illustration of Kate and Petruchio standing and staring at one another

The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

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The Induction, Scene 2 Summary

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Last Updated February 6, 2023.

Sly, dressed in rich clothing and jewelry, is lying in bed in the Lord's house, and the servants are treating him with great respect and calling him “lordship.” Sly is completely confused. The servants inform him that he has been crazy for fifteen years, always presenting himself as a beggar. Sly himself recalls that he is actually a tinker by trade. The servants are convincing, however, and soon Bartholomew enters dressed as a woman and claiming to be Sly's wife.

At this point, Sly puts aside his doubts about his identity. He will be a lord if he can have a lady like this. He wants to get rid of the servants so that he can enjoy his wife. Bartholomew explains that they must abstain so that Sly will not go mad again. Then the players enter to perform an entertainment for Sly and his “wife.” The play is the primary action of The Taming of the Shrew.

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The Induction, Scene 1 Summary

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Act 1, Scene 1 Summary