Short summary - The Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare

British literature summaries -

Short summary - The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare

Copperman Christopher Sly falls asleep in a drunken sleep at the door of the inn. The lord with huntsmen and servants returns from the hunt and, finding the sleeping man, decides to play a joke with him. His servants carry Sly to a luxurious bed, wash in fragrant water, dress in an expensive dress. When Sly wakes up, he is told that he is a noble lord, who was seized with madness and slept for fifteen years, and he dreamed that he was a brazier. At first, Sly insists that he is «a peddler by birth, a carder by education, a bear cub by his vicissitudes, and by his current craft a brazier,» but gradually he convinces himself that he is really an important person and married to a charming lady (in fact, he’s dressed as page of the lord). The Lord cordially invites a vagabond acting troupe to his castle, devotes its members to a rally plan, and then asks them to play a fun comedy, supposedly to help the imaginary aristocrat get rid of the disease.

Lucentio, the son of the wealthy Pisa Vincenzo, arrives in Padua, where he is going to devote himself to philosophy. His trusted servant Tranio believes that with all his devotion to Aristotle, "Ovid cannot be neglected." A rich Padawan nobleman Baptista appears in the square, accompanied by his daughters, the eldest, absurd and impudent Katarina, and the younger, the quiet and meek Bianca. Here are also two of Bianca's suitors: Gortencio and the young man, Grumio, who are young (both from Padua). The Baptista announces to them that he will not marry Bianca until he finds a husband for his eldest daughter. He asks for help to find music and poetry teachers for Bianca so that the poor thing does not miss her forced retreat. Hortensio and Grumio decide to temporarily forget about their rivalry in order to find a husband for Katarina. This is not an easy task, because "the devil himself will not get on with her, it is so evil" and "with all the wealth of her father, no one will agree to marry a witch out of hell." Lucentio at first sight falls in love with a meek beauty and decides to enter her house under the guise of a teacher. Tranio, in turn, must portray his master and woo Bianca through her father.

Another nobleman comes to Padua from Verona. This is Petruccio - an old friend of Gortencio. He admits bluntly that he came to Padua, "in order to succeed and profitably get married." Hortensio jokingly offers him Katarina - after all, she is beautiful and the dowry behind her will give the rich. Petruccio immediately decides to go get married. The warnings of a worried friend about the bride’s bad temper, her grumpy and stubbornness do not touch the young Veronets: «Isn't my rumor used to noise? «But have I not heard the lions of growls?» Hortensio and Grumio agree to pay the expenses of Petruccio associated with the matchmaking. Everyone goes to the Baptist’s house. Hortensio asks his friend to introduce him as a music teacher. Grumio is going to recommend as a poetry teacher the disguised Lucentio, who hypocritically promises to support the matchmaking of the recommender.

In the Baptista’s house, Katarina finds fault with her tearful sister and even pounds her. Appearing in the company of Gortencio and everyone else, Petruccio immediately declares that he wants to see Katarina, who is «smart, modest, friendly, beautiful, and famous for her gracious courtesy.» He represents Gortencio as a teacher of Licio music, and Grumio recommends Lucencio as a young scientist named Cambio. Petruccio assures the Baptist that he will win the love of Katarina, because "she is obstinate, but he is stubborn." He is not even afraid that Katarina broke a lute on the head of an imaginary teacher in response to an innocent remark. At the first meeting with Katarina, Petruccio fiercely and mockingly parries all her tricks ... And she gets a slap in the face that she has to endure: a nobleman cannot hit a woman. Yet he says: "I was born to tame you / And make a cat out of a wild cat." Petruccio goes to Venice for wedding gifts, saying goodbye to Katarina with the words: «Kiss, Ket, without fear! We're having a wedding this Sunday! »Grumio and Luciencio Tranio portray the fight for Bianca’s hand. The Baptista decides to give the daughter to the one who assigns her a greater inheritance after her death (the «widowed part»). Tranio wins, but Baptista wants the promises to be personally confirmed by Vincenzio, the father of Lucentio, who is the true owner of capital.

Under the jealous eyes of Gortencio Lucentio, in the guise of the scientist Cambio, Bianca explains in love, allegedly conducting a lesson in Latin. The girl does not remain indifferent to the lesson. Gortenzio tries to explain himself with the help of scales, but his courtship is rejected. On Sunday, Petruccio arrives at his wedding with an insulting delay. He sits on a hackneyed nag that has more ailments than hair in its tail. He is dressed in unimaginable rags, which he never wants to change to decent clothes. During the wedding, he behaves like a savage: gives a kick to the priest, spills wine in the face of the sextonist, grabs Katar by the neck and smacks his lips in a loud voice. After the ceremony, despite the requests of the father-in-law, Petruccio does not stay at the wedding feast and immediately takes Katarina away, despite her protests, saying: «Now she has my property: / My house, barn, household utensils, / My horse,

Grumio, the servant of Petruccio, appears in his master’s country house and informs the rest of the servants that the young are coming. He talks about many unpleasant adventures on the way from Padua: Katarina’s horse stumbled, the poor thing fell into the mud, and the husband, instead of helping her, rushed to hit the servant - the narrator himself. And so zealous that Katarina had to slap through the mud to drag him away. Meanwhile, the horses fled. Having appeared in the house, Petruccio continues to be outrageous: he finds fault with the servants, dumps supposedly burnt meat and all dishes on the floor, ruins the prepared bed, so that Katarina, exhausted by her journey, remains without dinner and without sleep. Petruccio's crazy behavior, however, has its own logic: he likens himself to a falconer, who deprives the bird of sleep and food in order to tame it faster. «Here is a way to tame the obstinate temper. / Who knows the best, let him tell boldly - / And he will do a good deed for all. »

In Padua, Gortencio witnesses a tender scene between Bianca and Lucentio. He decides to leave Bianca and marry a rich widow who has long loved him. "From now on, in women I will begin to appreciate / Not beauty, but a devoted heart." The servants of Lucentio meet on the street an old teacher from Mantua, who, with the approval of the owner, decides to introduce Baptiste as Vincenzo. They fool the gullible old man, telling him about the outbreak of the war and the order of the Duke of Padua to execute all captured Mantuans. Tranio, acting out as Luciencio, agrees to «save» the frightened teacher by passing him off as his father, who just needs to come to confirm the marriage contract.

Meanwhile, poor Katarina is still not allowed to eat or sleep, and they are still teasing. Petruccio scolds a tailor from the house who brought a dress that Katarina liked very much. The same thing happens with the haberdasher who brought a fashionable hat. Slowly, Petruccio tells the artisans that they will be paid for everything. Finally, the young, accompanied by Gortenzio, who was visiting them, set off for Padua to visit the Baptist. On the way, Petruccio continues to be picky: he either proclaims the sun as the moon and forces his wife to confirm his words, threatening to return home right away, or says that the old man they met along the road is a pretty girl and invites Katarina to kiss this «girl». The poor thing no longer has the strength to resist. The old man turns out to be none other than Vincenzio, who is heading to Padua to visit his son. Petruccio hugs him, explains


Petruccio, Katarina, Vincenzo and the servants drive up to the house of Lucentio. The old man offers his brother-in-law to go into the house to drink together, and knocks on the door. A teacher protrudes from the window, who has already tasted the role, and with aplomb drives the «impostor». Incredible commotion is rising. Servants lie in the most believable and fun way. Upon learning that Tranio is impersonating his son, Vincenzo is horrified: he suspects the servant of the murder of the master and demands to imprison him along with accomplices. Instead, at the request of the Baptists, he is dragged to prison himself - as a deceiver. The turmoil ends when the real Luciencio and Bianca come out to the square, who have just secretly married. Lucentio gives a feast, during which Petruccio bets for one hundred crowns with Lucentio and Gortencio, already married a widow, that his wife is the most obedient of the three. He is ridiculed, but even the once meek Bianca and the widow in love refuse to come at the request of her husbands. Only Katarina comes by the first order of Petruccio. Shocked Baptista increases Katharina’s dowry by twenty thousand crowns - «the other daughter - the dowry is different!». On the orders of her husband, Katarina brings obstinate wives and reads them an admonition: «As a subject owes the sovereign, / So the woman - my spouse. Now I see / What we do not spear - we beat with a straw / And we are only strong with our weakness. / We should not play a foreign role. » On the orders of her husband, Katarina brings obstinate wives and reads them an admonition: «As a subject owes the sovereign, / So the woman - my spouse. Now I see / What we do not spear - we beat with a straw / And we are only strong with our weakness. / We should not play a foreign role. » On the orders of her husband, Katarina brings obstinate wives and reads them an admonition: «As a subject owes the sovereign, / So the woman - my spouse. Now I see / What we do not spear - we beat with a straw / And we are only strong with our weakness. / We should not play a foreign role. »