The Taming of the Shrew
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The Taming of the Shrew The Taming of the Shrew

                          The Taming of the Shrew.

                                                                 Moscow 2000

                             Dramatis Personae.

|A Lord.                                 ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|CHRISTOPHER SLY, a tinker.              || Persons in                         |
|                                        || the Induction.                     |
|Hostess, Page, Players,                 ||                                    |
|Huntsmen, and Servants.                 ||                                    |
|BAPTISTA                                |a rich gentleman of Padua.           |
|VINCENTIO                               |an old gentleman of Pisa.            |
|LUCENTIO                                |son to Vincentio, in love with       |
|                                        |Bianca.                              |
|PETRUCHIO                               |a gentleman of Verona, a suitor to   |
|                                        |Katharina.                           |
|GREMIO                                  ||                                    |
|                                        || suitors to Bianca.                 |
|HORTENSIO                               ||                                    |
|TRANIO                                  ||                                    |
|                                        || servants to Lucentio.              |
|BIONDELLO                               ||                                    |
|GRUMIO                                  ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|CURTIS                                  ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|NATHANIEL                               ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|NICHOLAS                                || servants to Petruchio.             |
|                                        ||                                    |
|JOSEPH                                  ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|PHILIP                                  ||                                    |
|                                        ||                                    |
|PETER                                   ||                                    |
|A PEDANT                                |                                     |
|KATHARINA the shrew,                    ||                                    |
|                                        || daughters to Baptista.             |
|BIANCA                                  ||                                    |
|WIDOW                                   |                                     |
|Tailor, Haberdasher, and servants       |                                     |
|attending                               |                                     |
|on BAPTISTA and PETRUCHIO               |                                     |

SCENE  is set in Padua, and Petruchio's country house.

                          The Contents of the Play.
Katharine was the eldest daughter of Baptista, a rich  gentleman  of  Padua.
She was a lady of such a disobedient spirit and fiery temper, that  she  was
known in Padua by the name Katharine the Shrew. It  seemed  impossible  that
any gentleman would ever  marry  this  lady,  and  therefore  Baptista,  her
father, has given refusal to many excellent offers that  were  made  to  her
gentle sister Bianca, putting off all Bianca's  suitors  with  this  excuse,
that when the eldest sister will be  married,  only  then  they  could  make
their offer’s to young Bianca.
It happened, however, that a gentleman,  named  Petruchio,  came  to  Padua,
purposely to look out for a  wife.  Being  not  confused  by  reputation  of
Katharine and hearing that she was rich and handsome decided to  marry  her,
and to tame after a wedding. And truly nobody was so suited  for  this  work
as Petruchio, whose spirit was as high as Katharine's.
At first Petruchio went to Katharine and applied to Baptista to ask him  the
hand of his daughter, saying, that having heard of  her  best  full  modesty
and mild behavior, he had come  from  Verona  to  solicit  her  lovely.  Her
father warned Petruchio that Katharine would  be  not  happy  to  hear  such
news, but being glad to get Katharine married, he  answered  that  he  would
give her twenty thousand crowns for her dowry, and  half  his  estate  after
his death; so this contract was quickly agreed, and Baptista went to  inform
his shrewish daughter of such an offer, and sent her to  Petruchio  to  talk
to him.
At the same time Petruchio discussed with himself the mode of  courtship  he
should followed.  Katharine would did not like the set  of  things,  she  in
loud and angry terms had showed him how justly  she  had  got  the  name  of
Shrew, while he still was praising her in sweet  words.  And  when  Baptista
entered, Petruchio told him that his daughter had met him kindly,  and  that
she had promised to be married the next Sunday. Katharine answered that  she
would rather see him  hanged  on  Sunday,  and  reproached  her  father  for
wishing to wed her to such a mad person as Petruchio.  Petruchio  asked  her
father not to pay attention to her angry words, for  they  had  agreed  that
she should seem reluctant before him, but that when they were alone  he  had
found her very fond and loving.
On the Sunday all the wedding guests were assembled, but  they  waited  long
before Petruchio came,  and  Katharine  even  cried  of  disappointment  and
thought that Petruchio had been only jesting at her. At  last,  however,  he
appeared; but he did not bring  any  wedding  dress  which  he  promised  to
Katharine, and he was dressed himself not like a groom, but as tramp.
Petruchio could not be persuaded to change his dress; he said Katharine  was
to be married to him, and not to his clothes. They went to church.  Baptista
had organized a marriage feast, but when  everybody  returned  from  church,
Petruchio, told that he would instantly carry his wife home, and they  would
not be present at this feast. Petruchio mounted his wife  upon  a  miserable
horse, which was lean and lank, and they went on.
After a weary journey, during which Katharine  had  heard  nothing  but  the
ravings of Petruchio, they arrived at  his  house.  Petruchio  welcomed  her
kindly to her new home, but he decided that she  should  have  neither  rest
nor food that night. The tables were spread, and  supper  soon  served;  but
Petruchio, pretending to find every dish not  suitable  to  eat,  threw  the
meat about the floor, and ordered the servants to remove it  away;  and  all
this he did, as he said, in love for his Katharine, that she might  not  eat
meat that was not  well  cooked.   And  when  Katharine,  weary  and  hungry
decided to rest, he found the same fault with the bed, throwing the  pillows
and bedclothes about the room, so that she was  forced  to  sit  down  in  a
chair, where she felt asleep, she was awakened by  the  loud  voice  of  her
husband, shouting at the servants for the bad-making of his wife's  wadding-
The next day Petruchio still speaking kind words to Katharine did  not  give
her chance to eat, throwing the breakfast on the floor as he had  done  with
the supper; and Katharine was forced  to  beg  the  servants  to  bring  her
secretly a food; but they being  instructed  by  Petruchio,  refused  to  do
At this day Petruchio decided to return to Batista’s house and feast  there.
On all way Petruchio continued to tame Katharine. On a road they had met  an
old man.

Then Petruchio knew that old gentleman, he was the  father  of  Lucentio,  a
young gentleman who was  to  be  married  to  Baptista's  younger  daughter,
Bianca, and he made Vincentio very happy, by telling  him  about  that  rich
marriage of his son and they all journeyed  together  to  Baptista's  house,
where there  was  a  large  company  assembled  to  celebrate  the  wedding,
Baptista had willingly agreed to the marriage of  Bianca  when  he  had  got
Katharine off his hands.

When they entered, Baptista welcomed them to the wedding  feast,  and  there
was present also another newly married pair.

Lucentio, Bianca's husband, and Hortensio, the other new married man,  could
not be kept from jesting  at  Petruchio,  and  they  hint  at  the  shrewish
disposition of Petruchio's wife, and these grooms seemed high  pleased  with
the mild tempers of the ladies they had chosen, laughing  at  Petruchio  for
his less fortunate choice. Petruchio took little notice of their jokes.  And
he offered a dispute in order to find out whose wife was more obedient.  The
other two husbands willingly agreed, for they were  quite  sure  that  their
gentle wives would prove more obedient  than  the  Katharine.  Lucentio  was
first who sent his servant to Bianca, but the servant  returned,  and  said,
that she refused to come.  And then it was Hortensio's turn to send for  his
wife. But the servant turned without mistress.
And at last Petruchio’s turn came; he had sent the servant to his wife
Company had practically no time to think she would  not  obey  her  husband,
when Baptista, and all in amaze saw Katharine entering the room.
And to the wonder of all present, the reformed  shrewish  lady  spoke  about
duty of obedience wife, as she  had  practiced  it  implicitly  in  a  ready
submission to Petruchio's will. And Katharine became famous  in  Padua,  not
as Katharine the Shrew, but as Katharine the most obedient and duteous  wife
in Padua.

                                 My opinion.
"The Taming of the Shrew " is one of the earliest comedies of Shakespeare.
I like this comedy very much. It is  evident,  that  it  was  written  by  a
young, cheerful man.
It is the real  comedy,  which  is  full  of  lively  situations  and  funny
dialogues. It is very pleasant to recollect  my  first  sensation  from  the
scene  5  (the  4-th  act),  where  Катарина  and  Petruchio  came  back  to
Baptista's home for a wedding feast. It seems to me that I  could  not  stop
laughing in a loud voice for a very long time.
The action in a comedy develops very dynamically.  There  are  no  long  and
dull dialogues, unnecessary scenes and  events.  Everything  is  written  so
alive, that if there are separate moralizing scenes, they do not irritate.
Petruchio is the typical representative of his time - courageous, free  from
prejudices, full of force and energy.  He  thirsts  for  struggle,  success,
riches, female love - and meets worthy opponent, she is  Katharine.  In  her
image Shakespeare had represented traditional type of the quarrelsome  woman
from the medieval stories, but nevertheless he relieved her from  unpleasant
features.  She  as  well  as  Petruchio,  causes  the  large  sympathy.  And
Katharine, giving way to Petruchio, still remains his worthy opponent.  Even
it is difficult to understand, who from them will be  the  leader  in  their
further joint life.
One can  consider  the  play  as  protection  of  a  medieval  principle  of
unconditional submission  of  the  woman  to  the  man,  or  as  a  hymn  to
courageous, beautiful and clever woman. But I think it is  more  correct  to
consider it simply as a joke.
So this play is fine seen both at theatre, and in cinema.  And  I  think  it
very pleasant to the directors to put, to the actors  to  play  and  to  the
spectators to watch it.

Examples of the Language.
PETRUCHIO Come on, I' God's name; once more toward our father's.

Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!
KATHARINA The moon! The sun: it is not moonlight now.
PETRUCHIO I say it is the moon that shines so bright.
KATHARINA I know it is the sun that shines so bright.
PETRUCHIO Now, by my mother's son, and that's myself,

It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,

Or ere I journey to your father's house.

Go on, and fetch our horses back again.

Evermore cross'd and cross'd; nothing but cross'd!
KATHARINA Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,

And be it moon, or sun, or what you please:

An if you please to call it a rush-candle,

Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.
PETRUCHIO I say it is the moon.
KATHARINA I know  it is the moon.
PETRUCHIO Nay, then you lie: it is the blessed sun.
KATHARINA Then, God be bless'd, it is the blessed sun:

But sun it is not, when you say it is not;

And the moon changes even as your mind.

What you will have it named, even that it is;

And so it shall be so for Katharina.
PETRUCHIO Well, forward, forward! Thus the bowl should run,

And not unluckily against the bias.

But, soft! company is coming here.

Vincentio enters

Good morrow, gentle mistress: where away?

Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly too,

Hast thou beheld a fresher gentlewoman?
 ПЕТРУЧЧО Живей, живей, - ведь едим мы к отцу.
О боже, как луна сияет ярко!
КАТАРИНА Луна! То солнечный, не лунный свет.
ПЕТРУЧЧО Я говорю - луна сияет ярко.
КАТАРИНА Я знаю: солнце так сияет ярко.
ПЕТРУЧЧО Клянусь я сыном матери моей, -
А это я, - пока сиять не будет
Луна, звезда иль все, что мне угодно,
Не еду. – Поворачивай коней!
Всегда, во всем ей только бы перечить!
КАТАРИНА Прошу вас, едем, раз что мы в дороге, -
Будь это луна иль солнце, что угодно;
Хотите, назовите хоть лучиной, -
Впредь так и будет для меня, клянусь.
ПЕТРУЧЧО Я говорю: луна.
КАТАРИНА Луна, конечно.
ПЕТРУЧЧО Ты лжешь: благословенное то солнце.
КАТАРИНА Благословен господь, да, это солнце;
И скажите – не солнце, так не солнце.
Изменчива луна, как ваша мысль.
Чем назовете, тем оно и будет
И тем должно для Катарины быть.
ПЕТРУЧЧО Вперед, вперед! Так шар катиться должен,
А не взбираться по наклону вверх.
Но тише! Кто-то к нам сюда идет.
Входит Винченцьо
Синьора, добрый день; куда идете?
Скажи мне, Кет, да говори по правде:
Видала ли ты девушку свежее?
Румянец спорит с белизною на щечках!
Какие звезды в небе так сияют,
Как эти глазки на лице небесном? –
Красавица, еще раз - мой привет! –
Кет, поцелуй за красоту сеньору.
КАТАРИНА Прелестная и юная девица,
Such war of white and red within her cheeks!

What stars do spangle heaven with such beauty,

As those two eyes become that heavenly face?

Fair lovely maid, once more good day to thee.

Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty's sake.
Young budding virgin, fair and fresh and sweet,

Whither away, or where is thy abode?

Happy the parents of so fair a child;

Happier the man, whom favorable stars

Allot thee for his lovely bed-fellow!
PETRUCHIO Why, how now, Kate! I hope thou art not mad:
KATHARINA Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes,

That have been so bedazzled with the sun

That everything I look on seemeth green:

Now I perceive thou art a reverend father;

This is a man, old, wrinkled, faded, wither'd,

And not a maiden, as thou say'st he is.
Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking.

Куда идешь и где ты обитаешь?
Хоть счастливы родители твои
Еще счастливей тот, кому светила
Судили в жены милые тебя!
ПЕТРУЧЧО Как! Что с тобою, Кет? В уме ли ты?
Ведь это старец сморщенный и дряхлый,
А не девица, как говоришь.
КАТАРИНА Прости меня, старец, - обозналась я:
От солнца я ослепла совершенно,
В глазах пошли зеленые круги.
Теперь я вижу: ты почтенный стариц;
Прости, пожалуйста, ошибку мне.


Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,

And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,

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.

A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,

Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;

And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty

Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.

Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,

Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,

And for thy maintenance commits his body

To painful labor 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;

And when she is forward, peevish, sullen, sour,

And not obedient to his honest will,

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 toil and trouble in the world,

But that our soft conditions and our hearts

Should well agree with our external parts?

Come, come, you forward and unable worms!

My mind hath been as big as one of yours,

My heart as great, my reason haply more,

To bandy word for word and frown for frown;

But now I see our lances are but straws,

Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,

That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.

Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,

And place your hands below your husband's foot:

In token of which duty, if he please,

My hand is ready; may it do him ease.


Стыдись! Расправь нахмуренные брови
И грозных взглядов не кидай, не рань
Супруга своего и властелина:
Гнев губит красоту, как ниву – град;
Как вихрь, он славу добрую развеет,
И ничего приятного в нем нет.
Сердитая жена – источник мутный,
Противный, засоренный, безобразный;
Им каждый погнушается; никто,
Как бы не жаждал, капли не проглотит.
Муж – это господин твой, жизнь, защитник,
Глава и повелитель; о тебе
Печется он, трудам тяжелым тело
На суше и на море подвергая.
Он в стужу днем и в бурю ночь бдит,
Пока в тепле ты почиваешь дома,
И просит дани от тебя одной:
Любви, приветливости, и послушанья –
Уплаты малой за огромный долг.
Обязанности подданных к монарху
И жен к мужьям их – сходны меж собой.
И та, что своенравна и сварлива
И честной воле мужа не покорна, -
Кто, как не дерзостный бунтарь, она,
Изменник любящему господину?
На вашу глупость стыдно мне смотреть:
Вы там воюете, где вы должны бы
Молить о мире, приклонив колени;
Повелевать, главенствовать хотите,
Хоть долг ваш – покоряться и любить!
Как слабо, нежно, мягко наше тело,
Негодно для трудов и для борьбы, -
Так, с ним в согласии, разве не должны
Сердца и чувства наши быть нежны?
Строптивые, бессильные вы черви!
И я была заносчива, как вы,
И вспыльчива; я резко отвечала
На слово словом, выпадом на выпад.
Теперь же вижу я, что наши копья –
Соломинки: так силы наши слабы.
С чем нашу слабость я сравнить могла бы?
Чем кажемся сильней, тем мы слабей.
Нет в гневе пользы нам; к ногам мужей
Склонитесь, жены; пред своим готова
Я долг исполнить, лишь скажи он слово.

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