OK, here’s a preview… later this month, we’re going to talk in depth about the most popular scene in The Taming of the Shrew, the wooing scene (and probably one of the two most important, neck and neck with the last speech by Kate).
Act Two, Scene One, lines 169-325
I will attend her here,
And woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say that she rail; why then I'll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale:
Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew:
Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
Then I'll commend her volubility,
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence:
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks,
As though she bid me stay by her a week:
If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day
When I shall ask the banns and when be married.
But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak.
Good morrow, Kate; for that's your name, I hear.
Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing:
They call me Katharina that do talk of me.
You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate,
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;
Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,
Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.
Moved! in good time: let him that moved you hither
Remove you hence: I knew you at the first
You were a moveable.
Why, what's a moveable?
Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me.
Asses are made to bear, and so are you.
Women are made to bear, and so are you.
No such jade as you, if me you mean.
Alas! good Kate, I will not burden thee;
For, knowing thee to be but young and light--
Too light for such a swain as you to catch;
And yet as heavy as my weight should be.
Should be! should--buzz!
Well ta'en, and like a buzzard.
O slow-wing'd turtle! shall a buzzard take thee?
Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard.
Come, come, you wasp; i' faith, you are too angry.
If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
My remedy is then, to pluck it out.
Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies,
Who knows not where a wasp does
wear his sting? In his tail.
In his tongue.
Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.
What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again,
Good Kate; I am a gentleman.
That I'll try.
She strikes him
I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again.
So may you lose your arms:
If you strike me, you are no gentleman;
And if no gentleman, why then no arms.
A herald, Kate? O, put me in thy books!
What is your crest? a coxcomb?
A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.
No cock of mine; you crow too like a craven.
Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour.
It is my fashion, when I see a crab.
Why, here's no crab; and therefore look not sour.
There is, there is.
Then show it me.
Had I a glass, I would.
What, you mean my face?
Well aim'd of such a young one.
Now, by Saint George, I am too young for you.
Yet you are wither'd.
'Tis with cares.
I care not.
Nay, hear you, Kate: in sooth you scape not so.
I chafe you, if I tarry: let me go.
No, not a whit: I find you passing gentle.
'Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
And now I find report a very liar;
For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
But thou with mildness entertain'st thy wooers,
With gentle conference, soft and affable.
Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender and as brown in hue
As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels.
O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.
Go, fool, and whom thou keep'st command.
Did ever Dian so become a grove
As Kate this chamber with her princely gait?
O, be thou Dian, and let her be Kate;
And then let Kate be chaste and Dian sportful!
Where did you study all this goodly speech?
It is extempore, from my mother-wit.
A witty mother! witless else her son.
Am I not wise?
Yes; keep you warm.
Marry, so I mean, sweet Katharina, in thy bed:
And therefore, setting all this chat aside,
Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife; your dowry 'greed on;
And, Will you, nill you, I will marry you.
Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn;
For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty,
Thy beauty, that doth make me like thee well,
Thou must be married to no man but me;
For I am he am born to tame you Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.
Here comes your father: never make denial;
I must and will have Katharina to my wife.
Re-enter BAPTISTA, GREMIO, and TRANIO
Now, Signior Petruchio, how speed you with my daughter?
How but well, sir? how but well?
It were impossible I should speed amiss.
Why, how now, daughter Katharina! in your dumps?
Call you me daughter? now, I promise you
You have show'd a tender fatherly regard,
To wish me wed to one half lunatic;
A mad-cup ruffian and a swearing Jack,
That thinks with oaths to face the matter out.
Father, 'tis thus: yourself and all the world,
That talk'd of her, have talk'd amiss of her:
If she be curst, it is for policy,
For she's not froward, but modest as the dove;
She is not hot, but temperate as the morn;
For patience she will prove a second Grissel,
And Roman Lucrece for her chastity:
And to conclude, we have 'greed so well together,
That upon Sunday is the wedding-day.
I'll see thee hang'd on Sunday first.
Hark, Petruchio; she says she'll see thee
Is this your speeding? nay, then, good night our part!
Be patient, gentlemen; I choose her for myself:
If she and I be pleased, what's that to you?
'Tis bargain'd 'twixt us twain, being alone,
That she shall still be curst in company.
I tell you, 'tis incredible to believe
How much she loves me: O, the kindest Kate!
She hung about my neck; and kiss on kiss
She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
That in a twink she won me to her love.
O, you are novices! 'tis a world to see,
How tame, when men and women are alone,
A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.
Give me thy hand, Kate: I will unto Venice,
To buy apparel 'gainst the wedding-day.
Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests;
I will be sure my Katharina shall be fine.
I know not what to say: but give me your hands;
God send you joy, Petruchio! 'tis a match.
Amen, say we: we will be witnesses.
Father, and wife, and gentlemen, adieu;
I will to Venice; Sunday comes apace:
We will have rings and things and fine array;
And kiss me, Kate, we will be married o'Sunday.
Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATHARINA severally
And we’ll look at the scene, primary through scansion to see if we can get any clues to performance through the verse.