off. Sly denies he fell asleep & says he likes the play, but would rather be left alone with his wife.
Act 1, Scene 2
Having just arrived in Padua from Verona, Petruchio & his servant Grumio stand at Hortensio’s front door. When Petruchio says “Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say,” Grumio thinks he is being asked to slap his master. Not wanting to get beat, Grumio refuses to do this. The pair go round & round–Grumio continues to misinterpret Petruchio’s order for him to knock on the door.
Petruchio finally gets fed up & twists Grumio’s ears until the old man falls to his knees. Hortensio opens the door & is surprised to see Petruchio beating up on an old servant.
Petruchio & Hortensio greet each other in Italian, which Grumio mistakes for Latin. Grumio whines to Hortensio that Petruchio is cruel & says he should quit his job because he was punished for refusing to beat his master.
Petruchio explains that Grumio is an idiot because he asked the servant to knock on the door, not to hit him. Grumio continues to grumble & Petruchio says he’s about to get knocked out if he doesn’t stop.
Hortensio tells Petruchio to chill out & asks what brings him to Padua. Petruchio’s dad recently died & left Petruchio a little inheritance. Wanting to increase his bank account some more, Petruchio has come to Padua to get a rich wife. Hortensio jokes that he knows the perfect woman – a super rich shrew named Katherine.
Petruchio says that his wife can be ugly, old, &/or shrewish – it really doesn’t matter to him because money = happiness.
Hortensio says he was just joking around, but he’ll be a good pal & will help to get him with Kate. He warns Petruchio again & says that he personally wouldn’t marry Kate for all the money in the world.
When Petruchio finds out that his dead dad knew Kate’s dad, he decides he wants to get over to Kate’s house to talk with her dad & Hortensio goes along to see Bianca.
Hortensio explains that he will dress up as a private tutor & he wants Petruchio to present him as a “gift” to Kate’s dad. That way, Petruchio can get in good with Baptista & Hortensio can make sweet love to Bianca in secret.
Gremio & Lucentio (disguised as Cambio) come along. Gremio brags that he has hired Cambio as a gift for Baptista. Gremio has no idea that Cambio is really Lucentio (who also wants Bianca) as he explains that Cambio should only teach Bianca from books of love poetry, which will be doused in perfume to get Bianca in the mood for love.
Lucentio (disguised as Cambio) tells Gremio that he will talk to Bianca on Gremio’s behalf & will woo her even better than Gremio. Petruchio’s servant Grumio comments under his breath that Gremio is a bad guy.
Gremio & Lucentio talk some trash until Lucentio says he has good news for both of them – his old pal Petruchio is in town & wants to marry Kate.
Gremio can’t believe it & worries that Petruchio doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into. Petruchio tells them not to worry – he’s the shrew-taming king. This sounds good to Gremio & Hortensio, who promises to reimburse Petruchio for any money he has to spend while he woos Kate, so long as he marries her.
Tranio (disguised as Lucentio) arrives on the scene & asks for directions to Baptista’s house, which worries Petruchio & Gremio because they don’t want any more competition.
The suitors bicker amongst themselves until they agree that, if Tranio wants in on the deal, he will have to get some cash to help cover Petruchio’s expenses. Tranio agrees.
That settled, the guys decide they should hang out together over dinner & drinks.
Act II, scene i
At Baptista’s house, Kate has tied up Bianca, who begs her sister to let her go. Bianca says she’ll do whatever Kate wants because she knows how to be obedient to her “elders.”
Kate demands that Bianca tell her about her favorite boyfriend, Bianca doesn’t answer the question. Bianca tells Kate that she can have all of her suitors, if that will make her happy & Kate slaps Bianca.
Baptista walks in & scolds Kate for being so mean to Bianca. Kate complains about Bianca & she runs after Bianca to slap her around some more & pull her hair. Baptista steps in to protect Bianca–Kate complains that her dad loves Bianca more than her & she runs off crying.
Gremio, Lucentio (as Cambio the tutor), Petruchio, Hortensio (as Licio the tutor), Tranio (as Lucentio), & Biondello enter Baptista’s house.
Petruchio bluntly tells his plan to Baptista. He wants to marry Kate, who he hears is a delightful young lady. He introduces Licio the tutor (really Hortensio) as a gift to Baptista. Baptista accepts the bribe, welcomes Petruchio, & then warns him that his eldest daughter is a difficult girl, but he’s welcome to court her if that’s what he really wants. Gremio butts in & says he has a present for Baptista too – a schoolteacher named Cambio (Lucentio in disguise). Tranio (disguised as Lucentio) says he too has a gift for Baptista – a lute & a little bundle of books for Baptista’s daughters.
Baptista thanks them for the presents & lets the “tutors” into his house. Petruchio says he’s a busy man & wants to get down to business with Baptista. “OK,” says Baptista, “Kate comes with 20 crowns, plus she gets half my lands & money when I die.”
Sounds good to Petruchio, who promises Baptista that, if he dies before Kate does, she gets a widow’s share of his estate. Their kids – assuming they have any – get the rest of the money.
Petruchio is ready to draw up the contract but Baptista says Kate needs to agree first. Hortensio runs into the room crying about how Kate broke a lute over his head when he was only trying to teach her how to play.
Petruchio is not upset & can’t wait to talk to her. Petruchio says how he plans to deal with Kate – he’ll contradict everything she says. If she says something snobby, he’ll say she sings like a bird. If she refuses to speak to him, he’ll say she speaks eloquently.
When our girl enters the room and Petruchio greets her as “Kate,” she insists that her name is “Katherine.” Petruchio retorts that her name is “plain Kate” or “bonny Kate” or “Kate the curst” and so on. Kate & Petruchio go at it for a few rounds. Kate insults Petruchio, then Petruchio contradicts her & twists her words, then she twists his words around, & then he twists her words around again until they become a dirty joke.
Kate smacks Petruchio after he makes a reference to his “tongue” in her “tail”. Petruchio threatens to beat her if she slaps him again. They continue on this way until Petruchio decides they’ve had enough. He informs Kate that Baptista has agreed to a marriage, the dowry has been set, & whether Kate likes it or not, he will have her as his wife. Eventually, she becomes so enraged that she hits him, but he continues the game just the same, saying that he will marry her whether or not she is willing: “will you, nill you, I will marry you”
Baptista enters to ask how things are going, & Kate yells at her dad for agreeing to let her marry such a man. Petruchio lies & tells everyone that Kate is as gentle as a pussycat, loves him, & has agreed to marry him. He says she was all over him when they were alone, but they think it’s best if she pretends to hate him in public.
Kate says nothing in response to this.
Petruchio announces that he’s off to Venice, but will be back in Padua to marry Kate on Sunday. Petruchio exits & Kate storms out separately.
Baptista turns his attention to the business of marrying off Bianca & compares himself to a merchant who is embarking on a precarious venture. Gremio & Tranio (as Lucentio) try to outbid each other & Tranio (as Lucentio) wins because he’s the richest. Baptista makes Tranio (as Lucentio) promise that his father will vouch for him and verify his cash flow.
Act 3-Scene 1 summary
At Baptista’s place, Hortensio (as Licio) & Lucentio (as Cambio) argue over who gets to tutor Bianca first. Bianca interjects & tells the men that she, not them, decides when, what, & how she will learn. Licio will tune his instrument while Cambio finishes his Latin language lesson. During the Latin lesson, Lucentio (as Cambio) reads from a Latin text & pretends to translate the words into English. He reveals (apparently, not for the first time) his true identity & his plan to win Bianca.
Instead of telling on Lucentio, Bianca plays coy & says she can’t promise him anything because she doesn’t yet trust him. Hortensio (as Licio) takes over & begins his fake music lesson. He gives Bianca a love letter (disguised as a set of music instructions) while Lucentio (as Cambio) watches & worries that Bianca will like the music tutor instead of him. A messenger arrives with news that Bianca has to help Kate prepare for the wedding, so she leaves.
Act 3-Scene 2 summary
Now it is the wedding day. Baptista & Katherine are mad because Petruchio is very late. Both worry about looking like idiots if he blows them off. Kate runs from the room in tears & Baptista says something like, “She’s just mad because she’s a shrew.” Biondello enters and says that Petruchio is on his way over. He then describes Petruchio’s little procession to Baptista’s house: Petruchio is dressed in some crazy costume & looks like a bum. He’s also riding in on a lame old horse. Petruchio enters looking exactly as Biondello described & pretends that he didn’t just arrive to his wedding looking like a hobo. Baptista is shocked & asks him to change clothes, but Petruchio blows him off & says Kate isn’t getting married to his clothes.
Then Petruchio jokes with Baptista about how he’s going to have sex with his daughter that night & says he’s going to find Kate right now so he can get a little preview. Meanwhile, Tranio & Lucentio scheme about how to seal the deal with Baptista. They need to find an old man to pretend to be Lucentio’s dad so Baptista will sign the dowry contracts. (Remember, Baptista recently agreed to let “Lucentio” marry Bianca. They can’t ask Lucentio’s real dad for help because Tranio is parading around as Lucentio.)
Lucentio says he & Bianca just want to elope, but they can’t because Hortensio is always watching. Apparently, Lucentio’s “tutoring” lessons have paid off & Bianca is just as into him as he is into her.)
Gremio enters & says he’s just come from the church, where he watched Kate & Petruchio’s wedding. Gremio says that Petruchio acted like a jerk – he swore at & then back-handed the priest during the ceremony & then stuck his tongue down Kate’s throat when the ceremony ended. The make-out session was noisy. Petruchio also drank all the wine instead of sharing it with his guests.
The wedding party enters just then & Petruchio announces that he & Kate have to run, but the guests should go ahead & party at the wedding reception without them. Baptista & Kate beg Petruchio to stay, he refuses, & Kate says that’s fine but she’s not going anywhere.
Grumio tells us in an “aside” that Petruchio’s taming plan is about to begin. Petruchio repeats that everyone should enjoy the party, or get lost – he really doesn’t care either way. Kate is going home with him because she’s his wife & is his property, along with his house, his barn, his horse, his ox, etc. He warns the guests not to touch his bride, & pretends that he & Grumio are being attacked by thieves as he draws his sword & runs off with Kate.
The wedding guests laugh at this big production & joke that crazy old Kate has married someone just as crazy as she is. Baptista shrugs his shoulders – Kate’s no longer his problem – and tells Bianca &Tranio (as Lucentio) to sit at the bride & groom’s. They’ll just pretend all that unpleasantness didn’t happen & will try to enjoy the celebration without them.
Act 4–Scene 1
Grumio enters Petruchio’s country house, where Curtis & some other servants are prepping for the arrival of their master & his new wife. Grumio complains that he has been traveling from Padua with Petruchio & Kate & has been sent ahead to start a fire before they arrive. Curtis begs for news & gossip about the newly married couple, but Grumio picks a fight with Curtis & slaps him around a bit. Grumio says he’s too mad at Curtis to describe what happened on the way home from Padua, but Grumio ends up narrating the entire thing by telling Curtis what he is not going to tell him.
He says something like this: “If I wasn’t mad at you, I’d tell you how Kate’s horse stumbled & threw her off before it landed on top of her in the mud. I’d also tell you how Petruchio pounded me for what happened and how Kate tried to pull him off me but ended up getting even muddier. I’d also tell you how Petruchio swore like a sailor, Kate prayed, & I cried. But, I’m too mad so I’m not going to tell you anything.” Curtis says that Petruchio is more of a “shrew” than Kate & Grumio says that Curtis ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Petruchio walks in & acts all wild. One moment he’s calling his servants bastards & lackeys while kicking them around & the next minute he’s telling Kate to relax & make herself at home. Petruchio claims that the servants burned dinner & flings some food & dishes around. Kate tries to talk him down (she doesn’t yet know that he’s messing with her head &, she’s hungry. Petruchio announces that they’re going to bed without dinner & trots her off to her room. Peter says that Petruchio has put the kibosh on Kate’s bad behavior by giving her a dose of her own medicine.
Then Curtis tells us that Petruchio is in Kate’s room lecturing her on self-control. Kate, of course, is dumbfounded, like someone who has just woken from a “dream.” Petruchio enters & delivers a long speech about how his plan to tame Kate has begun. He compares himself to a falcon tamer & compares Kate to a wild bird that must be broken.
He’ll starve her, deprive her of sleep (all while pretending to have her best interest in mind) until she breaks. This, he says, is the best way to tame a shrew.
Petruchio sort of puffs out his chest & challenges the audience to come up with a better way to get a shrewish woman in line.
Act 4–Scene 2
Back in Padua, outside of Baptista’s house, Tranio (as Lucentio) & Hortensio (as Licio) spy on Bianca & Lucentio (as Cambio) as the pair flirt with each other. Hortensio thinks Bianca is acting improper, so he takes off his disguise. Tranio (as Lucentio) gets Hortensio to agree to give up his suit for Bianca & they both swear to each other that they will never marry her. Before he runs off, Hortensio says he’s going to marry the rich Widow.
Tranio, Lucentio, & Bianca get together & laugh at how they got rid of Hortensio so Bianca & Lucentio can run off & get married. Tranio says that Hortensio has gone to Petruchio’s “taming school” to learn how to tame his future wife, the Widow.
Biondello rushes in & says that he found the perfect guy to play the role of Lucentio’s dad.
The Pedant (meaning “teacher” in Italian, though it’s not clear what his occupation is) arrives & says he’s come from Mantua. Tranio (as Lucentio) lies & says the Pedant is up a creek without a paddle because the Duke of Padua executes all citizens of Mantua if they come within city limits.
But, Tranio (as Lucentio) will help him out & let him pretend to be his father so he won’t be harmed.
The grateful Pedant agrees to meet with Baptista & says he will negotiate Lucentio’s wedding dowry as if he were Lucentio’s real father.
Act 4–Scene 3
Back at Petruchio’s country house, Kate begs Grumio to make her something to eat because she’s starving, sleep deprived, & has been verbally abused by Petruchio.
Grumio taunts Kate with tasty treats like ox foot & tripe (animal entrails) but ends up offering only mustard. Kate beats him & calls him a jerk. Petruchio & Hortensio show up with a plate full of meat but, when Petruchio sees that Kate is upset, he uses it as an excuse not to feed her. He orders the meat taken away until Kate apologizes for being ungrateful.
Hortensio sticks up for Kate & Petruchio whispers in his ear to eat all the meat so Kate can’t get any. (Note: we assume Hortensio complies since he’s there to learn how to tame an unruly wife. Petruchio announces that they’ll get dressed up in custom-made outfits & travel to Padua for Bianca’s wedding. The Haberdasher & the Tailor enter & Petruchio yells at them & kicks them out after inspecting their inferior workmanship.
Kate likes the clothes but Petruchio insists they wear old rags to the wedding. He whispers to Hortensio to run after the tailor & pay him for his work. Petruchio delivers a long speech about how clothes aren’t important & says that “It’s what’s on the inside that really counts – we should just go to the wedding & have a good time.”
Petruchio then announces that it is 7am, so if they leave now they will arrive in Padua by noon. Kate points out that it’s almost 2pm & they won’t get there until 6 pm. Petruchio insists that it is whatever time he says &, unless Kate agrees, they’re not going anywhere.
Hortensio admires Petruchio & thinks that he’s great at taming the shrew.
Act 4-Scene 4
Back in Padua, Tranio (as Lucentio) & the Pedant (as Lucentio’s father Vincentio) wait for Baptista outside his house. The Pedant is introduced to Baptista as Vincentio & the 2 men seem pleased with one another & the kids’ engagement. They all agree to go to Lucentio’s place to settle their business & sign some contracts. Baptista sends “Cambio” (really Lucentio) to get Bianca & tell her the good news about her upcoming marriage to Lucentio.
Instead of getting Bianca & taking her to her dad, Lucentio has caught up with Biondello, who brings him up to speed on the arrangements for his elopement with Bianca. While Baptista is kept busy signing fake contracts with Tranio (as Lucentio) & the Pedant (as Vincentio), Bianca & Lucentio will go to St. Luke’s church, where a priest is waiting.
Biondello tells Lucentio to get to the church ASAP & to make sure he has some reliable witnesses to confirm the marriage. Lucentio runs off to find Bianca.
Act 4 Scene 5
On the road to Padua in the middle of the afternoon, Petruchio looks up at the sun & says the “moon” looks beautiful. Kate corrects him, but Petruchio says it’s the moon or whatever else he says it is. Otherwise, nobody’s going to the wedding. Hortensio whispers to Kate to play along with Petruchio, so Kate says “OK, fine, it’s the moon.” “No,” says Petruchio, “it’s the sun.” “OK,” says Kate, “it’s the sun or the moon, whatever you want it to be.” They encounter an old man (the real Vincentio) on the road to Padua & Petruchio pretends the guy is a young girl. Kate plays along this time & agrees with whatever Petruchio says. When the party learns that Vincentio is looking for his son Lucentio, they agree to take him to Lucentio’s house. Hortensio comments that he’s looking forward to his own marriage because he now knows how to deal with the Widow if she gets mouthy and tries to act up.
Act 5 Scene 1
Lucentio and Bianca run off to get married at St. Luke’s church. Petruchio, Kate, & Vincentio arrive at Lucentio’s house, where the Pedant is pretending to be Lucentio’s father while he hangs out with Baptista. The Pedant (as Vincentio) comes to the front door & faces the man he is impersonating. He insists that he is Lucentio’s father & makes the real Vincentio look like a crazy imposter. When Biondello & Tranio (still disguised as Lucentio) see Vincentio & realize the issue, they deny knowing Vincentio to avoid trouble.
Vincentio thinks that Tranio has murdered his son in order to assume Lucentio’s identity, which makes him look even crazier. The officials are called & Vincentio is about to be taken in when the newly married Lucentio shows up with his wife, Bianca. Lucentio immediately kneels at his father’s feet & asks for forgiveness. Bianca also says she is sorry while kneeling before Baptista, who has wandered out of the house to see what all the fuss is about.
Baptista demands to know what is going on. Lucentio admits that he’s not really Cambio – he’s actually Lucentio & he just married Baptista’s daughter. Vincentio is a very forgiving & indulgent father because he comes to his son’s defense & assures Baptista that they will make the marriage worth his while. Now that the whole mess is straightened out, the group heads inside to the wedding reception.
Petruchio and Kate, who are normally the ones causing a spectacle, have been watching the whole scene unfold. Petruchio asks Kate for a little kiss. She hesitates but then agrees. They kiss & then follow the others inside for the wedding banquet.
Act 5 Scene 2
Lucentio welcomes his guests to the wedding banquet & everybody is enjoying it. Petruchio says Hortensio is afraid of his wife, the Widow, so the Widow says Petruchio is crazy – he’s the one who is afraid of his wife, Kate. Kate confronts the Widow. Seeing his wife in a verbal attack with another woman gets Petruchio excited & he cheers on Kate. When the women leave the room, the guys continue with a contest. Petruchio bets Hortensio & Lucentio 20 crowns that his wife is the most obedient. They take that bet & they send a servant to fetch their wives.
Lucentio & Hortensio act foolish when Bianca & Widow say they’re too busy to stop what they’re doing for their husbands. When Petruchio sends for Kate, she comes & asks Petruchio how she can serve him. Petruchio orders Kate to get the other wives & to everyone’s surprise, she does. Baptista is shocked. He says he doesn’t recognize his own daughter, so he’s going to give Petruchio another dowry since it seems like Petruchio has married a new & completely different woman.
Petruchio has Kate take off her ugly hat. Kate throws her hat on the ground. When Petruchio tells Kate to put the bad wives in their proper places, Kate does that. She delivers the longest speech in play, which is all about how men are like kings & women are their subjects – women should obey a man’s every command. She also says husbands work hard to protect their wives, so women should be obedient. Bianca & the Widow are a disgrace as wives
Then, Kate kneels down & fondles Petruchio’s feet while saying kind things. Petruchio kisses Kate he turns to the other men & brags that he’s landed a rich, obedient wife, & he won the 40 crowns. Kate & Petruchio run off to live happily ever after. The wedding guests stand around completely shocked.