The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

PETRUCHIO

A whoreson, beetle-headed, flap-eared knave!—
Come, Kate, sit down. I know you have a stomach.
Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?—
What’s this? Mutton?

PETRUCHIO

He’s a son of a bitch, a moron, a total jerk.—Come sit down, Kate, I know you must be hungry. Will you say grace, sweet Kate, or shall I?—What is this? Mutton?

FIRST SERVANT

95Ay.

FIRST SERVANT

Yes.

PETRUCHIO

  Who brought it?

PETRUCHIO

Who brought it out here?

PETER

    I.

PETER

I did.

PETRUCHIO

'Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.
What dogs are these! Where is the rascal cook?
How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser
And serve it thus to me that love it not?
100There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all!
Throws the meat, & c. about the stage
You heedless joltheads and unmannered slaves!
What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.

PETRUCHIO

It’s burnt. The whole thing is burnt. You bastards! Where is that moron of a cook? You devils! How dare you serve it to me this way! There, take it all back—plates, cups, the whole thing. (throws the meat and everything else around the stage) You careless blockheads and unwashed slaves! I heard that! I’ll deal with you in a minute.
Exeunt servants
Servants exit.

KATHERINE

I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.
105The meat was well, if you were so contented.

KATHERINE

Please, dear, calm down. The meat was fine if you wanted to eat it.

PETRUCHIO

I tell thee, Kate, ’twas burnt and dried away.
And I expressly am forbid to touch it,
For it engenders choler, planteth anger;
And better ’twere that both of us did fast,
110Since of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,
Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.
Be patient, tomorrow ’t shall be mended,
And, for this night, we’ll fast for company.

PETRUCHIO

And I’m telling you it was burnt and dried out. I’m not allowed to eat

overcooked meat

Overcooked meat was through to produce choler, one of the four humors—the one that gave rise to anger.

overcooked meat
. It gives me indigestion and that makes me irritable. Very, very irritable.Better for us to go hungry, since we’re both hotheaded, than for us to eat meat that’s been cooked too long. But don’t worry, tomorrow it will get straightened out. Tonight we’ll go without food.