The Taming of the Shrew. Act 5, Scene 2. Katherina
(This text is featured in our interview with Liz Wisan, it is the version done at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in the Summer of 2018) * Indicates a change to the text.
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141 Fie, fie, unknit that threatening unkind brow,
142 And dart not scornful glances from those eyes
143 To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.
144 It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
145 Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds
146 And in no sense is meet or amiable.
147 A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
148 Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty
149 And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
150 Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
151 Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
152 Thy head, thy sovereign: one that cares for thee
153 And for thy maintenance; commits his body
154 To painful labor both by sea and land,
155 To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
156 [Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe,]
157 And craves no other tribute at thy hands
158 But love, fair looks and true obedience–
159 Too little payment for so great a debt.
160 Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
161 Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
162 And when he is froward, peevish, sullen, sour, *
163 And not obedient to her honest will, *
164 What is he but a foul contending rebel *
165 And graceless traitor to his loving lord? *
166 I am ashamed that people are so simple
167 To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
168 Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
169 When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
170 Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
171 Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
172 But that our soft conditions and our hearts
173 Should well agree with our external parts?
174 Come, come, you froward and unable worms,
175 My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
176 My heart as great, my reason haply more,
177 To bandy word for word and frown for frown.
178 But now I see our lances are but straws,
179 Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
180 That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
181 Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
182 And place your hands below your lover’s foot: *
183 In token of which duty, if he please,
184 My hand is ready, may it do him ease.