The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 10

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That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
That bate and beat and will not be obedient.
She ate no meat today, nor none shall eat.
Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.
135As with the meat, some undeservèd fault
I’ll find about the making of the bed,
And here I’ll fling the pillow, there the bolster,
This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.
Ay, and amid this hurly I intend
140That all is done in reverend care of her.
And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night,
And if she chance to nod I’ll rail and brawl,
And with the clamor keep her still awake.
This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,
145And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.
He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
Now let him speak; ’tis charity to show.


the way trainers do with young hawks that flutter and flap and will not obey. She had no food today and will have none. Last night she got no sleep, and she won’t get any tonight. Just as I did with the meat, I’ll make up some problem with the way the bed is made, and throw the pillow one way and the cushion the other, and the blanket over here and the sheets over there. And through all the shouting and fuss, I’ll swear that it’s all out of love for her. The end result will be that she’ll sit up all night. And if she starts to drop off, I’ll rant and yell until I wake her up. This is how to kill a wife with kindness. And this way I’ll cure her wild and willful nature. If anyone here knows a better way to tame a shrew, speak up, please. It would be much appreciated.
He exits.