The Taming of the Shrew: Act 5, Scene 2, HVSF Version


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.

(Click here to see the First Folio version)

(Click here to see the fully scanned version)

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.