The Taming of the Shrew Act V, Scene 1 and 2 Summary and Analysis
by William Shakespeare

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Act V, Scene 1 and 2 Summary and Analysis

In Act V, Scene i, Gremio lurks in front of Lucentio’s house, but apparently does not see Lucentio, Bianca, or Biondello as they steal away to the church for the secret marriage ceremony. While Tranio and the pedant are still inside, Petruchio, Kate, and Vincentio reach Lucentio’s home and knock. Gremio comes out from hiding to inform them that they had best knock more loudly since those within are busy.

The pedant appears at the window above the front door, and greets Vincentio in a hostile manner. After Petruchio announces that Lucentio’s father, Vincentio, has just arrived from Pisa and wants to see his son, the pedant calls him a liar and claims that he himself is Lucentio’s father. The pedant then demands that Vincentio be restrained and brought before the law.

Biondello approaches the house and realizes that his master’s plot will be ruined if the pedant is exposed as an imposter. Vincentio recognizes Biondello and orders him to come forward, but Biondello pretends that he has never met Vincentio before. When Biondello points to the pedant in the window as his master, Vincentio starts to beat him and he runs off stage. Petruchio moves himself and Kate out of the action to watch what will happen.

Tranio, still dressed up as his master, finally comes out of the house, to the consternation of Vincentio. He laments that Lucentio has wasted his money on his servant to furnish him with such rich apparel. Tranio announces his identity as a gentleman, and Vincentio reproaches him, claiming that his father was a sailmaker. Baptista tries to intervene and calm the rising confusion by asking Vincentio to identify Tranio. Vincentio declares it to be Tranio, and the pedant defends Tranio as Lucentio. This convinces Vincentio that Tranio has murdered his son and assumed his identity. Tranio is forced, therefore, to call for an officer to arrest Vincentio, because Tranio has been accused of murder.

The officer arrives, but Gremio steps in to defend Vincentio. However, since Gremio will not swear that Tranio is not Lucentio, Baptista asks that Vincentio be carried away to jail. At this point, Lucentio, Bianca, and Biondello appear to find Vincentio constrained by the constable. Biondello warns Lucentio not to give away their scheme. Then Tranio, Biondello, and the pedant run quickly off stage.

Lucentio kneels before his father to ask for pardon. Bianca does likewise before her own father. Lucentio reveals his identity to Baptista, then explains to his father how he planned to use Tranio to woo Bianca. Lucentio begs his father’s forgiveness for his deception and he assumes responsibility for the acts of Tranio and Biondello. Vincentio forgives him, but goes into the house to be avenged upon the two servants who would have him taken to jail.

Baptista, followed by Lucentio and Bianca, exits. Gremio is left behind to marvel that he has come up empty-handed. Once he goes in to the banquet, Kate and Petruchio are left on stage. Petruchio asks Kate for a kiss, but she admonishes him that such a thing would not be proper in public. Once Petruchio tells Grumio to pack up to return home, Kate cuts off their preparations and gives Petruchio a kiss in the street. Petruchio rejoices and they exit the stage.

In Act V, Scene ii, Lucentio gives a short speech to begin the wedding banquet at which Bianca, Baptista, Petruchio, Kate, Gremio, Hortensio, and his newly-wedded widow are all present. Petruchio grumbles that they must always sit down, and a conversation ensues, which is difficult to follow because of the frequent use of innuendo. The men banter somewhat separately from the women, but both groups engage in the same form of witty linguistic one-upmanship. One notable instance is a comment from the widow, who implies that Petruchio is a hypocrite for claiming that Hortensio is afraid of her. Petruchio lets her remark go by without chastising her, but Kate calls the widow on her charge by asking what she means by it. The widow tries to...

(The entire section is 2,273 words.)