The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 8

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TRANIO

Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?

TRANIO

That’s all you noticed? You missed the part where her sister began to scold her and made such a ruckus that human ears could hardly stand it?

LUCENTIO

145Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
And with her breath she did perfume the air.
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I saw her coral-pink lips move and perfume the air with her breath. I saw nothing in her except what is virtuous and lovely.

TRANIO

(aside) Nay, then, ’tis time to stir him from his trance.—
I pray, awake, sir! If you love the maid,
150Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home,
And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
155Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.

TRANIO

(to the audience) I think it’s time to rouse him from his trance.—Wake up, sir! If you love the girl, it’s time to figure out how to win her. The way things stand, her older sister is so bitchy and difficult that the father can’t wait to get rid of her. But until he does, your sweetheart is grounded, locked up at home and not allowed any suitors.

LUCENTIO

Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father’s he!
But art thou not advised, he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, what a cruel father he is. Still, did you notice how ready he was to hire good tutors for her?

TRANIO

Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now ’tis plotted!

TRANIO

I did—and now I’ve got it!

LUCENTIO

160I have it, Tranio!

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I think I’ve got it!

TRANIO

   Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

TRANIO

I’ll bet we’re both thinking the same thing, master.

LUCENTIO

Tell me thine first.

LUCENTIO

Tell me your idea first.

TRANIO

   You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That’s your device.

TRANIO

You will pretend to be a schoolmaster and offer to teach the girl. Is that your plan?

LUCENTIO

   It is. May it be done?

LUCENTIO

It is. Do you think it would work?