The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

TRANIO

I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?

TRANIO

Sir, is it possible that a person could fall in love so suddenly?

LUCENTIO

O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
120I never thought it possible or likely.
But see, while idly I stood looking on,
I found the effect of love in idleness
And now in plainness do confess to thee
That art to me as secret and as dear
125As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was,
Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, until it happened to me, I never would have thought it possible. But now I confess it openly to you, Tranio. You are to me what Anna,

Dido’s

In Virgil’s Aeneid, Dido queen of Carthage, confessed her secret passion for Aeneas to her sister, Anna.

Dido’s
sister, was to the Queen of Carthage. I confide in you. I tell you, Tranio, I’m on fire, in agony. I’ll die if I can’t have this modest young girl for my wife. Advise me, Tranio—I know you can. Help me, Tranio—I know you will.

TRANIO

130Master, it is no time to chide you now.
Affection is not rated from the heart.
If love have touched you, naught remains but so:
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.

TRANIO

Master, this is no moment to lecture you. The heart won’t be reasoned with. If love has touched you, love has touched you—end of story. But, as the Roman Terence advises, now that you’re a captive, it’s time to buy back your freedom at the lowest possible cost.

LUCENTIO

Gramercies, lad, go forward. This contents.
135The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.

LUCENTIO

Yes, you’re right. Please go on. I feel better already, and I know there’s more good advice where that came from.

TRANIO

Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.

TRANIO

Master, you were so focused on the girl herself, I wonder if you missed the main point here.

LUCENTIO

Oh yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face
Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
140That made great Jove to humble him to her hand
When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.

LUCENTIO

Oh no! I saw sweetness and beauty in her face of the kind that humbled great

Jove

Jove, or Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with Europa, a mortal maiden, and changed himself into a bull, carrying a Europa across the sea to Crete, where he raped her.

Jove
. He saw it in Europa that time she brought him to his knees in Crete.