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in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on,
And will you, nill you, I will marry you.
Now Kate, I am a husband for your turn,
For by this light, whereby I see thy beauty—
Thy beauty that doth make me like thee well—
Thou must be married to no man but me,
For I am he am born to tame you, Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.
Here comes your father. Never make denial.
I must and will have Katherine to my wife.
Petruchio speaks these lines to Katherine
shortly after his “my tongue in your tail” comment (see quotation 2).
Petruchio confronts the reluctant Katherine with his intentions:
since her father has agreed and the dowry has been settled, he will
marry her whether she likes it or not (“will you, nill you, I will
marry you”). Petruchio even explicitly declares that “I am he am
born to tame you, Kate,” further employing the language of animal
domestication by calling her a “wild Kate”—a pun on “wildcat”—that
he will “tame.” Not only does this speech set the terms for Petruchio
and Katherine’s later relationship, but it is also important for
what immediately follows: Katherine, fully aware of Petruchio’s
intentions, implicitly consents to marry him by failing to protest
against his false claims that she has already agreed to do so.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Taming of the Shrew!