The Taming of the Shrew. Act 5, Scene 2. Katherina
(This text is featured in our interview with Gabra Zackman)
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135 Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
136 And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
137 To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
138 It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
139 Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
140 And in no sense is meet or amiable.
141 A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
142 Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
143 And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
144 Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
145 Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
146 Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
147 And for thy maintenance commits his body
148 To painful labour both by sea and land,
149 To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
150 Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
151 And craves no other tribute at thy hands
152 But love, fair looks and true obedience;
153 Too little payment for so great a debt.
154 Such duty as the subject owes the prince
155 Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
156 And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
157 And not obedient to his honest will,
158 What is she but a foul contending rebel
159 And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
160 I am ashamed that women are so simple
161 To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
162 Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway,
163 When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
164 Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
165 Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
166 But that our soft conditions and our hearts
167 Should well agree with our external parts?
168 Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
169 My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
170 My heart as great, my reason haply more,
171 To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
172 But now I see our lances are but straws,
173 Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
174 That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
175 Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
176 And place your hands below your husband’s foot:
177 In token of which duty, if he please,
178 My hand is ready; may it do him ease.