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His eyes were green as leeks.
Tongue, not a word!
Come, trusty sword; [She searches for Pyramus' sword, but does not find it until Pyramus rolls over and shows her the sword, under him.] Come, blade, my breast imbrue; [Stabs herself.]
And, farewell, friends;
Thus, Thisby ends. [She makes Pyramus move over and leave her room enough on his cloak for her to lie down too. Pyramus takes the sword from her and carefully wipes it off.] Adieu, adieu, adieu.
[Both lie down.] Bottom. [Starting up.) Will it please you to see the epilog,
or to hear a dance between two of our company? Theseus. No epilog; for your play needs no excuse. When
the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. But, come, your dance; let your epilog alone.
(A dance.] Theseus. After the players leave C. D.) This coarse, rough
play hath well beguiled
(Exeunt C. D.]
Theseus and Hippolyta.
I, i, 1-19.1
1 The line numbers refer to The Macmillan Pocket Classics edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Lysander and Hermia, Demetrius and Helena.
I, i, from 20.
IV, i, 127-200.
II, i, 60–183, 243–254; ii, 1–34.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
BAPTISTA (băp-tis'ta), a rich gentleman of Padua (păd'ū-á).
(vě-rö'na), a suitor to Katharina.
} daughters to Baptista.
SETTING: Italy-at Padua, and at Petruchio's country house
SETTING I. In front of Baptista's house.
Episode 1. Katharina must be married first.
Episode 2. Petruchio will marry her.
Episode 3. The wooing.
* Cast reducible to 10, if Gremio doubles for Vincentio; Tranio for Curtis and the Haberdasher; Lucentio for the tailor; and if Biondello's lines are appropriated by Tranio.
SETTING III. Petruchio's country house.
Episode 6. The homecoming.
Episode 7. The taming of the shrew. SETTING IV. The road to Baptista's.
Episode 8. A new Katharina.
Episode 9. Lucentio prospers.
The University of Padua in 1922 was seven hundred years old. Galileo and Columbus studied there, and Petrarch, the father of the Renaissance. The University at its height had eighteen thousand students. The city of Padua, therefore, was a very old and famous university town when Shakespeare makes Lucentio arrive there in the first scene of The Taming of the Shrew.
Lucentio is the young and wealthy traveler, who with his servant Tranio appears in the background of the picture in the first episode, and who as a result of Tranio's fertile suggestion puts on his university cap and gown
to counterfeit a teacher and to woo the younger daughter of Baptista.
Baptista is the old man who has decided not to allow his younger daughter to be wed-or, indeed, be wooed—until the older one is married. The older one is Katharina, the Shrew. A "shrew” was a woman who had a shrewd or biting tongue, and Katharina's wit was so sharp that it cut everyone to the quick. Her sarcasm lashed all alike who came within its reach.
Petruchio, however, is a man who dares to marry Katharina. His courage and still more remarkable good sense enable him to realize that beneath Katharina's sarcastic exterior lies material for a fine womanhood. Petruchio is somewhat of a shrew himself rate enough so to assume a bold and flaunting front to tame the shrew. And yet he is a man of golden instincts for better things, as Shakespeare lets us see at intervals when Katharina is allowed to catch a glimpse of what Petruchio's inner self may be. The Petruchio of the older play, which Shakespeare here rewrites, was rough, but under Shakespeare's wonder-working hand, although many of the lines remain the same, the character is changed. It is refined.
1 The Prolog lines may be taken by Tranio.
Katharina, also, is a lady. Though she has found her master, she knows that she is beginning to enjoy his fun. Once she feels that Petruchio's spirit is truly kindred to her own, she rises to his expectations and becomes all and exactly what he wants her to be. The merry, strange companionship of these two in the later episodes is sufficient in itself to make the brides and bridegrooms wonder at how well-matched the most ill-matched become when they can laugh, and whether the best-fitted really are not the worst when they cannot.
NOTE. If we include, besides the main plot, other very interesting incidents, for instance, those connected with Bianca's wooing, the playlet exceeds 45 minutes. A few of these are included in small type, but may be omitted in case the time limit must be adhered to strictly.